Official: Omaha Beltway Discussion

Trains, Planes, and Automobiles (and Streetcars!).

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Big E
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Postby Big E » Fri Apr 27, 2007 4:32 pm

Yeah, because if you have clean cars, you won't have sprawling highways in disrepair, huge electrical and utility grids, crumbling sewer systems or decentralized communities to deal with.  Heck, once we build a clean car, we'll never have to walk amongst one another ever again!

Come on... it's ALL a problem.  Decentralization was a a problem (in my best Dr. Cox voice) Wuh-HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY before car pollution and $3 gas.  Clean cars would only eliminate the pollution and foreign oil dependency issues.

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Postby Rocan » Fri Apr 27, 2007 5:34 pm

Big E wrote:
"Clean cars would only eliminate the pollution and foreign oil dependency issues."

Hey, if clean cars can accomplish "only" this, than I'll take that for a start any day. :)

Most of the cities that forumers here want to model Omaha off of and aspire it to be like have these very same outer beltways. In fact, I really can't think of one major metro area that does not have such a system in place.

It is a valid point to say that removing some of the truck traffic from I-80 going through the heart of the city would help big time with maintenance issues, saving money over the long haul. And it would assist in local traffic movement throughout the city too.

It doesn't give an excuse to sprawl and poor city planning, but it does serve a very important transportation purpose. Here in Lincoln, I know the beltway is in the works...although at the current rate they're going, Omaha and Lincoln might be one city by the time they're finished :)

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Postby omaja » Thu May 03, 2007 5:54 pm

A beltway would be helpful in theory, but beltways are also some of the most notorious freeways in the country.  Think Washington's I-495, Boston's I-95/MA 128 and I-495, Kansas City's I-435, Chicago's I-294, and Atlanta's I-285, etc.

Omaha is in for a real treat in a few years.  What with the I-L-Q tangle at I-680 and I-80, Center, Harrison, Pacific, Dodge, 168th, 156th, 144th, 132nd/Millard Avenue, and so on, which just seem to get worse and worse every day.  Someone dropped the ball on road planning and budgeting in the Omaha area, and they dropped the ball hard.  I cannot even imagine what traffic will be like here in 25 years.  That beltway may very well be obsolete by then, anyway.

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Postby DTO Luv » Thu May 03, 2007 7:41 pm

Another smart person had a letter in paper the other day saying they should look at better mass transit as opposed to building a new massive freeway.
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Postby Rocan » Fri May 04, 2007 12:26 am

I agree that mass transit is certainly an option. But it doesn't have to be at the expense of not creating a beltway...that's all. Omaha can handle both. As with anything though, money will be a key issue to fund either project.

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Postby Rocan » Fri May 04, 2007 6:54 pm

Great post ricko...

I agree that Omaha, like most cities, has grown in land at a much greater rate then in population (thus the 300,000 people in 48 square miles in 1960 vs 430,000 in 120 square miles today). But I'm not sure if a beltway would further promote outer growth of maybe seal it in.

I'm probably being too idealistic here, but I kind of view a beltway as a border. Something that kind of says "city limits here" and tidies up the outskirts of the city. With that said, I also realize that 680 was an early attempt at a beltway and Omaha has clearly blown that away as its border.

If the money was available to do it all, I'd really like to see a beltway built and some mass transit started in Omaha (downtown - eppley - zoo - Mutual of Omaha)...

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Postby DTO Luv » Fri May 04, 2007 7:54 pm

I think this is an instance where you can't have your cake and eat it too. Roads llke this do lead to sprawl. Look no further than KC and it's 435. If that was a border they couldn't fill it in in 100+ years.

I realize it will take alot to reverse then "need a car" way of life we've built up but it's getting to the point where driving won't make economic sense. Public transportation is the what we need to start acting on.
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Big E
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Postby Big E » Sat May 05, 2007 11:57 am

Roads have cars.  Cars have people.  People have wallets.  Build a road and that's where the wallets go.

Look at Valley and Fremont.  When I was a kid, HWY 275 went right through both towns, and there was development and activity on each side.  Now 275 goes around both towns.

