General Comment Board

The City of Lincoln reserves the right to refuse to publish and to edit comments for clarity and brevity.

On December 2, 2011, Jane Reinkordt wrote:

I am very excited about the prairie greenway corridor! We have been restoring parts of our little farm back to prairie over the years, and I was thrilled to see our plot in the green area around Conestoga Lake. We are proud that my grandfather was responsible for preserving some of the native prairie south of Conestoga Lake at the time of World War I. My family loves to hike and bicycle and cross country ski, so the trail system is a wonderful idea. I love the emphasis on local foods and preserving authentic farmland in the county as well. As we speak, the area is getting built up fast, so I hope the plan has some teeth.

On July 9, 2011, Janice Sherman wrote:

There is no way I want to see the swimming pools closed. We have lived in our home for 46 years and our two girls enjoyed Irving Pool where we gave them private lessons so they could be safe. Children need a place to swim and be with their friends. Parents cannot afford to be driving there children across town. My husband, Bernard, and I will pay higher taxes to keep all the swimming pools open. I just read in the newspaper this morning about the senior companions program being cut and we are not for that either. Please find a way to keep these services.

On July 5, 2011, David Deemer wrote:

Hi I was just wondering why the widening of S. 56th street from Old Cheney to Pine Lake isn't included on the LPlan 2040. It seems like someone forgot to put it on the list of projects. Pine lake from 56th to 70th is on the list, so I was surprised 56th wasn't. I also wonder if someone could look at the triangle intersection of Hwy 2, 56th, and Old Cheney. As the volume of traffic grows, the proximity of the intersections of 1)56th and Old Cheney and 2)56th and Hwy 2 I think could be a horrible traffic jam. What are the future plans for having all three intersections so close together, since even today traffic between the two previously mentioned intersections is problamatic at best, not to mention potentially needing to widen 56th and expand the intersections in the future.

On May 26, 2011, Don wrote:

Tom DeWeese is coming to our area! Tom DeWeese is one of the nation's leading advocates of individual liberty, free enterprise, property rights, and back-to-basics education. For over 30 years he has fought against government oppression (see the American Policy Center on the web for more info). He is also one of the leading experts on United Nations Agenda 21 or Sustainable Development, which comes to the local community as "comprehensive planning and smart growth initiatives." Both Lincoln and Omaha are currently participating in this program as members of ICLEI (International Council on Local Environmental Initiatives, a UN group) and we want you to see what it means to each of us as American citizens and members of our local communities—it has little to do with the environment: • Loss of property rights; • Loss of national and individual; • sovereignty/liberty; • Redistribution of wealth/"social equity"; • Government-sanctioned monopolies; • Destruction of individual rights; • Tyranny and despotism; • "Central planning" on a global scale. If you would like to know more about this and how it is being implemented in our community, please join us at the following times and locations… Lincoln: Friday, June 3 at 7 pm; Center for People in Need; 3901 N 27th St; (west side, near the Golden Corral) Lincoln, NE; Omaha: Saturday, June 4 at 1 pm; The Aspen Meeting Center; 9809 M St (1 blk S. and 2 blks; W. of 96th & L Sts); Omaha, NE

On May 5, 2011, Lincoln Chamber of Commerce wrote:

Letter from Lincoln Chamber of Commerce

On April 26, 2011, the Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee (PBAC) wrote:

Letter from PBAC

On April 26, 2011, Rick Krueger wrote:

Comment from Rick Krueger

On April 23, 2011, Harold Roper wrote:

It appears that we would be remiss if it was not considered in LPlan2040 the access to the center of Lincoln from the north. Currently there is a two mile void in the access and with further development scheduled to the north of Lincoln and the additional mileage to access the city center from the north consideration should be given to correcting this situation. The two mile void is that there is no access considered between North 27th Street an North 56th Street (Highway 77) a distance of two miles to the center of Lincoln. North 40th Street currently dead ends one half mile south of Arbor Road. At one time many years ago North 40th Street was open all the way into Lincoln. Recently an overpass was completed on North 40th Street over Interstate 80. Property has been acquired by the Lincoln School District on North 40th a short distance north of I-80. This area is identified as Tier 1, Priority A & B. A potential solution to this serious problem may be to extent North 40th Street on south and curve to the southwest and connect with North 33rd Street. There would be many advantages in considering this proposal, the right of way cost would be favorable because there is currently no development in this area, there would be minimal impact on the environmental resources, it would be less costly to span Little Salt Creek instead of Salt Creek, considerable savings to future property owners as Lincoln expands to the north in the future.

