October 2018

South 13th Street Improvement Project Enhancing Safety, Traffic Flow and Economic Opportunity

The goal of this project is to make S. 13th Street, from South Street to Lincoln Mall, safer and more efficient while also enhancing the mobility of all modes of travel.

This project will:
Convert an undivided four-lane street into a three-lane street with a center two-way, left-turn lane
Install rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFB) on S. 13th Street at “D” and “F” streets with new crosswalks and curb ramps (see below)
Add designated bike lane in each direction on S. 13th Street

Open Improvement Plan South 13th Street Improvement Project Area

Share the Street

Streets are used for several modes of transportation. Defensive and courteous driving helps everyone reach their destinations safely.


  • Use crossings with rectangular rapid flashing beacons (RRFBs), if available
  • When using RRFBs, press button to activate flashing lights and ensure cars have stopped before crossing


  • Stay alert and monitor vehicles and pedestrians crossing bike lanes
  • Follow traffic signs and signals like vehicles (“obey rules of the road”)


  • Check traffic to the right before turning across bike lanes
  • Yield to bikers before turning
  • Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks

Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons

A rectangular rapid flashing beacon (RRFB) uses flashing yellow lights at a crosswalk to warn drivers of pedestrians. The City utilizes them where there is no stop sign or traffic signal and there is significant pedestrian traffic.

Pedestrians push the button on the crosswalk sign to start the flashing lights. Drivers slow down and yield to pedestrians. Pedestrians should ensure cars have stopped before crossing the street.

More Information on RRFBs

Federal Highway Administration research indicates RRFBs increase driver yielding by up to 88 percent. RRFB at N. 33rd St and MoPac Trail RRFB at N. 33rd St and MoPac Trail

Street Optimization

The mixed-use character of 13th Street between South Street and Lincoln Mall, as well as the proximity to downtown Lincoln, attracts residents traveling to and through the area using all modes of transportation. The average daily traffic volume along 13th Street makes it an ideal candidate for conversion from a four-lane to three-lane street, according to Federal Highway Administration standards.

A Federal Highway Administration study found that the conversion of such a facility reduces the total number of crashes by approximately 29 percent.

A three-lane street is safer and more efficient than a four-lane, undivided street

Converting Four-lane Streets to Three-lane Streets
One lane of traffic removed
Center two-way, left-turn lane added
Traffic capacity and flow maintained or enhanced
Pedestrians cross fewer lanes of calmer traffic
Easier turns into driveways and side streets
Increased business visibility and customer access
Bicycle traffic served with excess street surface

Several features contribute to the enhanced safety of a three-lane street:

  • Better use of lanes calms traffic, reduces weaving, enhances pedestrian safety, and reduces left-turn conflicts.
  • Two-way, left-turn lanes reduce left-turn, head-on, sideswipe, and rear-end crashes by separating opposing traffic and dedicating a lane for left-turns.
  • Dedicated space for different modes of travel enhances travelers’ awareness of other travelers on the street.

Comparing Performance of Existing Three-Lane and Four-Lane Streets

To understand how a three-lane street would perform, Lincoln residents only need to travel farther south on 13th Street.

At South Street, 13th Street turns into a three-lane street with a two-way, left-turn lane. Side-by-side comparisons of four-lane 13th Street with three-lane 13th Street show the potential for increased safety and increased traffic volumes with a three-lane design.

The portion of South 13th Street that is already three lanes carries 40 percent more traffic but has a 65 percent lower crash rate.

Aerial View of 13th Street North and South of South Street (3.56 M) PDF

Project Partners

The Lincoln Community Foundation, in partnership with the City of Lincoln Sustainability Coordinator, secured a $150,000 “Partners for Places” grant to help pay for the project.

Partners for Places logo

Lincoln on the MoveSouth of DowntownNear South Neighborhood Association Everett Neighborhood Association

Public Involvement

Open House - Wednesday, June 6, 2018

5:00 to 7:00 p.m. "F" Street Community Center, 1225 "F" Street Download Open House Display Boards (8.66 M) PDF

Project Contact

Mark Lutjeharms City of Lincoln Traffic Engineering Manager 402-441-7711 | mlutjeharms@lincoln.ne.gov

Construction Update
(October 2018)

(739 K) PDF

Project Fact Sheet

(2.03 M) PDF

Related Information