Fremont's development has shifted completely towards the new HWY - WalMart, Lazlo's, and a flurry of other building I couldn't begin to name.  Valley is darn near a ghost town, and not much more than a bedroom community.  The "business districts" that used to be on old 275 are shells compared to what they used to be (this coming from a current tenant).

Building highways and beltways to bypass traffic isn't even slapping a band-aid on a problem.  It doesn't actually fix the problem, and will always end up creating more of what it was trying to alleviate.  

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Postby UNOstudent » Thu Jun 28, 2007 6:35 pm

http://www.ketv.com/news/13590096/detail.html



City Studies Idea of Beltway:

Omaha is studying the need for a new interstate highway that circles the metro.

The study is still in its infancy, and was outlined on Thursday at a Metro Area Planning Agency meeting.

Engineering firm HDR Consulting is looking at some of the options on the table to alleviate traffic in the metro over the next 50 years. Traffic along major highways and interstates in the area is becoming more congested, officials said, and that is a trend that is expected to worsen in the years to come.


"As the metro area grows to over a million and a million and half, we need to see if those types of facilities are truly needed for us to maintain our transportation service," said HDR's Matt Tondl.

The study will examine whether a beltway that encircles the city would be beneficial.

If the plan were adopted, the road might go through parts of Washington County, along the Platte River and through eastern of Council Bluffs, Iowa.

A partial beltway is also under consideration -- something more like the Dodge Expressway.

Light rail is also being considered.

In a year, HDR will give recommendations on what could be done to help traffic by the year 2050.

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Postby DTO Luv » Thu Jun 28, 2007 6:44 pm

I'm actually surprised to hear they're considering light rail. That's the way to go.
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Postby the1wags » Thu Jun 28, 2007 7:07 pm

Bingo. I think there is a need for a partial beltway, specifically around the SW side from Waterloo down to I80 by Gretna. But a light rail system needs to be looked at really hard. Long term I'd like to see a Old Market to Haymarket bullet train too. Think down the road when Lincoln is pushing 500,000 and Omaha is nearing 1.5M. The future isn't the automobile.

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Postby midtown charlie » Thu Jun 28, 2007 11:33 pm

amen wags!!!!

StreetsOfOmaha
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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:34 pm

I second the Amen.
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Postby MTO » Fri Jun 29, 2007 11:37 pm

Preach on brother wags!

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Postby riceweb » Sun Jul 01, 2007 2:26 pm

I've been doing a bit of reading, and I guess the cost of light rail construction comes in at a U.S. average of $35m per mile, therefore, my quick doodle below would probably be a bit expensive. :)

Imagine the following with bus lines that feed directly into the light rail system, and with an expectation of growth of the casino industry and residential development in SW Council Bluffs.

Image

Full size available here: http://www.d1039066.dotsterhost.com/Looking-to-the-Future.png


I started a Light Rail discussion over here:
phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=6681

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Postby RoadWarrior » Fri Jul 27, 2007 12:41 am

Rebuild Hwy 36 as Interstate quality from I-680 to US Hwy 275 and you've got the northern part of the beltway.

As for all the through traffic on I-80, an easy to reduce it would be to build out US Hwy 30 as 4-lane (2 each direction) from the Iowa border to Grand Island.  With this option, why would the OTR truckers bother driving through the traffic of Omaha and Lincoln?  Plus it would help spread the wealth of travel dollars throughout east-central Nebraska.

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Postby almighty_tuna » Fri Jul 27, 2007 9:26 pm

RoadWarrior wrote:As for all the through traffic on I-80, an easy to reduce it would be to build out US Hwy 30 as 4-lane (2 each direction) from the Iowa border to Grand Island.  With this option, why would the OTR truckers bother driving through the traffic of Omaha and Lincoln?  Plus it would help spread the wealth of travel dollars throughout east-central Nebraska.


Yikes, that's nearly politician spending you're proposing there.  And to what end; another E/W interstate in NE which would also end up in Grand Island along with the 6-lane I-80?  Not to mention the funding for construction and maintainance it would take from other, more productive transportation projects.  For some reason I don't see OTR truckers bringing a slough of cash to east-central NE.  There's better ways to spend a billion.

