Omaha’s first protected bike lane officially opens

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 6:23 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The Midtown to Market Bikeway officially opened Wednesday morning following a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Harney and Turner Boulevard.

The bikeway, which runs from along Harney Street from Turner Boulevard to South 10th Street, is the first protected lane in the city, with bollards and parked vehicles to offer protection and comfort for riders.

The bikeway is an 18-month pilot project paid for and maintained by Metro Smart Cities.

The organization will conduct studies, track riders, and weigh the pros and cons of the lane, which runs through areas that offer residential, commercial, and retail spaces and connects riders to other forms of transportation.

If successful, the bikeway could become a permanent fixture, along with more new ones across the city. At Wednesday’s opening, avid riders tell 6 News the new lane is welcomed with open arms.

“I’m fairly comfortable riding in traffic on city streets but having that extra space with the parked cars providing a buffer between the lanes where the cyclists are and where people are driving vehicles just adds a huge level of safety and comfort,” says Lori Elliott-Bartle, who has been commuting on her bike several times a week for close to a decade.

Mayor Jean Stothert and councilmembers Danny Begley, Juanita Johnson, and Pete Festersen all attended Wednesday’s opening in a show of support.

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