Location: Nebraska

The Emerging Omaha Bicycling Community

This year the Omaha Bicycling Community seems to have taken the first steps into the light of day, with recent events such as the Omaha Bike Summit and the opening of the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, and now some new voices making themselves heard:

  • Bike Omaha is a new blog covering news, social events, and advocacy opportunities related to biking and using bikes for transportation in Omaha and the surrounding areas.

  • Omaha-Commute is a group blog that reports bike commuting news and stories from Omaha cyclists.

  • Redd Shift is a personal blog about one man’s attempt at opting out of the total car culture by walking, busing, and cycling in Omaha.

  • Community Bicycle Shop Omaha is a volunteer-run, non-profit bike shop whose mission is to create a positive environment, teach bicycle mechanics, build community, and promote safe cycling in Omaha, Nebraska.

Now, some of these aren’t strictly “new”, but they’re new to me, and are further evidence that Omaha is moving towards becoming a more bicycle-friendly community.

Further evidence comes from an article in the Omaha World-Herald (Changes on way to ease Omaha’s bike traffic):

Omaha turns crabby when it comes to its treatment of bicyclists, the chairman of the city’s bicycle advisory committee said Saturday.

Marty Shukert told the 2008 Omaha Bike Summit that this should begin to change with the addition of bicycle lanes and signs on certain streets next year. Shukert, chairman of the bicycle advisory committee created this year by Mayor Mike Fahey, said in an interview that Omaha currently rates poorly in its treatment of bicyclists.

Although the city has a good trail system, it has no lanes or designated bike routes, has poor bike racks and minimal bike parking. Many motorists exhibit bad etiquette toward bicyclists, and some bicyclists have bad etiquette toward motorists, he said.

The advisory committee will recommend bicycle lanes and stripes, street signs, bicycle symbols painted on streets and other strategies to improve conditions for bicyclists. Shukert said two foundations have contributed a total of $600,000 for those items.

The mayor wants the city to be more bicycle-friendly, so the proposals will receive serious consideration, Gudenrath said. Further, the $600,000 in private money will make it easier to implement those recommendations, he said.

Congratulations, Omaha!

About The Author

By Randy Rasa, editor/webmaster at Kansas Cyclist, the web's premier Kansas cycling information site, featuring authoritative guides to Kansas cycling clubs, bike shops, organized bike rides, touring, trails, and much more. [learn more]

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