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Postby Gerald W. Kopiasz » Fri Jul 27, 2007 10:42 pm

RoadWarrior wrote:Rebuild Hwy 36 as Interstate quality from I-680 to US Hwy 275 and you've got the northern part of the beltway.

As for all the through traffic on I-80, an easy to reduce it would be to build out US Hwy 30 as 4-lane (2 each direction) from the Iowa border to Grand Island.  With this option, why would the OTR truckers bother driving through the traffic of Omaha and Lincoln?  Plus it would help spread the wealth of travel dollars throughout east-central Nebraska.


Same old, same old....*yawn*

Gerald W. Kopiasz

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Postby RoadWarrior » Sun Jul 29, 2007 11:59 pm

Gerald W. Kopiasz wrote:
RoadWarrior wrote:Rebuild Hwy 36 as Interstate quality from I-680 to US Hwy 275 and you've got the northern part of the beltway.

As for all the through traffic on I-80, an easy to reduce it would be to build out US Hwy 30 as 4-lane (2 each direction) from the Iowa border to Grand Island.  With this option, why would the OTR truckers bother driving through the traffic of Omaha and Lincoln?  Plus it would help spread the wealth of travel dollars throughout east-central Nebraska.


Same old, same old....*yawn*

Gerald W. Kopiasz


"Same old, same old...", huh?  At least I have the stones to submit an idea instead of just scoffing at someone else's.

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Postby midtown charlie » Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:11 am

I would agree with you.....because that is very common for one to scoff without offering a better idea, but Mr. Kopiaz has this group in Omaha.  http://www.omahastreetcar.com/

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Postby RoadWarrior » Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:33 am

midtown charlie wrote:I would agree with you.....because that is very common for one to scoff without offering a better idea, but Mr. Kopiaz has this group in Omaha.  http://www.omahastreetcar.com/


That's all fine and good, but I don't see how a streetcar is going to solve the congestion caused by the through traffic on I-80... which is part of what a beltway (the topic of this discussion) would solve.  The streetcar ideas I've seen have focused more on moving people from the Zoo and Rosenblatt to the Old Market rather than seriously dealing with commuter traffic from West O and the 'burbs.

If there's a viable streetcar / light rail / whatever plan that would negate the need for a beltway or other way to handle the increasing traffic (including OTR through traffic), I'm all ears.

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Postby RoadWarrior » Tue Jul 31, 2007 12:45 am

almighty_tuna wrote:<snip>

According to Lincoln's estimated cost of a southern and eastern beltway it is ~$12M/mile including right of way and construction including about 10 interchanges per 21 miles annd large ones at NE-2 and US-75.  A beltway around Omaha, roughly from 680 and NE-36 to Bennington along NE-36, curving down to Waterloo, south on 240th to Center and extending down west of Gretna to the I-80/Gretna interchange, southeast to just south of Springfield and east to I-29...whew...is roughly 60miles.  That rings in at a whopping $720M.  But wait!  That includes interchanges, ROW, etc.  Similar construction of US-30 would cost over $1B, which still excludes the cost of controlled access through or around Blair, Fremont, Columbus and Grand Island and all cities in between.

Now lets talk about that OTR cashflow I should be "educating myself" on.  Why are those hubs in CB and at 144th st bustling?...aw heck, lets include NW 48th in Lincoln, too.  Oh yeah, because they're in actual cities with amenities.  Crete Carrier Corp didnt locate in Lincoln because it was nicely out of the way, same goes for Werner at 144th st.  Incidentally, I used to live a stone's throw away from the 144th st interchange and am well aware of the truck traffic through there.  Truckers bring a load of cash through here because we are a major hub on a major E/W interstate route with an intersecting N/S interstate.  

<snip>


Now, lets split the difference of our theoretical routes.  US-30 at $1B+ and beltway at $720M gives us a solid $300M difference.  Sweet, now we can take our $300M savings and build 6.5 miles of light rail from Downtown to a park and ride at Westroads and 4miles from Downtown to Eppley.  Then we'd really have something useful.


