Metropolitan Planning Organization

Bicyle and Pedestrian Capital Plan

Bicycle and Pedestrian Capital Plan Comment Board

Received December 28, 2012 from Ed Kouma:

I was not able to attend the open house but I have reviewed the Plan and I am impressed with how thorough it is. As a regular bicycle/bike-bus commuter I have a few "bicycle" issues which have all been addressed. My two highest safety concerns are the Williamsburg and Rock Island crossings of Old Cheney. Waiting on the median for traffic to clear is pretty scary!

Received December 19, 2012 from Tom Tabor:

With the upcoming City of Lincoln Open House for the Biking and Walking Plan I would like to share the following article and sentiments of many citizens of this community. Please consider some of the key points discussed in the article and my own when moving forward with the future of downtown Lincoln. Hope to listen to one of you or a representative of your offices on Saturday.

Adding value to downtown Lincoln, please read this article. As a longtime resident of Lincoln I have seen the downtown area evolve into many multi-use un-thematic concepts, giving the downtown very little character with exception to the Haymarket possibly. A central theme that creates an inviting aesthetic walkable/bikable or lite mass transit system as suggested in the attached article creates a hub and destination for locals and guests to Lincoln that also creates a more memorable brand of the city! In this age of ever increasing fuel costs, population growth and potentially catastrophic climate change we need to get the cars out of the perimeter and offer more mass transit and walk/bike lanes. For example, when I think of Boulder, CO, I think of Pearl Street, which has shut off several blocks to walking traffic only, and made it a destination. Madison, WI shuts down traffic on a corridor from their Capital to the University of Wisconsin Campus in the evenings for bike and walking traffic only. Make it a "destination" and more inviting to its citizens and commerce. Shut down "P" Street from the Haymarket to Antelope Parkway to automobiles unless it is for some type of trolley, light rail or other mass transit system. Open up the street for walking and bicycles. The added-value of creating this type of commerce with new hotels and the new arena being built in the Haymarket area would bring in greater shopping potential and a more inviting city to visit.

If you look at the top 10 most inviting cities to visit you would see they are all looking at this concept and removing the car from the picture. I agree a city needs to plan for traffic control and good traffic flow, but to put the car first is poor planning if you want to create an environment that is inviting to its citizenry or a vibrant commerce.

Received December 16, 2012 from Bob Boyce:

Last Saturday I was watching the Nutcracker at the Lied with my granddaughter instead of attending the Open House on the Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. I don't believe there is any point in my commenting on the Plan, other than to say that I am pleased that neighborhood connections to the trails are going to be made. Hurrah!

I have made my position on separated bikeways quite clear to you, David, to P/BAC, to the City Council, and to anyone else who is interested. I do not think separated bikeways are the way to go. They do not "protect" the cyclist from the vast majority of collisions. They make intersections MORE dangerous rather than less dangerous for cyclists. They make fear of motor vehicle traffic a systemic part of the infrastructure. They implicitly reinforce the belief that to be safe, cyclists need to be separated from motor vehicle traffic--when in fact, there are only FOUR collisions per year between bicycles ridden ON THE STREET and motor vehicles in downtown Lincoln. Only four, out of all the thousands of trips cyclists make each year downtown. And most of those four are the fault of the cyclist--riding the wrong way on the street, ignoring traffic signals, not signaling, riding too close to a car, passing a car on the right. I have sent my study showing these facts about downtown collisions to the City Council and P/BAC, and no one has disputed these facts. Do you really believe that four collisions justify the expense of separated bikeways--including timed signals for cyclists, which slow down motorists? Yes, yes, I know all about the psychology involved, the fear, the reluctance to ride with traffic. I believe it can be overcome by education, as the Cycling Savvy program has shown (that's it's sav vy, not sawy). Now, having said all that, I ask that the City please NOT require cyclists to either ride in bike lanes or as far to the right as practicable. Let us ride where we wish. Let each individual decide what is dangerous for her or himself. Thank you.

Received December 16, 2012 from Debbie Buck:

I live at 11th and Peach. As a cyclist I use South St. and the streets parallel quite a bit in order to get to the Rock Island Trail and to businesses around 48th and Normal. I'd love to see South Street become bike friendly.

Received December 16, 2012 from Owen:

I really like anything that allows for the expansion of connections between existing arterial bike trails. Our trail system is great, but it runs the danger of having the same drawbacks as the sort of hub-and-spokes model that Startran has. I like that I see on the plan a lot of work connecting routes. I also want to emphasize, as a parent who likes to take my child places in a bike trailer, how great protected bikeways would be. Living in Havelock, I can pretty easily access downtown via trail (although the Murdock/Dietrich crossing of Adams St (around 35th, I believe, by Casey's) could really use a light), but that last little distance to Morrill Hall, the Children's Museum, Bennet Martin, etc., would be greatly improved with a protected bikeway. I'm a stay-at-home parent in a single-car household, and the difficulties of that last mile can often prevent me from shopping at a business. I would love to have better access to downtown.

Received December 15, 2012 from Nicole:

Adding lights to the bike trails would be a great addition. Sometimes people drive places instead of biking because they don't feel safe riding on the tree lined bike paths in the early morning or evening.