On April 20, 2011, Maurice Baker wrote:

I think it more desirable to maintan what we have than to place priority on new roads. If the new roads are so desirable for future growth, let the developers and thus the residents of these growth areas pay a larger portion toward the infrasturcture.

On April 7, 2011, Vonn Roberts wrote:

I would like to see the community move forward with improving the parks, though they are currently very good. There is only one park good for cross country skiing and snowshoeing. To do thesse activities, you need largae spaces not divided by roads or sidewalks. Many communities use golf courses which Lincoln is retiacent to do though there is no data I am aware of that courses are damaged in any way. Also with the short winter days, it would bae nice to be able to be out in the public spaces after sundown, which is precluded now at Pioneer Park.

On March 24, 2011, Bob Boyce wrote:

(Submitted to LPAC member Dick Esseks by Bob Boyce of Lincoln:) Dear Dick-- In talking about bike lanes and cycle tracks we are talking about life and death decisions. Such decisions should not be made carelessly or quickly.There is a belief that cycling is dangerous. Especially, some people believe that cycling in downtown Lincoln is VERY dangerous.Ask people to analyze downtown bicycle collisions, and they will find some surprising facts. (I can supply figures--I've done the statistics.) 1. There are very few downtown bicycle collisions for cyclists riding on the street. 2. The overwhelming majority of those collisions were the result of the cyclist doing something stupid, such as riding against traffic, and ignoring traffic lights. If there are very few collisions, why should we be concerned? Why should bike lanes be put in which are universally scorned as unsafe and illogical? Why should cyclists be required to ride in those lanes, which place them closer to motor traffic than if they were riding in a normal traffic lane? If collisions result from stupidity, putting in bike lanes or cycle tracks will not solve the problem. Cyclists will still run red lights and ride against traffic. I append a long comment from John Schubert, another expert on bicycling. He comments specifically on cycle tracks and their danger--and the deaths they cause. Thanks for taking the time to consider this, Dick. I would feel terrible if I felt I had not done everything I could to prevent dangerous situations, and someone died.

What follows is from John Schubert, dated 2/24/11: We know what makes cycling safe. It's being visible and predictable,and knowing how to make traffic law work for you. Most of all, safe cycling requires (a) a modicum of bike handling skill, so you can ride predictably and control your bike well; (b) understanding that cowering from other traffic creates problems, which is why you shouldn't do it, and (c) enacting that traffic law thing well. Most of that involves how you approach intersections. If you _don't_ know what makes cycling safe, and you don't think you belong on the road, you are likely to engage in what we call "road sneak" behaviors. These behaviors put you at much, much higher risk of serious accidents. So-called "bicycle advocates" usually dislike our approach, because they would rather glamorize the novice cyclist instead of teaching him/her to be safe. Thus their number one mantra is "facilities that make novices feel safe." That mantra makes my blood boil, because so many such facilities ignore what we know (and Keri teaches supremely well in herCyclingSavvy course). Intersections are where accidents occur! When you pander to a novice who doesn't understand where accidents come from, you design facilities that _instruct_ the cyclist to ride in a dangerous manner. The two most common examples are door zonebike lanes and bike lanes that direct you to enter an intersection onthe right side of right-turning motor traffic. These facilities have lured many cyclists to their death (I think Keri has all their names memorized -- these are real people who died for a stupid design), but they are promoted by "bicycle advocates" because they are seen as promoting bicycling. I have better ways to promote bicycling than that. The "bicycle advocates" aren't happy with the results of their doorzone bike lanes, though. Billions have been spent on bike lanes, andyet they haven't lured more that a smattering of Americans to ridebikes. The bicycle advocates' newest approach is to "go beyond" door zonebike lanes and advocate barrier-separated bike lanes, which now havethe cutie name "cycle tracks." Barrier separated bike lanes were installed in Davis, California inthe 1970s. They caused (drum roll) a spike in intersectionaccidents. And they were removed for that reason. But when you're promoting cycling to people who don't understand thehazards of intersections, you pander to their fears. You offer them"their own space." You can even put it behind a row of parked cars.But what this really does is hide the bicyclists from motorists rightup until the moment of impact. Because cycle tracks don't makeintersections disappear. You'll see statistics about safety. But here's what the statistic sdon't tell you: accidents happen to individual cyclists. Statistics can be collected in a way that seems to show improvement, but with no individual cyclist being any safer. When a city introduces a series of known accident causes, in the Orwellian pursuit of bicycle advocacy, and then trumpets its safety record, it's time to dig deeper into the data. Speaking of which, the city of Minneapolis has recently been crowing about its accident record. And Minneapolis just killed one of its cyclists in a barrier-separated bike lane, of the design that was ripped out of the pavement in Davis. The barrier and the parked cars hid the cyclist from the motorist who struck him until the moment of impact. I'm on the national committee that reviews experimental traffic control devices. We reviewed a Request to Experiment from Minneapolisfor this street. Minneapolis cared so little about how accidents occur that our committee couldn't even tell from the application what the configuration of the bike lane was supposed to be. They didn't give us a drawing, of the kind I learned to make in shop class in 1966. I guess they think it's not possible to design something dangerous. I hope this helps your understanding!