In case you haven't ventured out of Omaha for awhile, I'd like to point out that there's already controlled access on US 30 around Fremont and Schuyler.

===

"...southeast to just south of Springfield and east to I-29"... um, I think you forgot to include the cost of building a new bridge across the Missouri River.  Does an Interstate-quality bridge over the Missouri cost more than $300M?

If you're not going to build a new bridge over the Missouri, you're going to have to link up with the Bellevue bridge, the Plattsmouth bridge, or that new US Hwy 34 bridge that's been in the works for many years.  (Not sure if you want to include the cost of the new US 34 bridge in the cost of your beltway.)  My (somewhat foggy; it's late) recollection is that the US 34 bridge is planned to be built pretty much west of the I-29/US 34 interchange.  Connecting to it would add miles to your proposed beltway, increasing its cost.

If you don't like my US 30 expansion idea, fine.  But I'd still like you to go back to my basic concept of looking at how to enhance our current roadways rather than tearing up land to build a new beltway.  I think that would leave free more $$ for a light rail system than building a new beltway would.

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Postby icejammer » Tue Jul 31, 2007 8:42 am

Just FYI---

In case you haven't ventured out of Omaha for awhile, I'd like to point out that there's already controlled access on US 30 around Fremont and Schuyler.


Not quite, the only "controlled access" at Schuyler would be the Hwy 15 overpass, all other intersections are at grade.  While there are more grade-separated intersections near Fremont, there are still at-grade crossings.  Either those at-grade roads would have to be closed, or new overpasses built.

My (somewhat foggy; it's late) recollection is that the US 34 bridge is planned to be built pretty much west of the I-29/US 34 interchange.  Connecting to it would add miles to your proposed beltway, increasing its cost.


I believe the current alignment is to take off from the current (northern) I-29/US-34 interchange in a westerly, then northwesterly direction, crossing the Missouri a little over a mile north of the current interchange
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Postby RoadWarrior » Tue Jul 31, 2007 10:13 pm

icejammer wrote:<snip>
Not quite, the only "controlled access" at Schuyler would be the Hwy 15 overpass, all other intersections are at grade.  While there are more grade-separated intersections near Fremont, there are still at-grade crossings.  Either those at-grade roads would have to be closed, or new overpasses built.
<snip>

Thanks for the update...

When I drove it last year I thought the packing plant exit on the western side of Schuyler looked like it qualified as controlled access... and it shows as controlled access on the NE map.

It looks like once the construction on the east side of Fremont wraps up, all the US 275 and US 30 interchanges will be controlled access.  True, there's an at-grade crossing on US 30 just north of the Fremont airport, but I'll be curious to see if it is upgraded to controlled access once the 4-lane portion of US 30 is built west of Fremont.

Maybe two larger questions to answer are:

1)  If the slightly lower speed limit (and who drives the speed limit anyway?) and rural at-grade crossings would take any longer to deal with than the bottlenecks on I-80 through Omaha?  For example, by 4:30 pm traffic eastbound on I-80 often slows to 2 mph or so between 60th and 42nd streets, and doesn't pick up speed until into Iowa.

2)  Is it better to put all one's eggs in one basket by continually expanding one road to a massive size, or it is better to have more than one route that can handle larger amounts of traffic?  For example, take the semi crash the other day on I-80 west of Omaha.  Traffic was reported to have been backed up more than seven miles in each direction.  Now that we have those big traffic info signs along I-80, would it be better to have them route traffic onto an expanded US 6, US 30, or other road?

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Postby RoadWarrior » Tue Jul 31, 2007 10:18 pm

omaja wrote:<snip>So how about replacing I-480 through downtown with an 8-lane boulevard?  Expansion in the suburbs where needed, and upgrading and fine-tuning where things are really ugly, and unnecessarily so.<snip>


How politically feasible would this be?  Looks like you'd have to bulldoze quite a bit to build the boulevard and the park between the eastbound and westbound lanes.

Would it be more feasible to leave I-480 as-is and build a true metro-wide light rail system?

