OMAHA, Nebraska — The protected bike lane on Harney was scheduled to be removed on Friday, leaving riders furious with the city on Thursday night. However, Mayor Stothert revealed that the bike lane would continue to exist thanks to a donation from Sherwood.
“We believed that if there is no expense to the city, we will be able to repaint, install new bollards, and strengthen them. So that they are not demolished and we could leave it standing for commuters or recreation until building on the streetcar began, at which point it would have been relocated “Friday, Mayor Sothert stated.
Sherwood will cover the entire cost, which, according to Stothert, exceeds $600,000, including $110,000 for the conceptual design study, not $40,000 as many believe.
She explains that a portion of the price involves snow and ice removal.
The statement followed a protest by cyclists on Thursday, but according to Stothert, the protest did not prompt the release.
“These discussions have been ongoing for some time, and I want to emphasize that yesterday’s declaration was not the result of an afternoon protest. Because we discovered so much money from a contributor, it was evident that we had been working on this for some time “She stated,
Stothert provided several explanations for why the pilot program was not expanded.
“I had no desire to prolong the pilot. I believe we have all the information we required regarding the Southside of Harney, where it cannot proceed due to the presence of the streetcar. Therefore, we needed to determine how much it would actually cost and who would be prepared to pay for it.”
She adds that Bike Walk Nebraska was required to notify her at least 90 days in advance if they intended to extend the permit, but the organization just alerted City Council a few weeks ago.
Due to the installation of the streetcar, the protected bike lane will be removed after three years, but she wants to find methods for the city to still retain a lane.
She states, “We’re not trying to delay; we’re trying to do it right.” “It will not resemble the current appearance on the south side of Harney. It will not have bollards because, in my opinion, they are quite confusing, and it will be much more lovely. It will be designed such that public works can clear it of snow and ice and maintain it. It may be concrete curbs, concrete planters, or something else incredibly appealing; this is how we need to appear now.”
The city will spend the next three years designing and securing funds for a permanent protected bike lane, according to Stothert, who says the city will assume responsibility for the project once it moves from Harney.