- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 8, 2018

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Planners and consultants are seeking input from cyclists as they work to fix and improve Lincoln’s on-street biking network.

Transportation planner Kellee Van Bruggen told the Lincoln Journal-Star that public recommendations will help serve as the basis for the next phase of the Lincoln Bike Plan.

A Denver-based consulting firm is helping Lincoln’s planning agencies gather feedback to determine whether the city’s 140 miles (225 kilometers) of bike routes on city streets are well-situated, unsafe or inconvenient.

About 1.6 percent of Lincoln residents commute by bike, according to recent study. Van Bruggen said the number could be higher.

“The trails serve as the spine of the system, and the on-street is really a supporting role,” Van Bruggen said. “We’re hearing from the public we could do a better job connecting the trails and adding connections to destinations.”

City officials held an open house last week to talk to cyclists. Nearly 200 residents have completed online surveys and more than 100 cyclists have identified concerns on an online map. The online survey and map close May 21, but planners will continue to seek requests and advice.

“There’s a good amount of hardcore cyclists, but there are also people who prefer to use trails,” Van Bruggen said. “I think those are the target people that we’d like to see more information from: What is it about on-street cycling that makes them feel uncomfortable?”

Resident Michaella Kumke could bike along the trails for her 10-mile (16-kilometer) commute to the Food Bank of Lincoln, but she said the route is lengthy. Kumke found a faster route along the street, but narrow stretches can be difficult with heavy traffic.

“There are some spots where it can be a little rough,” she said.

Van Bruggen said officials hope to finish the plan by the end of the year.


Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com

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