Mutual of Omaha’s downtown Omaha development and the construction of a streetcar system, makes the time right to discuss enhancing the bicycle/pedestrian connection between downtown Omaha, Lauritzen Gardens and the Henry Doorly Zoo. The south 10th Street corridor could be the connecting route.
Bicycling, walking and running are healthy activities that appeal to everyone.
A substantial walking and bicycle system on South 10th Street can provide an attractive year round connection.
Downtown residents, as well as visitors, could use the sidewalks to travel between downtown and the attractions. Less than two miles separate downtown, the botanical garden and the zoo.
An advantage to enhancing the bicycle/pedestrian infrastructure on South 10th street is that it would allow visitors and residents a large area with a number of interesting destinations that could all be accessed on foot or by bicycle. The Riverfront, Lauritzen Gardens and the Henry Doorly Zoo all have outdoor activities. By enhancing the connection, visitors could spend a day sightseeing walking to visit the attractions.
In addition, Pine elementary school will be opening at 10th and Pine Street. There is also Bancroft Elementary School at 8th and Bancroft. Families and children who walk to school would be well served by improved infrastructure.
Lauritzen Gardens and the Henry Doorly Zoo are major Omaha visitor attractions. The neighborhoods around them already have complete sidewalk system, although in some cases the sidewalks are not maintained. An opportunity would be lost if Omaha does not provide a solid bicycle/pedestrian connection between it’s downtown and it’s major tourist attractions.