Minutes from Feb. Pedestrian Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting

Pedestrian Bicycle Advisory Committee

Minutes from February 14, 2012

Lincoln Parks and Recreation – 2740 “A” Street


Members Present:  Gary Bentrup, Parks Coble, Rick Dockhorn, Barb Fraser, Marynelle Greene, Elaine Hammer, Delrae Hirschman, Jordan Messerer, Dalyce Ronnau, Bill Spielman, Beth Thacker, Bill Wehrbein.

Staff Present:  Terry Genrich, David Cary, Harry Kroos, Lynn Johnson, J.J. Yost, Mike Heyl

Others Present:  Bob Boyce, Damon Hershey


This meeting was called to order at 7:00 a.m. followed by recognition of the Open Meeting Act.


Approval of minutes:  Dalyce moved and Gary Bentrup seconded to approve the January 10, 2012 minutes.  Motion passed unanimously.


Staff Reports:


The city received approval of the last enhancement grant providing funding for the Stonebridge Trail.  Project will move forward.  This one is from Humphrey going through the Stonebridge neighborhood up to Alvo Rd.  It is being done in conjunction with the 14th Street Trail being constructed with the 14th street improvements from Superior to Humphrey.


Bison Trail bridge is still moving forward waiting for approval of the NEPA documents and waiting for the 404 permit.  Project is still on schedule.


A question was raised regarding the cracks in the concrete on the BW trail near “A” Street.  The NRD is looking in to that and will make a determination of the concrete is OK or if it needs to be replaced when they have their final walk through.  A question was also asked regarding the Salt Creek Levee Trail near “J” Street.  That is an NRD project and Terry will call and ask Ed about its status.


No change on Jamaica North. Department of Roads has been working with us knowing it is a railroad issue.  Plans are at 90% but can’t submit those plans until the agreement is in place with the railroad.  We are also waiting for the railroad to review and approve the plans for painting the bridge over 27th.


Old Business


David Cary gave a presentation on the “Pedestrian and Bicycle Strategic Capital Plan”  The plan is to meet with the Mayor’s Office so he is aware of it and then to develop the two year budget to start implementing the plan.


Part of this is to determine why are we doing this?  We didn’t get in to a lot of detail on the bicycle or pedestrian capital needs so this plan will provide that.  Had a workshop, reviewed the results of that workshop at the last PBAC meeting.  After meeting with the Mayor’s Office, a public meeting will be held.


Financially restrained plan identifies the need of $125,000 annually.  Idea is to sign and re-sign bike routes and to identify infill sidewalk projects to do in the near term.  The consultant said the pedestrian system is good.  The bicycle assessment is also good but more work needs to be done.  Identified the need for 53 more new miles of bike routes,  mostly in new areas requiring the need for more bike route signs, identified some routes for sharrow markings, over 7 miles of new trails were identified, trail links in neighborhoods.  The plan identifies additional rails to trails opportunities, bike activated signals, bike lane extensions, along with the Prairie corridor trail along Haines Branch, reiterating the emphasis for the need of a grade separation between Haymarket and Memorial Stadium, at grade crossing treatments that might be something other than a signal such as flasher signals, protected bikeway along “N” Street, lighting of underpasses, bicycle parking and storage, change of design standards to require bike parking, and then pavement of shoulders on rural roads outside of the urban area.


On the pedestrian side, the plan is going to reiterate we need additional sidewalk rehab funding, curb ramp projects, have identified gaps, have identified locations for countdown signals, mid-block crossings, pedestrian way-finding, and transit pedestrian amenities.


The final plan will be approved through the MPO process which will include approval by city council and adopted into the LRTP of the 2040 Comp Plan.  Dave was thanked for his work on this project.


Sign committee update is that we had to regroup and recount the signs.  We have the final count but we are ready to get them ordered.


Mike informed the committee the Walk Friendly application was submitted in January.  There is a two month wait to get the results.  We are nearing completion of the Bike Friendly application that is due the end of this week.  Couple of changes need to be made yet.  Mike was thanked for his efforts.


The Downtown Masterplan is being updated.  A public meeting is scheduled.  A time has not been finalized yet but once it has been set, Terry will send out an email.  That will be an opportunity to see what is going to take place.  The “N” Street bikeway is still part of the plan as far as we know.  If this gets approved, the idea is to have the entire “N” Street separated bikeway done in 2013.


