Lincoln, NE (September 22, 2021) Lincoln Transportation and Utilities Director Liz Elliott today announced that Lincoln’s first bicycle boulevard will open in the South Salt Creek neighborhood Sunday, September 26 as part of the Streets Alive! event. The route runs from “G” Street near Park Middle School, follows South Sixth Street south to “F” Street, and continues along “F” Street to Southwest Second Street.
Elliott said a bicycle boulevard is a residential street with cycling-specific street markings and signs that allow cyclists to safely share the street with motor vehicles. Bicycle boulevards promote safe, quiet, and comfortable surroundings for people who bicycle, walk and drive, along with environmental benefits.
“Being able to expand the public’s options to enjoy bike-friendly streets shows the City is committed to environmentally-friendly solutions that contribute to Lincoln’s Bike Plan and Climate Action Plan,” Elliott said. “This is another contributor to assist in decreasing net greenhouse gas emissions while continuing to invest in our neighborhoods and increase the public’s quality of life.”
Elliott also pointed to studies in Oregon and California that show numerous benefits for neighborhoods where bicycle boulevards are installed. Positive results include creating and maintaining quiet neighborhood streets, decreased traffic speeds, safety for road users, increased comfort level of cyclists, increased quality of life, and air quality.
Roberto Partida, Traffic Engineering Transportation Planner, said the $4,000 project helps connect the neighborhood to the Jamaica North and Salt Creek Levee trails, Cooper park, and downtown. He said the bicycle boulevard will not affect parking or motor vehicle use on the street. Funds for the project come from the Traffic Engineering Operations and Maintenance budget.
Partida said bicycle boulevards differ from bike routes by utilizing a combination of signs, wayfinding, pavement markings, and traffic calming strategies to optimize the street for bicycle travel, whereas a bike route only utilizes signs to let users know that it is preferred for bicycling due to low traffic or access to destinations.
LTU has also partnered with the Parks and Recreation Department, Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln, and Burlington Northern Santa Fe to revitalize and increase safety and comfortability of the “F” Street pedestrian tunnel under the railroad tracks. Improvements include lighting, a mural, landscaping, drainage, and retention wall repairs.
“The Salt South Creek neighborhood is excited to be the home of Lincoln’s first bicycle boulevard that will join two bike trails and show how cyclists, motorists, and pedestrians can all safely use city streets. It is a great addition to our neighborhood and could not have come at a better time following the improvements to the ‘F’ Street tunnel,” said Justina Clark, President of the South Salt Creek Neighborhood Association.
Streets Alive! is a movement festival presented by Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln that is celebrated in cities across America and the world by closing off a section of a city to let people play in the streets. For more information on the event, visit healthylincoln.org/streetsalive.
For more information on the “F” Street bicycle boulevard, visit lincoln.ne.gov/bikeboulevard