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Postby UNOstudent » Wed Aug 01, 2007 12:35 am

omaja wrote:how about replacing I-480 through downtown with an 8-lane boulevard[/url]?  Expansion in the suburbs where needed, and upgrading and fine-tuning where things are really ugly, and unnecessarily so.


I agree and would like to see 480 taken down. I began a thread a couple months about that here:

phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=6416

ive done some looking into other cities that have removed, relocated, or considering removing freeways. i'll post more info in the other thread.

as for the beltway, i used to think that we should have a total beltway around the metro, but i now favor a partial beltway. a partial beltway that would run from where 275 from fremont curves into dodge > down to 80 > then east across the river towards 29. should something like this happen, i would hope the IDOT is watching b/c money will be needed to upgrade 29 from '880' to the east 80/29 interchange. also should this happen, im not sure if 80 would need 6 thru lanes where it multiplexes with 29, which will have 6 lanes of its own, b/c the thru traffic will use the beltway and 29.

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Postby icejammer » Wed Aug 01, 2007 7:59 am

UNOstudent wrote:i would hope the IDOT is watching b/c money will be needed to upgrade 29 from '880' to the east 80/29 interchange. also should this happen, im not sure if 80 would need 6 thru lanes where it multiplexes with 29, which will have 6 lanes of its own, b/c the thru traffic will use the beltway and 29.


Well, the interstate rebuild in CB is going to start next year (God and $$ willing), while this proposed bypass is just that, proposed.  I would be 99.999999% confident that the study of the proposed beltway takes into account the reconstruct of the interstate system in CB and will recommend with that in mind.
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Postby icejammer » Wed Aug 01, 2007 8:02 am

Sarpy board eager for road report

Image

It has been envisioned as a beltway that would encircle the Omaha metro area.

But the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency proposal for a new highway system might also take the form of linear highways radiating out from the city center.

Engineers hired to examine the metro area's future highway needs are not assuming that a beltway is the right configuration, said Matthew Tondl, senior vice president with HDR Engineering of Omaha. . .
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Postby Gerald W. Kopiasz » Wed Aug 01, 2007 12:58 pm

RoadWarrior wrote:
Gerald W. Kopiasz wrote:
RoadWarrior wrote:Rebuild Hwy 36 as Interstate quality from I-680 to US Hwy 275 and you've got the northern part of the beltway.

As for all the through traffic on I-80, an easy to reduce it would be to build out US Hwy 30 as 4-lane (2 each direction) from the Iowa border to Grand Island.  With this option, why would the OTR truckers bother driving through the traffic of Omaha and Lincoln?  Plus it would help spread the wealth of travel dollars throughout east-central Nebraska.


Same old, same old....*yawn*

Gerald W. Kopiasz


"Same old, same old...", huh?  At least I have the stones to submit an idea instead of just scoffing at someone else's.




I have plenty of ideas "RoadWarrior".  This country lacks a comprehensive transportation policy.  Short history lesson: Since the war, this country has primarliy invested in roads and airports with no comprehensive plan while other countries have taken a three prong approach (in case you are wondering that third prong is rail).  In fact, 12 countries have invested or are investing in high speed rail, while this country hasn't invested a dime.

So is rail a panacea?  Certainly not!  In order to prevent this country from going into a transportation crisis (we are approaching one, you know), there must be investment in all three modes.  Key to this investment is planning on how each mode interacts with one another.  In other words our transportation system needs to be intermodal.  We are seeing it boom on the freight side where containers are off loaded to rail, moved across the country, then trucked to the final destination.  Intermodalism is also occurring with moving people as well, but to a much lesser extent because a comprehensive plan doesn't exist.

So this is much bigger than streetcars, as is my organization (if you listen to my presentations, you'll hear me say that we envision a comprehensive transit system that includes buses, streetcars, heavy rail, and so on).  So streetcars alone won't get us out of the transportation crisis, but a combination of streetcars/buses/light rail/commuter rail/ freight rail along with a well thought out road and air system will.

So an idea is one thing, a well thought out and comprehensive idea is a whole different game.

