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  1. #1
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    Omaha bike lanes!

    Not sure how many Omaha (Nebraska) members are here but anyway.

    I just noticed work is now underway on the 16th street bike lanes (from Vinton down to Leavenworth). No paint is down yet, but signage is going up and some white spray paint is down making where the lanes will be. Sadly they have the lanes too close to the parked vehicles. So the "safe zone" is actually and the far left side of the lane.

    Also lanes are going in on 14th street in front the the library. Traffic signals are being re-arranged as I type.

    Now to just educate the driving public that bicycle lanes are not parking zones or turn lanes and that cyclists are not required to ride only in that lane.

  2. #2
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    That's awesome! I myself live in Omaha as well, West O area, never get to ride down that area. I've been wanting to ride around there and take some of the bike paths closer to the river but not sure exactly where they are. lately I've been sticking to the hwy's out near my neck of the woods. Where are what do you ride my friend?

  3. #3
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    There are really not many bike paths downtown. There is a small 6-8 block path near the pedestrian bridge that one day will connect to a path that runs down to the veterans memorial bridge in South Omaha. Most of the good trails are out west. However, council bluffs has some real nice trails and that city is almost perfectly flat. I myself stick to the keystone for most of my riding and also use the Iowa trails sometimes. I swap between a European city bike for my weekday commuting and a gt mountain bike converted into a commuter for my weekends.

    This map is a good example of how sparse the trails are in the east.
    http://www.omahatrails.com/index.php...157&Itemid=191

    Also if you are ever in downtown I highly recommend a visit to Greenstreet cycles @1310 Mike Fahey Street. Very friendly staff, though their in stock selection leaves a lot to be desired. They will order parts and will pull out what looks to be a phonebook of bicycle parts. Also they are the only bicycle store in Omaha that I know of that carries cargo bikes and other specialty bikes only seen in major cycling cities.
    http://www.greenstreetcycles.com/

  4. #4
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    Nice! i need to go check that shop out. Being as far out west as I am I usually talk to the guys from Bike Way. Great guys! Right now I'm riding a Specialized Sirrus and will be purchasing the new Allez M12 after the holidays if all goes well.

  5. #5
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    Hi! I'm in Omaha too. I'm excited about the bike lanes, but I live and bike way out west too. The only time I've ever biked downtown was during the OWL ride this summer.

    I bike mostly around Elkhorn, Valley, and Elk City.

  6. #6
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    I noticed the bike lanes when I stopped into Petit's Pastry last week. The city could definitely do more, but this is a decent start. Hopefully the newly hired bicycle/pedestrain coordinator will help the eastern part of our city become more bicycle friendly. One of the best things to get a bicycle friendly culture in the city is for more people to get out on their bikes! People will become more familiar with bikes on the road and hopefully develop a better attitude towards cyclists.

    I mainly mountain bike, so I don't do much riding in traffic in Omaha but we do have a decent trail system north to south. I live near the Big Papio trail which is a decent ride, but I would have to say my favorite trail is the Wabash (I lived in CB for 6 years). I also commute to work in the Bluffs using the trails around Manawa.

    Oh yeah, and Go Nighthawks! (Had to throw that in after the win tonight.) ;-)

  7. #7
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    I know omaha has nearly doubled it's commuter cyclists in just the last 2 years. Even this year may have seen better than a 40% jump. When I first started 3 years ago I could go weeks without seeing another commuter cyclist (and you know when you see one). Now I see one every day and like today I saw 4!

    My commuter bicycle
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  8. #8
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    I was at the Nighthawks game and had a blast! I used to commute to my old job when it was closer but my current job just doesn't allow me to do it.

  9. #9
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    Another Omahan here. I live in the Field Club area and bike several times a week on the Keystone and all its tributaries. Sometimes I head over the "Bob" and into CB to the Wabash trailhead. The bike lanes are slow in developing but I drive on Center and Leavenworth a lot and there does seem to be an increase in bicycle commuting.

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  10. #10
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    The 16th street lanes are now complete! I will TRY and get good video of it on my way in to work the 13th. The lane ends at 16th and levenworth, but I assume it then heads east on Levenworth from that point. I simply stick with 16th up to the orpheum towers then take a right for one block and jump on the sharrow lane there.

    The video I took today is simply rubbish, but here it is. Taken with a rather cheep video recorder, also had it turned to clip on to my shirt. I did not think about what that would do to the video. The next one should be better.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3RMkB5ZK7A
    Last edited by harshbarj; 10-12-10 at 10:06 PM.

  11. #11
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting... I'll check in for updates.

    There is a time to resign oneself
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  12. #12
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    Managed a much better video. It is of my full commute, but I have the link starting at 16th and vinton. I have the camera on my handlebars so there is a bit of movement.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5QZ4lZ-iZiU#t=10m12s

  13. #13
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    Loved the entry to park at the library! Does the bike lane go out 16th Street as well? I would assume it does.

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  14. #14
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    At the moment it ends on the 16th st. bridge. It is suppose to be extended up to harney st.

  15. #15
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    More progress than I had thought

    While on a ride with a group last Friday I rode on the 16th Street bike lanes from the bridge downtown south to Martha Street.... not bad! (More of a climb than you notice in a car!) Also rode on the "sharrow" marked streets from Saddle Creek into downtown.

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  16. #16
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    At some point, assuming the whole bike lane thing takes off, I would love to see a few protected bike lanes in Omaha (swap the bike lane and parking lane). Like shown here http://www.forgotten-ny.com/SLICES/b.../bikelane.html

    Problem is Omaha has to move slowly, because of how entrenched the automobile is in our city. I am confident though that we can hit 2% commuter ridership within 3 years and am hopeful for 5% within 10-15. Omaha has a LOT of recreational cyclists (as the owl ride showed us) and it will not take a lot to get them to join in the daily ride to work, especially on the nice warm days.

  17. #17
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    It nice that we are getting some bike lanes but I think that the motoring public needs to be educated on rules for these new bike lanes and co-shared bike symbols.

    There are some roads that are marked with a bike and a couple of chevrons that are not bike paths. they appear to be indicators that automobiles are to treat bicyclists as vehicles and the bikes are allowed to take the entire lane.

    I was talking to a police officer and he didn't know what the markings meant. I thought that it may mean that some of the roads are not allowed to have automobile traffic.

    If the police don't know what the meaning of the bike symbols are, then what do motorists make of these? There needs to be some education of the bike lanes and shared road usage.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclist2000 View Post
    It nice that we are getting some bike lanes but I think that the motoring public needs to be educated on rules for these new bike lanes and co-shared bike symbols.

    There are some roads that are marked with a bike and a couple of chevrons that are not bike paths. they appear to be indicators that automobiles are to treat bicyclists as vehicles and the bikes are allowed to take the entire lane.

    I was talking to a police officer and he didn't know what the markings meant. I thought that it may mean that some of the roads are not allowed to have automobile traffic.

    If the police don't know what the meaning of the bike symbols are, then what do motorists make of these? There needs to be some education of the bike lanes and shared road usage.
    Sorry for the late reply. Problem in omaha is we are also not following how the making are to be used. The sharrows are meant to show where the cyclists should be riding(down the center of the sharrow), yet I have been told by many that cyclists should still ride as far to the right as is safe. I simply follow the laws as every other city has and ride down the center and have not bee bothered by an police officers yet (lots of drivers though).

    Police really do need to start ticketing people for parking in the lanes(if they even can). I see it every day on my way in to work.

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