Location: Nebraska

Nebraska's MoPac Trail Runs Into Problems

Nebraska’s MoPac Trail, which will connect the cities of Lincoln and Omaha, has run into problems securing the right-of-way on a crucial 10-mile section of trail. Local landowners complain of losing land to the trail, and also say they’re afraid of bicyclists:

Since her husband died, Michelle Platt worries more about strangers passing by her acreage. So a proposed bike trail running just 100 feet from her front door has her and grandpa nervous.

“Too close and you never know who is going to come off of the trail and come up here when you have a 5-year-old and a single woman out here by ourselves, it’s just not safe.”

It’s clear many of the 22 landowners don’t want to be forced to sell a strip of their land for a bike trail. “It is going to be expensive and we just don’t feel that this far from the city it’s going to get that much use,” says Jim Panska.

Clearly, they haven’t done their homework on potential usage. Check out the Katy Trail in Missouri. Check out the Cowboy Trail and the Steamboat Trace in Nebraska. Check out the Wabash Trace in Iowa.

And the safety concern makes very little sense either. Their land is next to public roads, which carry cars and trucks by their property night and day. Criminals are far more likely to transport themselves by a fast motor vehicle than they are on foot or by bike.

Read more from WOWT, the Lincoln Journal Star, the Omaha World-Herald.

If you’re concerned about the problems with the MoPac trail, please consider signing the Mopac Trail Extension petition.

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]

5 responses to “Nebraska's MoPac Trail Runs Into Problems”

  1. Randy says:

    Update: Moratorium placed on MoPac link between Lincoln, Omaha: “Faced with growing opposition on three fronts, the Lower Platte South Natural Resources District has voluntarily suspended all work on a key link that would help finish a recreational trail between Lincoln and Omaha.”

    Is this trail dead?

  2. Sean says:

    While I respect property rights, the arguments these people use against trails are always the same, oft-refuted red herrings that really sound idiotic to anyone familiar with these sorts of debates. As mentioned, isn’t the public roadway a more likely means of bringing bad people to your doorstep? Perhaps the steady diet of Rush Limbaugh-types has muddled their thinking…

  3. Chris says:

    A grown man from a tiny Nebraska town riding a bicycle is usually doing so because the law took away his driver’s license. I wouldn’t want a development that brings more alcoholics to my front door, either. If we could somehow educate the country folk about city-slicker cyclists. We drink beer for the carbo-loading.

  4. Aaron says:

    Uhh…. People who live in fear of the “bad people” crack me up.

  5. John Danielson says:

    More odd that a collective of contiguous land owners near a projected bike trail all have the same issue with selling the land. If they were smart, they would have come up with unique reasons for each and maybe left out one person in the middle of the path in their plan, as not to make it so obvious that they’re trying to milk more money from the project for their land. (As soon as the offer goes up, they’ll all change the story to “I guess it’s safe enough.”)