Groups push to make section of Omaha more pedestrian friendly

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT)-- The City of Omaha is looking for your feedback on how to make a section of downtown safer for the community.

The focus is the stretch of 13th Street from I-80 all the way to I-480 north of downtown. The city, along with MAPA and One Omaha, are looking at ways to better the ways of walking along 13th.

The goal, through “Block Talks,” is to make the city more pedestrian friendly. Friday evening's gathering was held in the Dahlman Park Neighborhood. Residents were asked about the overall land use, facilities, site design, and safety.

That safety is everything to Melany Spiehs, a mother of three.

“My children have friends that live across 13th Street, and they want to ride their bikes back and forth and walk. It's just not safe,” said Spiehs. “The traffic is too fast moving.”

Krista Wassenaar is a design engineer for the city's transportation department.

“We're really trying to get the neighbors in their neighborhood walking around, looking at accessibility of the area,” said Wassenaar.

Information gathered from residents will be included in Wassenaar’s walkability study.

“That study is actually determining what to do with the right away along 13th Street from I-480 to I-80,” Wassenaar added.

Melany Spiehs appreciates the groups' push for improving her neighborhood.

“I think that's a great way to get the community involved, engaged, and have some ownership,” she said.

The next “Block Talk” will be held in the Deer Park neighborhood on April 27th. It begins at Bancroft Street Market (2702 S. 10th Street) at 6 pm.

If you'd like to learn more about how to voice your opinion on the project, click the links attached to this article.