Is Omaha the "New LA"?

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Is Omaha the "New LA"?

Postby Omababe » Thu Feb 05, 2015 6:33 am

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/tra ... story.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Is Omaha the "New LA"?

Postby MTO » Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:41 am

I hope not.
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Re: Is Omaha the "New LA"?

Postby RNcyanide » Thu Feb 05, 2015 9:51 am

I can see it happening.

It is pretty evident that non-car related transportation is not a priority in this city. That's why we have people desperately grabbing surface parking downtown. Our version of investing in transportation is four-laning suburban streets, as someone mentioned in another thread. Someone also pointed out that public transport is only used by 'those' people. God forbid we invest in things like street cars, rapid transit buses, or expanding the bus system, because it only helps part of the city...

I feel like the only way the whole city will get behind the idea of alternative/public transport investment is when someone from 204th and Pacific spends 45+ minutes in traffic to get to their job on 120th and Dodge, or when it would take the same person well over an hour to get to an event at the CLink at night.

There's a lot of things I absolutely love about Omaha and I won't hesitate for a second to brag about our city, however, I feel that one of our growing shames is our status of transportation.
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Re: Is Omaha the "New LA"?

Postby guitarguy » Thu Feb 05, 2015 7:52 pm

Anyone been on 80 during rush hour and been just sitting there not moving so all the new traffic they allowed onto 80 from 480 tries to merge at the 60th St exit? It can't be too much longer before 80 can't handle more traffic than it does at rush hour and grinds to a hault! :banana: :banger: :banana: :banger: Omaha is a big city!! Who's ready to celebrate?
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Re: Is Omaha the "New LA"?

Postby OmahaJaysCU » Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:49 pm

Yeah, lets use LA's metro area and Omaha's city population. Not that it makes that much of a difference. But still.

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Re: Is Omaha the "New LA"?

Postby Trips » Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:11 am

RNcyanide wrote:I feel like the only way the whole city will get behind the idea of alternative/public transport investment is when someone from 204th and Pacific spends 45+ minutes in traffic to get to their job on 120th and Dodge, or when it would take the same person well over an hour to get to an event at the CLink at night.


RNcyanide, I live off 192nd and Harrison. Right now it would take me an hour to get to the CLink for an event at 7:30pm. That includes having to take two miles of gravel that saves me 10 minutes.

Living in SW Omaha/Gretna I would love to ride my bike the 10 miles to 168th and Center for lunch. This is very difficult as something as simple as requiring sidewalks is not in place.

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Re: Is Omaha the "New LA"?

Postby RNcyanide » Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:17 am

Trips wrote:
RNcyanide wrote:I feel like the only way the whole city will get behind the idea of alternative/public transport investment is when someone from 204th and Pacific spends 45+ minutes in traffic to get to their job on 120th and Dodge, or when it would take the same person well over an hour to get to an event at the CLink at night.


RNcyanide, I live off 192nd and Harrison.  Right now it would take me an hour to get to the CLink for an event at 7:30pm.  That includes having to take two miles of gravel that saves me 10 minutes.  

Living in SW Omaha/Gretna I would love to ride my bike the 10 miles to 168th and Center for lunch.  This is very difficult as something as simple as requiring sidewalks is not in place.


That sounds horrible. It makes me grateful for living so close to the interstate as I do. Biking really isn't my thing, and there's nothing around my that I feel inclined to walk to, but a lot of main streets in West Omaha don't have sidewalks and the times I have walked, it's scary being right next to traffic on those gravel/asphalt shoulders.
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Re: Is Omaha the "New LA"?

Postby MTO » Sun Feb 22, 2015 1:03 pm

Speaking of traffic, what are the big projects this year? I'm hoping like heck no more of that dodge street work.
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Re: Is Omaha the "New LA"?

Postby bigredmed » Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:18 pm

RNcyanide wrote:I can see it happening.

It is pretty evident that non-car related transportation is not a priority in this city. That's why we have people desperately grabbing surface parking downtown. Our version of investing in transportation is four-laning suburban streets, as someone mentioned in another thread. Someone also pointed out that public transport is only used by 'those' people. God forbid we invest in things like street cars, rapid transit buses, or expanding the bus system, because it only helps part of the city...

I feel like the only way the whole city will get behind the idea of alternative/public transport investment is when someone from 204th and Pacific spends 45+ minutes in traffic to get to their job on 120th and Dodge, or when it would take the same person well over an hour to get to an event at the CLink at night.

