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 Construction Plan South 13th Street Improvement Project Area

Street Improvement Work Plan

To minimize impacts to residents, businesses and commuters, the City’s work plan includes an accelerated schedule, Sunday and overnight work, and access for emergency vehicles.

Type of Work When is it Planned? What Should I Expect?
Remove unused traffic equipment Oct. 1 - 17

Temporary lane closures

Improve curb ramps
Install flashing beacons at “D” St. and “F” St. crosswalks
Oct. 1 - 17

Temporary sidewalk and lane closures

Street Closed in Sections –
South Street to Lincoln Mall
Remove old and install new pavement markings

1 p.m., Sun., Oct. 21 to 6 a.m., Mon., Oct. 22


7 p.m., Mon., Oct. 22 to 6 a.m., Tue., Oct. 23

  • 13th St. closed, starting from South St. and moving north to Lincoln Mall
  • East/west cross streets open
  • No access to driveways or alleys off 13th St.
  • On-street parking available on side streets
  • Temporary no-parking along west curb of 13th St. between Washington St. and Peach St.
IF NEEDED Complete unfinished work 7 p.m., Tue., Oct. 23 to 6 a.m., Wed., Oct. 24
  • No street closures
  • Potential temporary no-parking on west curb of 13th St.
Enable flashing beacons at “D” St. and “F” St. crosswalks By noon, Wed., Oct. 24
  • No street closures
  • Pedestrians push button to cross 13th St.

*All dates and times scheduled are weather dependent

Share the Street

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

Pedestrians

  • 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

Bicyclists

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

Motorists

  • 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

Parking, Driveway and Alley, and Bus Use Oct. 21 – 23

How will I access my home or business during the planned work?
When S. 13th Street is closed for work, residents and businesses will not be able to use private driveways or alleys that intersect with it. No parking will be allowed on S. 13th Street while this work is being conducted. Sidewalks will remain open so properties can be reached on foot. Side streets will remain open for east/west travel and for on-street parking as needed. The portion of S. 13th Street in front of individual properties will be closed for less than 18 consecutive hours.
Why are crosswalks at “D” and “F” streets getting flashing beacons?
RRFBs will increase pedestrian safety at these crosswalks. They are located along school and high foot traffic routes and near the F Street Community Center.
Will on-street parking along S. 13th Street change as a result of this project?
S. 13th Street, north of “A” Street, will continue without on-street parking. Additionally, in accordance with public feedback received on this project, on-street parking on S. 13th Street, between South and “A” streets, will be maintained along the west curb and will be removed along the east curb. There will also be a temporary parking restriction along the west curb while work is being completed.
How will the planned work affect the bus route(s)?
StarTran buses will operate as scheduled. If needed, buses and bus stops will be detoured to 11th Street between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. week nights. Detours will be marked at affected bus stops, and posted at startran.lincoln.ne.gov. The city will continue to evaluate future transit enhancements along S. 13th Street.

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

(739 K) PDF

Project Fact Sheet

(2.03 M) PDF

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