Regards,
Gerald W. Kopiasz

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Postby RoadWarrior » Wed Aug 01, 2007 10:02 pm

Gerald W. Kopiasz wrote:
RoadWarrior wrote:
Gerald W. Kopiasz wrote:[quote="RoadWarrior"]Rebuild Hwy 36 as Interstate quality from I-680 to US Hwy 275 and you've got the northern part of the beltway.

As for all the through traffic on I-80, an easy to reduce it would be to build out US Hwy 30 as 4-lane (2 each direction) from the Iowa border to Grand Island.  With this option, why would the OTR truckers bother driving through the traffic of Omaha and Lincoln?  Plus it would help spread the wealth of travel dollars throughout east-central Nebraska.


Same old, same old....*yawn*

Gerald W. Kopiasz


"Same old, same old...", huh?  At least I have the stones to submit an idea instead of just scoffing at someone else's.




I have plenty of ideas "RoadWarrior".  This country lacks a comprehensive transportation policy.  Short history lesson: Since the war, this country has primarliy invested in roads and airports with no comprehensive plan while other countries have taken a three prong approach (in case you are wondering that third prong is rail).  In fact, 12 countries have invested or are investing in high speed rail, while this country hasn't invested a dime.

So is rail a panacea?  Certainly not!  In order to prevent this country from going into a transportation crisis (we are approaching one, you know), there must be investment in all three modes.  Key to this investment is planning on how each mode interacts with one another.  In other words our transportation system needs to be intermodal.  We are seeing it boom on the freight side where containers are off loaded to rail, moved across the country, then trucked to the final destination.  Intermodalism is also occurring with moving people as well, but to a much lesser extent because a comprehensive plan doesn't exist.

So this is much bigger than streetcars, as is my organization (if you listen to my presentations, you'll hear me say that we envision a comprehensive transit system that includes buses, streetcars, heavy rail, and so on).  So streetcars alone won't get us out of the transportation crisis, but a combination of streetcars/buses/light rail/commuter rail/ freight rail along with a well thought out road and air system will.

So an idea is one thing, a well thought out and comprehensive idea is a whole different game.

Regards,
Gerald W. Kopiasz[/quote]

No way of reading all that between the lines of a one-liner scoff like "Same old, same old....*yawn*".  I hope you're more eloquent at your presentations.

Regardless of if you like my US 30 widening idea, I'd still rather see our current roadways enhanced rather than tearing up farmland (or farmland soon to be prime suburban development land) to build a new beltway.  If you look through some of the other threads on this board, you'll see similar ideas... such as using the US 6 - Hwy 370 corridor as a portion of a beltway.

Yes, a well thought out comprehensive transportation policy is the overall answer to our overall transportation needs, but the beltway is the topic of this discussion.  So, do you have any beltway ideas to add to the discussion?

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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:33 am

But the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency proposal for a new highway system might also take the form of linear highways radiating out from the city center.


If the NDR is set on building more/bigger roads (which they are, it says right in their name), this is what should happen.

Beltways....uggh...these days people just like them because they make your city look way bigger than it is on a map.

Anyway, that said, no more money should be wasted on widening and expanding freeways/strees in Omaha until streetcars, light rail, and commuter rail are implimented.
"The right to have access to every building in the city by private motorcar in an age when everyone possesses such a vehicle is actually the right to destroy the city."
Lewis Mumford, The Highway and the City, 1963

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Postby Gerald W. Kopiasz » Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:55 am

RoadWarrior wrote:
Gerald W. Kopiasz wrote:
RoadWarrior wrote:[quote="Gerald W. Kopiasz"][quote="RoadWarrior"]Rebuild Hwy 36 as Interstate quality from I-680 to US Hwy 275 and you've got the northern part of the beltway.

As for all the through traffic on I-80, an easy to reduce it would be to build out US Hwy 30 as 4-lane (2 each direction) from the Iowa border to Grand Island.  With this option, why would the OTR truckers bother driving through the traffic of Omaha and Lincoln?  Plus it would help spread the wealth of travel dollars throughout east-central Nebraska.


Same old, same old....*yawn*

Gerald W. Kopiasz


"Same old, same old...", huh?  At least I have the stones to submit an idea instead of just scoffing at someone else's.




