Joggers Fear For Safety Along Busy Street

Each day, dozens of joggers are making a decision that could put their lives in jeopardy. They go forward instead of turning back on a busy street in Northwest Omaha.

A trail's end doesn't stop many from taking a run or walk on the wild side of Standing Bear Lake near 144th and Fort.

Matth MacDonald drives the road daily, and fears for joggers' safety.

"There needs to be some sort of way to connect around the lake itself so people aren't forced to walk right next to traffic," he says.

Tracy Burton, showing a photo of a cyclist with a child seat, says street needs to be made safer for walkers, cyclists and drivers.

The Papio NRD has received a lot of complaints but Standing Bear Lake is a city park. Without a design trail extension, the worn path runs next to a cemetery. It's a chilling reminder to those who choose to exercise nearby.

Designing the trail to cross a culvert and go across the cemetery won't be easy. Omaha's Parks director says nothing would be done until 144th is widened. As it stands now, that's not in the budget.

"To me it's a safety issue," Matt MacDonald says. "It shouldn't take somebody getting hit for something being done about it."

For the foreseeable future, people who plan a walk or jog at Standing Bear Lake must decide if it's something worth a trip around or if it's better to simply turn around.

The city applied for grants to widen 144th street, but hasn't had any luck so far. Adding sidewalks isn't likely due to cost and drainage issues. A trail extension appears to be at least 10 years down the road.

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