Market to Midtown Bikeway shows 140% increase in bicycling,
increased feeling of safety of riders in first 6 months
Omaha, NE. (April 4, 2022) ⎯ Bike Walk Nebraska, in conjunction with Metro Smart Cities, Inc., released the 6 month evaluation of the Market to Midtown Bikeway pilot project on Monday. Study elements included bicycle and scooter usage data, rider satisfaction, testimonials and responses from the information line, snow removal efforts and ongoing challenges.
- Counter data from the corridor shows biking is up 140% since the bikeway was installed;
- Survey data from users reports overwhelming positive experiences;
- Data from the Metro Area Planning Agency shows that people on bicycles are switching their trips from streets with traditional (painted, non-protected) bike lanes to Harney
- Business Associations and neighborhood groups along the route are pleased with the progress.
Julie Harris, Executive Director of Bike Walk Nebraska, says the data shows what she and other partners predicted. “Based on what other cities have experienced when installing protected bike lanes, we expected to see a dramatic rise in use and rider satisfaction. So while we weren’t surprised, it was still great to the numbers.” Harris went on to say, “We are very intrigued by some of the finer details like the type of rider and type of trips being taken on different sections of Harney.”
The evaluation report also highlights some of the challenges encountered since the bikeway opened. “Since this is a temporary pilot project the design doesn’t address storm water runoff, which has been an issue with snow melt freeze/thaw cycles,” said Harris. “And for better or worse, we only had one real plowable snow event in the first 6 months of the pilot, so we haven’t been able to learn the full scope of lessons that come with practice.”
The evaluation covers the period of July 28, 2021- January 31, 2022.