I have plenty of ideas "RoadWarrior".  This country lacks a comprehensive transportation policy.  Short history lesson: Since the war, this country has primarliy invested in roads and airports with no comprehensive plan while other countries have taken a three prong approach (in case you are wondering that third prong is rail).  In fact, 12 countries have invested or are investing in high speed rail, while this country hasn't invested a dime.

So is rail a panacea?  Certainly not!  In order to prevent this country from going into a transportation crisis (we are approaching one, you know), there must be investment in all three modes.  Key to this investment is planning on how each mode interacts with one another.  In other words our transportation system needs to be intermodal.  We are seeing it boom on the freight side where containers are off loaded to rail, moved across the country, then trucked to the final destination.  Intermodalism is also occurring with moving people as well, but to a much lesser extent because a comprehensive plan doesn't exist.

So this is much bigger than streetcars, as is my organization (if you listen to my presentations, you'll hear me say that we envision a comprehensive transit system that includes buses, streetcars, heavy rail, and so on).  So streetcars alone won't get us out of the transportation crisis, but a combination of streetcars/buses/light rail/commuter rail/ freight rail along with a well thought out road and air system will.

So an idea is one thing, a well thought out and comprehensive idea is a whole different game.

Regards,
Gerald W. Kopiasz[/quote]

No way of reading all that between the lines of a one-liner scoff like "Same old, same old....*yawn*".  I hope you're more eloquent at your presentations.

Regardless of if you like my US 30 widening idea, I'd still rather see our current roadways enhanced rather than tearing up farmland (or farmland soon to be prime suburban development land) to build a new beltway.  If you look through some of the other threads on this board, you'll see similar ideas... such as using the US 6 - Hwy 370 corridor as a portion of a beltway.

Yes, a well thought out comprehensive transportation policy is the overall answer to our overall transportation needs, but the beltway is the topic of this discussion.  So, do you have any beltway ideas to add to the discussion?[/quote]

I say let's build it!  I will take it a step farther and request it be called the "RoadWarrior Interstate!"

Gerald W. Kopiasz

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UNOstudent
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Postby UNOstudent » Fri Aug 03, 2007 2:24 pm

MAPA Beltway Study Website:

http://www.mapabeltwaystudy.com

The beltway study will address the following questions:

Does the metro area need a beltway?


Are there alternative transportation improvements that could be implemented instead of a beltway? (for example: a partial beltway, enhancements to the existing roadway system, new radial highways, or major transit improvements)


If a beltway is needed, where should it generally be located and when is it needed?


How much would the roadway improvements cost (for a beltway or other solution)? How could they be funded?


What are the economic impacts (positive and negative) of a beltway or other transportation improvements?


How do future land use patterns affect the location and type of transportation improvements needed?
These broad questions will be addressed through assessments of traffic service, economic impacts, environmental impacts, and engineering factors.  

This study will not result in a precise location for transportation improvements, nor is it intended to set land use development patterns.  If a beltway or other major transportation facility is found to be needed and feasible, further study will be necessary to provide more detail about location, impacts, and costs.


To submit Public input:

Matt Tondl
HDR Engineering
8404 Indian Hills Drive
Omaha, NE 68114
(402) 399-1070
beltwaystudy@hdrinc.com

Paul Mullen
Metropolitan Area Planning Agency
2222 Cuming Street
Omaha, NE 68102
(402) 444-6866
paul_mullen@mapacog.org

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Postby midtown charlie » Fri Aug 03, 2007 10:07 pm

whatever we do......let's look at all our options just like our leaders did back in the late 40's.....oh wait they were fined for breaking some laws (in the name of progress of course) when they dismantled the red car line in Los Angeles.  How much was that anyway oh yeah $1.  Adjusted for inflation that still can't be more than $100 for screwing up the nation for at least 100 years......  How much is the LA metro area spending on mass transit these days...I am sure it is comparable to the fine (adjusted for inflation of course).


On a side note that is interesting to see what ones actions mean 50+ years later.  In other words what if someone where to go through my comments 50 years from now........Might think I am even crazier than I sound now.