On March 24, 2011, David C. wrote:

Here is a well balanced article that provides further links and information on bicycle lanes: bicyclinginfo.org

On March 22, 2011, Bob Boyce wrote:

(Submitted to LPAC member Dick Esseks by Bob Boyce of Lincoln:) Dick-- A comment from an expert in the field of cycling, John Forester, about the danger of painted bike lanes. The point is that a bike lane, with or without paint or separations, tells the cyclist that this is a SAFE place to ride, and they don't need to take ordinary precautions. That puts them in danger!!! Bob

The Research Board published a paper, maybe two years ago, in which a bike lane was similarly marked diagonally through traffic. They were testing a method of emphasizing the bike lane with green paint. The tests showed that the more the bike lane was emphasized the greater the proportion of cyclists who just barged along without paying attention to the motor traffic around them. It is impossible in most places to determine, in advance and forever, as at the designer's drawing board, what must be the proper route for a cyclist through that intersection. Any attempt to do so will sometimes guide its victims into collisions. The cyclist, as well as the motorist, has to be able to operate according to the rules of the road for all drivers. This is what I keep saying; cyclists who operate as drivers of vehicles cause little more trouble than do motorists, while it is impossible to design safe operations for cyclists who refuse to obey the rules.

On March 8, 2011, Donald Raskey wrote:

(Email to Tommy Taylor, LPAC member): Tommy, Thank you for speaking with me this afternoon on the telephone. I attended one of the LPlan2040 presentations at the library at 16th & Superior Street last fall explaining the three growth scenariosfor Lincoln. As I mentioned to you over the telephone, I also attended a Lincoln Green By Design (LGBD) meeting in February ofthis year. At the LGBD meeting, it was made clear that one of the goals of LGBD was to incorporate sustainability language intothe existing 2030 comprehensive plan when formulating the new comprehensive plan, LPlan2040.This sparked my interest in finding our more about what sustainability and sustainable development entailed. At the meeting at thelibrary I attended back in the fall, LPlan2040 was being marketed by the presenters as a local plan with local ideas and local input.However, it appears that these sustainability ideas to be incorporated into the plan are anything but local, but instead are ideasfrom the International Council on Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) – an international organization that Lincoln joined back inJuly of 2010.While researching this topic, I ran across the attached booklet on understanding sustainable development. I have some concernsabout what sustainable development language and ideas may be added to LPlan040. My concern is that such language may endup limiting individual liberty and private property rights of residents of Lincoln/Lancaster County.I would encourage you and the rest of the planning committee to review the attached booklet and keep in mind the principles ofindividual liberty and private property rights when formulating the LPlan2040 document.Thank you. Understanding Sustainable Development, Freedom 21 Santa Cruz

On February 9, 2011, the Mayor's Environmental Task Force wrote:

Letter from the Mayor's Environmental Task Force

On January 30, 2011, Rosina Paolini wrote:

The goals of the survey take equal priority with equal importance. All of the goals work together for a complete plan. Placing any one of the goals higher than the other is absurd. I rated the goals equally. [In response to the Mobility & Transportation Goals & Objectives Survey.]

On January 28, 2011, the StarTran Advisory Board wrote:

Letter from the StarTran Advisory Board

On November 4, 2010, Jennifer wrote:

I agree with Stuart's concept of looking at local food production and protection of our most productive soils. Another concept to explore would be the development of Co-Housing residences. Not communal living, co-housing is distinct in it's goals and intents.

