Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert announces Blackstone pedestrian safety plan

Omaha city leaders Monday outlined a pilot program to help keep pedestrians safe in Blackstone. The plan, which starts in May, will convert the middle lane on Farnam Street from 36th to 40th Street to a left turn only lane. Traffic lanes in the four-block span, which currently has two westbound vehicle lanes and one eastbound lane, will be narrowed and parking lanes will be widened, allowing for more space between traffic and pedestrians. The plan, which the city of Omaha estimates will cost $10,000 to $15,000, will also include testing “unsignalized pedestrian crossing treatments” and pedestrian islands in the center lane, plus adding additional crosswalk markings, curb extensions and more signage at the 38th Avenue and 39th Street intersections.”These changes are 100% about improving public safety which is our number one priority and responsibility,” Mayor Jean Stothert said. “This pilot is also an example of how our Vision Zero strategy is incorporated into the review of road safety and design changes to better protect all users of the road.” Omaha’s Vision Zero Task Force hopes to reduce crashes and preserve lives through five targets: Enforcement/safety, design/construction, public awareness/education, data collection and legislation. “Our responsibility is to design, build and maintain safe streets,” Todd Pfitzer, city of Omaha engineer, said. “These improvements are designed to improve safety for everyone. We are also mindful that the streetcar will run west on Farnam through Blackstone, so we will evaluate the effectiveness of each option as design work begins on the streetcar, and determine the best, permanent safety features.” The pilot program was developed through a partnership with the City of Omaha Public Works Department and the Blackstone Business Improvement District. It’s an interim plan while the city works on the long-term plan, estimated at $4.5 million.

Omaha city leaders Monday outlined a pilot program to help keep pedestrians safe in Blackstone.

The plan, which starts in May, will convert the middle lane on Farnam Street from 36th to 40th Street to a left turn only lane.

Traffic lanes in the four-block span, which currently has two westbound vehicle lanes and one eastbound lane, will be narrowed and parking lanes will be widened, allowing for more space between traffic and pedestrians.

City of Omaha

Farnam through Blackstone lane modification and pedestrian safety pilot project, including 39th Street improvements.

The plan, which the city of Omaha estimates will cost $10,000 to $15,000, will also include testing “unsignalized pedestrian crossing treatments” and pedestrian islands in the center lane, plus adding additional crosswalk markings, curb extensions and more signage at the 38th Avenue and 39th Street intersections.

“These changes are 100% about improving public safety which is our number one priority and responsibility,” Mayor Jean Stothert said. “This pilot is also an example of how our Vision Zero strategy is incorporated into the review of road safety and design changes to better protect all users of the road.”

Omaha’s Vision Zero Task Force hopes to reduce crashes and preserve lives through five targets: Enforcement/safety, design/construction, public awareness/education, data collection and legislation.

“Our responsibility is to design, build and maintain safe streets,” Todd Pfitzer, city of Omaha engineer, said. “These improvements are designed to improve safety for everyone. We are also mindful that the streetcar will run west on Farnam through Blackstone, so we will evaluate the effectiveness of each option as design work begins on the streetcar, and determine the best, permanent safety features.”

The pilot program was developed through a partnership with the City of Omaha Public Works Department and the Blackstone Business Improvement District. It’s an interim plan while the city works on the long-term plan, estimated at $4.5 million.

blackstone pedestrian safety program

KETV

39th Street improvements as part of the Blackstone pedestrian safety pilot program.

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