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Postby RoadWarrior » Mon Aug 13, 2007 11:51 pm

Let's go back to a concept I brought up awhile ago:  Is it better to keep expanding certain roads, such as I-80... or would it be better to expand alternate routes so they can handle more traffic?

Think about how expanding alternate routes in eastern Nebraska could help traffic flow in situations like the following, as well as drawing traffic from I-80... possibly making a beltway unneeded... or at least substantially delaying the need for one...

Take a look at the following story from KETV:

http://www.ketv.com/news/13776673/detail.html

Interstate 80 near the Platte River Bridge was closed for seven hours starting at about 8:15 a.m. Sunday, according to the Nebraska State Patrol.



Now, going back to an earlier idea I floated, if US 30 was widened to 4 lanes from Grand Island to the Iowa border, could those fancy message boards installed over I-80 been used to direct traffic onto an expanded US 30 as it got close to Grand Island?  Then traffic could continue on at near-interstate speeds without having to deal with the I-80 closure.

Similarly, if US 6 was widened to 4 lanes from Lincoln to Omaha, could those fancy message boards been used to direct traffic onto an interstate-quality US 6, also letting traffic continue on without having to deal with the I-80 closure?  (Not to mention making football Saturdays much easier...)

Either of these scenarios would have helped keep traffic flowing and reduce the problems of having I-80 closed for seven hours.  This kinda goes toward having an overall comprehensive transportation strategy that others have mentioned in this forum..

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Postby almighty_tuna » Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:52 am

RoadWarrior wrote:... if US 6 was widened to 4 lanes from Lincoln to Omaha, could those fancy message boards been used to direct traffic onto an interstate-quality US 6, also letting traffic continue on without having to deal with the I-80 closure?


Now that's probably the best idea you've had so far.  No sarcasm this time.  A 4-lane Hwy 6 would be a smart backup to the main freeway, especially with the growth of the small towns between Omaha and Lincoln.  It would certainly serve more people than the Panhandle Freeway to nowhere.

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Postby icejammer » Fri Aug 24, 2007 8:42 am

Support for metro beltway detected

Four months into a study on whether a beltway will be needed around the Omaha-Council Bluffs area, planners say the public has been receptive to the idea of such a road system.

Last spring, the Metropolitan Area Planning Agency commissioned the $545,000 study, expected to be complete next summer. Officials recently have made presentations on the scope of the study and are conducting a phone survey on people's perceptions of area traffic. . .

Preliminary results of the phone survey of about 500 area residents indicated:

• Two-thirds rated the level of traffic congestion in the Omaha-Council Bluffs area as medium.

• When given several choices as to the best way to reduce traffic congestion, a quarter of those surveyed picked a beltway system. The same percent chose improved transit systems, while 30 percent chose increasing lanes on major streets.

• More than two-thirds answered "yes" when asked, in general, if they favored the construction of a full or partial beltway.

Mullen stressed that survey results still were being analyzed and could change. The survey has been concentrated so far in Douglas County . . .
"Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved."

--William Jennings Bryan

StreetsOfOmaha
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Postby StreetsOfOmaha » Fri Aug 24, 2007 5:15 pm

When given several choices as to the best way to reduce traffic congestion, a quarter of those surveyed picked a beltway system. The same percent chose improved transit systems, while 30 percent chose increasing lanes on major streets.


Well, the results are finally in.  Three quarters of Omahans are morons.  :;):  :lol:
"The right to have access to every building in the city by private motorcar in an age when everyone possesses such a vehicle is actually the right to destroy the city."
Lewis Mumford, The Highway and the City, 1963

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Postby Stargazer » Mon Aug 27, 2007 4:17 pm

I have to say... having spent the past week driving all over the LA metro... I think it's a joke that we're considering this beltway (much less 'high speed' rail)

Enjoy the good life people!

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Swift
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Postby Swift » Mon Aug 27, 2007 5:36 pm

Stargazer wrote:I have to say... having spent the past week driving all over the LA metro... I think it's a joke that we're considering this beltway (much less 'high speed' rail)

Enjoy the good life people!


Wait, you want to start taking your city planning cues from L.A. now? Ha.


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