What is Cohousing?

What are the 6 Defining Characteristics of Cohousing?. While these characteristics aren't always true of every cohousing community, together they serve to distinguish cohousing from other types of collaborative housing: 1. Participatory process. Future residents participate in the design of the community so that it meets their needs. Some cohousing communities are initiated or driven by a developer. A well-designed, pedestrian-oriented community without significant resident participation in the planning may be "cohousing-inspired," but it is not a cohousing community. 2. Neighborhood design. The physical layout and orientation of the buildings (the site plan) encourage a sense of community. For example, the private residences are clustered on the site, leaving more shared open space. The dwellings typically face each other across a pedestrian street or courtyard, with cars parked on the periphery. Often, the front doorway of every home affords a view of the common house. What far outweighs any specifics, however, is the intention to create a strong sense of community, with design as one of the facilitators. 3. Common facilities. Common facilities are designed for daily use, are an integral part of the community, and are always supplemental to the private residences. The common house typically includes a common kitchen, dining area, sitting area, children's playroom and laundry, and also may contain a workshop, library, exercise room, crafts room and/or one or two guest rooms. Except on very tight urban sites, cohousing communities often have playground equipment, lawns and gardens as well. Since the buildings are clustered, larger sites may retain several or many acres of undeveloped shared open space. 4. Resident management. Residents manage their own cohousing communities, and also perform much of the work required to maintain the property. They participate in the preparation of common meals, and meet regularly to solve problems and develop policies for the community. 5. Non-hierarchical structure and decision-making. Most cohousing groups make all of their decisions by consensus, and, although many groups have a policy for voting if the group cannot reach consensus after a number of attempts, it is rarely or never necessary to resort to voting. 6. No shared community economy. The community is not a source of income for its members.

On August 21, 2010, Dave Oler wrote:

First of all, the city needs to come up with some kind of incentive, tax or otherwise to lure some large blue collar companies here to provide more jobs. We have lost more large companies than the city or Chamber of Commerce has even tried to lure here. Next, is better maintnenace of the roadways. We won't always have stimulus to rely on, so there needs to be a better way of maintianing the roads. Also let the city spread out. Stop trying to keep the urban area so compact. Look at the outskits of the city, there is more than ample room to spread out. We also need to get the beltway on the south and east built, and I also belive we need an expressway system in the city limits free of traffic lights. Many cities the same size as Lincoln, or even smaller have this concept already. Take Sprigfield MO, or Lexington KY,Peoria IL as just a few examples that already have better roadway systems than Lincolns outdated system. Take some ideas from these cities. And for the downtown area, well, it looks pretty darn old looking when entering from Capitol Parkway West, or West O. Its too bad we can't lure some larger corporations here and offer to build them some new high rise building to enhance the aesthetic appearance of our downtown. Also this 275ft building restriction height for buildings downtown is not needed for the Capitol Buildings sake. All that needs to be done is to build taller buildings further away from the Capitol so as to not obstruct the view of the Capitol. That is exactly what Baton Rouge LA did. Another city equal in size to Lincoln, with a Capitol building yet taller than our own. I hope city leaders will at least consider a few of my ideas if not all.

On August 17, 2010, Rosina Paolini wrote:

To expound on the comments Adam and Stuart have made regarding agriculture. A group "Families Play Outside" have a garden in Belmont Park. That is a great use of land in light of the Parks and Rec dept inability to keep up with mowing due to their lack of staff. The garden could be kept up by the neighborhood residents who sign up for a plot. The water should be easily accessible in the park.

On August 16, 2010, G Robb wrote:

Governors, mayors and business executives need to be constantly out drumming up companies to come to Lincoln & the state, which has been lacking for 60 yrs. I listen to too many retireds that never made the money people maketoday, suffer. Complaints from former people who grew up & had to leave the state, tell me they would like to move back but not with the high taxes. One example, 2 seperate neighbors came back, then with high taxes & unfriendly jobs AND people, left Lincoln again! The example of what I read, is just keep spending. Theres never any incentative to get revenue in the city, except raise taxes.