New Business


J.J. presented the CIP budget.  He explained the codes and how the projects are identified for each year.  We will be applying to RTP to replace the north bridge in Wilderness Park this year.  The next two applications will be Phase II and III of the Pioneers Park Trails.


A couple of the trail projects that were dependent on Enhancement Funds have been combined into one year projects instead of being split in to two different phases.  Enhancement is now going up to $1,000,000 instead of $500,000 per application, so the thought is to combine the phased projects and apply every other year.  Beal Slough will be in 2012-13 and Wilderness Hill Trail will be in 2014-15.


There was discussion about the desire to improve the Murdock Trail that is currently crushed limestone and it needs to be upgraded to concrete.  The upgrade can possibly include both concrete and crushed limestone.


A motion was made by Elaine and seconded by Delrae to approve the CIP as presented with the understanding that the cost of improving the Murdock will be looked at to see how it might fit into next years CIP.  Motion was approved unanimously.


The city will be going to see if visitor improvement funds can be used to improve the Boosalis Trail instead of closing and using Hwy 2 for the marathon.  There was considerable discussion of using the Hwy for the marathon.  The issue is if we can use Hwy. 2.  The concern is the need to close both lanes and not just one.  Closing one lane on a Sunday morning shouldn’t be an issue.  One of the concerns is people stop along that stretch to watch the marathon.  If the Hwy was closed, there is a fairly extensive route to detour around the closed section.  Another concern is the time required for the road to be closed.


Mike Heyl talked about Bike to Work Week and the Commuter Challenge.  It is May 14 through the 18th.  Initial discussion is to have the Bike to Work event on May 11th with the ice cream social on May 18.  The commuter challenge will be new this year.  Looking at kicking it off on Earth Day, April 22 through Sept. 9 when “Streets Alive” takes place.


Thee will be discussions this Friday to see if a middle school might want to have a “Bike to school day” in the spring.


David Cary said NDOR came to the city this week to see how they can address the impact on the bicycling community of the impact of the freeway status.  A portion of Hwy 2 from 98th to the Bennet road will have this status so there will be a need to get bicycles through this section.  Possible improving shoulders on Old Cheney from 88th to 148th and then south to the Bennet corner at Hwy 2.  As far as the west connection, they are looking at paving the shoulders along 14th to the Jamaica North Trail.  Then it will be concreted south to the Roca Rd. and state spur 55.  The shoulders will then be paved west to Hwy 77.


There was discussion on legislation currently taking place including LB 732 and LB 1114.  LB 732 is about trails and LB 1114 is about streets and public ROW.

6 thoughts on “Minutes from Feb. Pedestrian Bicycle Advisory Committee meeting

  1. Eric H.

    Is there any discussion of creating protected bike lanes on any of the north-south downtown streets? Also, what about going after grant money or trying to raise private capital for bike rack installations at more places around town?

    • Aaron

      See our new post, Eric. Yes, there is discussion and a plan to create protected bikeways on N/S streets!

  2. Chelsea

    What is the viability of having a bike share program in Lincoln, geared toward people who may not own a bike?

    • Aaron

      Chelsea, I love the idea and wish it were more viable in Lincoln. I don’t think the population could support it, but that’s just a hunch based on what I’ve observed here and elsewhere. Maybe if we were overflowing at every lockup facility in the downtown area and elsewhere it would be considered.

      Currently, the Rec Center at UNL does rent bikes, and although that isn’t exactly what you mean, it is a current service offered (although it may only pertain to students). With the advent of the Near South Community Bike Kitchen, nearly anyone could own a bicycle if they wanted. Are there obstacles that prevent you from owning a bicycle?

      • Chelsea

        The biggest obstacle I personally have is not having a place to store it. So a bike share would be helpful in that regard….but I more posed to question because I’m wondering if it would push more people into riding bikes for shorter distances rather than driving their cars…

        • Aaron

          It would definitely push people into riding shorter distances, yes. I believe so. The issue, then, is blanketing the city in dozens of bike-share racks, which seems a huge financial hurdle.

          It’s too bad you cannot store a bicycle. Is there no place outdoors to store one? Or what about asking to use a small, maintenance closet or utility room in your building? I know many who lock their bikes up outdoors and leave them there as well, sometimes with a tarp over them. Others use a common room in their building such as a laundry room or utility closet that has excess space.

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