Mutual of Omaha’s downtown Omaha development and the construction of a downtown Omaha 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 is the connecting route.
Bicycling, walking and running are healthy activities that appeal to everyone interested in active living.
Development of substantial walking and bicycle infrastructure on South 10th Street could provide an attractive year round destination.
The pedestrian streetscape could be enhanced by widening the sidewalk, adding street trees, decorative lighting and banners.
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 would be 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. Fred Astaire Avenue is a site of specialized interest. By enhancing the connection, visitors could spend a day sightseeing walking to visit the attractions.
In addition to visitor traffic, Pine Elementary school at 10th and Pine Street is a destination for school age children and their families. Bancroft Elementary School at 8th and Bancroft is a school with pedstrian ties to the botanical garden and the zoo. 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.
Some people have observed that the South 10th Street corridor is hilly and that the inclines make walking or bicycling difficult. For those who are concerned about the hills, Lime Scooters and Heartland Bike Share e-Bikes provide an easy, low cost, option for you to experience South 10th Street..