On August 16, 2010, Shar'on Glenn wrote:

As an outsider that received military orders to Lincoln Nebraska over 16 years ago and a person that travels a great deal, I offered the following, COMMON SENSE IDEALS: 1. Treat people as you would want to be treated especially Black-American Citizens in the community examples, police officers, criminal justice system, and all personnel that work with the diverse citizen population. 2. Do unto others as you would have done to you. 3. Manadatory Diversity Training for all city personnel. This will build a stronger community and make all citizens feel safe and valued, instead of being terrified of those that are in power to protect and serve. The goal should be for all to feel safe, vistors and citizens. When I travel and people ask where I live, I am very uncomfortable saying Lincoln Ne. I find myself warning others that this city is not tolerant of others that are a different color especially Black-American citizens. I warned them not to come to Lincoln and so do many other Black-American citizens. People move to this community for many reasons, military, college, and to have a safe place to raise a family. We warn the Black-American citizens not to come to Lincoln NE because they don't like Black-American citizens and we are treated as second class citizens. I hope that diginity and respect for all citizens are included in the LPlan2040 process. Let's build a healthy community for all regardless of their color!

On August 16, 2010, Mark A Kavan wrote:

Close off to only pedestrian traffic P St for 2 blocks from 7th to 9th St and 8th St from P to Q St. This would give 3 total blocks to plant trees, flower gardens, water fountains, sculptures,seating areas, etc. The options are limitless. Completely relandscape the entire 3 block streets. Transform the haymarket into a complete shoping, dining, and nightlife destination. This would take the area to the next level to compliment the coming arena. The concept is common and a very popular destination for many progresive cities. Boulder Colorado, Pearl St. is one for example to refer.

On August 15, 2010, Rosina Paolini wrote:

Neighborhood entities like pools,libraries and rec centers are crucial to maintaining a community. Support neighborhood entities in your comprehensive plan. Make the core neighborhoods like the Near South, Irvingdale, Indian Village, Everett, Malone, and Belmont the 5th quadrant with the same priority as the other 4 quadrants near the fringes.

On July 18, 2010, Marilyn McNabb wrote:

What does the "l" in "lplan" mean? Lincoln? Longterm?

Dear Marilyn,

The L in LPlan stands for Lincoln, and Lancaster, and I suppose it could also stand for Longterm! Our comprehensive plan is for both the city of Lincoln and Lancaster County. Early discussions attempted to create a catchy name that would lend itself to logos, web addresses, social networking, and just be easier for people to remember than the "Lincoln and Lancaster County Comprehensive Plan for 2040".

Thanks for the question.

On July 17, 2010, Jay Schmidt wrote:

I would be willing to pay more taxes to the city to avoid cutting services.

On July 13, 2010, Adam Hintz wrote:

I agree with Stuart's suggestion for planning with local/urban agriculture in mind. With food prices destined to raise because of transportation costs, we have to create a saftey net for our citizens. Doing this will meet the challenges of climate change, and increase the health of those living in Lincoln and Lancaster county. I'd like to see more focus on ecology. The Living and Working in 2040 report doesn't speak very directly to protecting the watershed which is the foundation of this wonderful community. We'll only have a sustainable city when we realize we're in an ecological system and learn to not poison it. Conservation easements and building with more permeable surfaces will help. Please focus on this.

On July 1, 2010, Karen Kerl wrote:

Offer Tax incentive similiar to Iowa that would allow large companies to start up a business with a tax break when they met certain requirements such as hiring a set number of positions over a period of time or meeting a set amount of new revenue over a period of time.

On June 30, 2010, Stuart Long wrote:

Food has been cheap and plentiful in the United States for more than sixty years. Yet this was not always the case nor may it remain true in the future. Limits can be glimpsed on the horizon for modern agribusiness: much more expensive fuel, fertilizer and chemicals, depleted soils, strained water resources, uncertain climate, curtailed federal crop subsidies, etc. A time may not be far off when "local food" is a key component of a city's well-being. With this in mind, I would like to suggest that the new Comprehensive Plan include provisions to protect the most productive soils in the county from being paved over. Specifically, I refer to Kennebec soils, which are rich alluvial deposits along streams and comprise only 4 percent of Lancaster County's area. A good example of Kennebec soils surrounds the Lincoln Airport. Before this area was taken over by the Air Force in World War II for a base, it included the most productive farms in the county. The Airport Authority owns about 2,500 acres outside the airport which is partially developed as an industrial park. The Airport Authority makes no agricultural use of this rich land -- which could easily make money from hay or other crops -- but instead pays to have the grass mowed. When we think about the best future use of bottomland like this, we should not ignore the bounty Nature has granted us in the form of fertile soils.