Received December 15, 2012 from Alan Tabula:

A long-range plan is all well and good, but safety improvements are needed now. It seems to me, that in many ways, we're going about this backwards. The primary purpose of the transportation system is to allow people to move around the city. Movement of goods is also important, but secondary to that. Yet we build infrastructure first and foremost for automobiles, with very little consideration for anything else. Bicycling and walking need to be the most important piece of every project, not just some add-on to keep a perceived special interest group happy. We need to make sure that people can get around safely by walking and biking, then we should deal with the movement of cars and trucks. That said, the Bicycle and Pedestrian Capital Plan is certainly a step in the right direction. It's simply not urgent enough, and its focus (and assumptions) are entirely too auto-centric.

Received December 13, 2012 from Eric B.:

I would also urge implementing audible crosswalk signals (like the ones found at 48th & "O") at high traffic intersections (pedestrian and/or vehicle). They can help improve safety, especially for those who are blind or have trouble seeing. Also, I would highly advise against using HAWKs in Lincoln. If you've ever seen them on YouTube, you can see pretty quickly that no one can figure them out. Additionally, although they are approved for use, red "wig-wags" ideally should only be used at railroad crossings.

Received December 12, 2012 from Vonn Roberts:

While Lincoln has good underpinnings for no-motorized transportation, I feel we have a ways to go to be bike/pedestrian friendly.

  1. Increased bike parking that is secure. How about a parking place every block or two spaecific to bikes. One slot would hold 8-12 bikes.
  2. Enforcement of current laws-I often encounter autos encroaching on the pedestrian crossings,particularly at 27th and Highway 2 and 70th and Pioneers. The laws exist but are rarely enforced.
  3. Keep expanding the bike trails for recreational and commuter use.
  4. Any taxpayer funded projects such as a new library or public buildings must be pedestrian/bike friendly.
  5. Require all commercial projects to consider nonmotorized access.

Received December 10, 2012 from Dale Arp:

I would like to see 'all' new and arterial improvement throughout Lancaster County to have the Bike and Ped Cap Plan as part of the check-off, and to have this plan be very long range in wishes to include all waterways, railways, utility easements, linear parks, and neighborhood common areas, to nearly the same density of trails as we have within Lincoln, and to include arterials where the previously mentioned are not available. To this end, then allowing for all bridge replacements and other drainage under passages to include design elements to allow for the eventual inclusion of Bikes and Peds, and where there are no such available, then have these arterials designed for safe and enjoyable passage. Although Lincoln now has a very good trail system, it could have been much better if such planning had been done many years ago. One case to bring up is the recent South Street bridge replacement now forcing crossing at Capital Parkway at South and 40th for many years into the future because there was no Bike and Ped allowance in the design. As I travel around the limits of Lincoln, I see many opportunities missed for safe crossings as new roads above waterway crossings have not been designed this way. I see new areas being developed that have no consideration of extension of our trails system even though we all now know the importance of such alternative transportation inclusion. I consider Lincoln very progressive in this area, but I believe it only takes a few more steps, without a great deal of additional cost, to ensure an even better alternative transportation system well into the future. When the South and East bypasses are eventually built, I believe it is essential to have enough right of way (or linear park) to allow for a parallel trail with safe crossings, as this single trail would be a connector to a great number of future Lincoln expansions on both sides of the bypass (again here allowing for crossing the bypass at waterways and other such opportunities in its design). I believe there should be interconnection of recreational areas for Bikes and Peds whether or not along arterials. I believe there should be the same interconnection of rural communities, and best if the two just mentioned were tied together. This may now be considered a big dream, but I truly believe that well into the future, should we not have this plan now, that we will be shaking our heads wondering why we did not, and fighting to then meet this need with a much less preferred result. When farmland is sold for development, I would like to see at least easements for trails expansion based on this plan, much like they do with utilities expansion, with the positive thinking that the land will actually become more valuable, and not intended with cold thoughtless intention to take land, and with consideration of options for the developers, as I see such development to eventually become part of the Lincoln metro area. If I were to build/purchase a new home, I would want it to be as close to the trail system as possible, or with direct access to it, and would pay more for such a privilege, and I believe the number of others with this same thought is forever growing.

Received December 9, 2012 from Peter Katt:

What am I supposed to comment about, the Media Release? Why isn't the Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan posted online? An Open House from 2-5:00 during the week may be convenient to City staff and university students, not so much for the working public.

Staff Response: Peter, Thank you for your comment and interest in the Bicycle and Pedestrian Capital Plan. Here is a link to the material that will be presented to the public this Saturday at the open house. I hope this is sufficient for your review. If not, I am available to answer your questions, and we can further explain the material on Saturday. We do not yet have a Draft Plan for review because we want to hear from the public first on the proposals we are showing at the open house. We are holding the event on a Saturday afternoon partly to meet the needs of those that you identified in your comments that find it difficult to get to meetings like this during the work week. We hope to get as much input and comment as possible. Please call me with any questions you may have on this topic. Thanks again. David Cary, Long Range Planning Manager.