There's a lot of things I absolutely love about Omaha and I won't hesitate for a second to brag about our city, however, I feel that one of our growing shames is our status of transportation.


Public transportation has to emphasize "public" as in all the public needs to be considered. Cadillac plans for 20% with bills going to all will not work.

Tokenism has to be beat back. Having a big sidewalk on Blondo and declaring the east-west bike trail solved is nuts. We need trails connecting regions of the city together. And trails that simply sew pieces of a region together.

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Re: Is Omaha the "New LA"?

Postby Garrett » Mon Feb 23, 2015 12:02 pm

bigredmed wrote:
RNcyanide wrote:I can see it happening.

It is pretty evident that non-car related transportation is not a priority in this city. That's why we have people desperately grabbing surface parking downtown. Our version of investing in transportation is four-laning suburban streets, as someone mentioned in another thread. Someone also pointed out that public transport is only used by 'those' people. God forbid we invest in things like street cars, rapid transit buses, or expanding the bus system, because it only helps part of the city...

I feel like the only way the whole city will get behind the idea of alternative/public transport investment is when someone from 204th and Pacific spends 45+ minutes in traffic to get to their job on 120th and Dodge, or when it would take the same person well over an hour to get to an event at the CLink at night.

There's a lot of things I absolutely love about Omaha and I won't hesitate for a second to brag about our city, however, I feel that one of our growing shames is our status of transportation.


Public transportation has to emphasize "public" as in all the public needs to be considered.  Cadillac plans for 20% with bills going to all will not work.  

Tokenism has to be beat back. Having a big sidewalk on Blondo and declaring the east-west bike trail solved is nuts.  We need trails connecting regions of the city together.  And trails that simply sew pieces of a region together.


Well, as Omaha is built now, creating an effective public transit system is complex in the suburban areas, especially the farther out you go as roads get less and less grid like. An effective mass-transit system needs walkability to compliment it.

However, that's not to say it's impossible, it may simply change how we look at the city. Currently, we, as a forum, have a very Chicago-like view of our city. We put downtown above all areas of the city. All transit should converge there, from rail to street cars to buses. Although this concept does create a strong core, it's not efficient in the least.

So, here is my vague, likely imperfect idea for how to create a comprehensive transit system.

In the western areas, full sized buses would be woefully inefficient, and essentially unable to access the neighborhoods. Instead, smaller, more agile shuttle buses should be used to navigate the smaller, curvy streets. Most neighborhoods have a "Main Street" of sorts that these buses could follow. From there, the shuttle buses go to tertiary nodes, like Village Pointe, Sterling Ridge, or the West Dodge Office corridor. Larger buses would be available there, which would take commuters to secondary nodes, like Aksarben and Old Mill. Finally, buses from there would head to the major business centers in Downtown and Midtown. This very basic plan I've laid out closely is more or less based off of Christaller's Central Place Theory, modeled here:
Image

As for including private partnerships: if a company wants to be involved in the transit system, but feels like it isn't adequately served by the city operated system, they can run their own shuttles from any of the nodes, and in turn receive a tax credit.

Again, this is a basic plan that I basically thought of 15 minutes ago, but it's also better than what we have now.
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Re: Is Omaha the "New LA"?

Postby Garrett » Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:16 pm

A quick map outlining the basic format of this system. Show are 3 neighborhood routes in West Omaha feeding into Village Pointe, then that feeding into Westroads, which feeds into the core.

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Re: Is Omaha the "New LA"?

Postby Seth » Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:29 pm

bigredmed wrote:Tokenism has to be beat back. Having a big sidewalk on Blondo and declaring the east-west bike trail solved is nuts.  We need trails connecting regions of the city together.  And trails that simply sew pieces of a region together.


That is a very good point. Few of the city trails and cycle routes are on actual commuter routes, and those that are often end abruptly with poor connectivity to any real destination. On-street bike lanes have the same problem. Now that the city has a good start on the trail system and bike lanes, they need to focus more effort on connecting them to create a functional system, rather than the disjointed patchwork we have now.

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Re: Is Omaha the "New LA"?

Postby Joe_Sovereign » Fri Oct 23, 2015 9:02 am

Omaha needs to build permanent transit points in the suburban areas. These Transit points should have parking for park and ride commuters, every possible pedestrian and biking access from these points to nearby neighborhoods and businesses. People need to know that there is a permanent place where they can go and access the transit system. I live in Elkhorn, I have no idea where the Bus comes closest to my neighborhood, it's hours, where the bus routes run. I do know from previous experience that the routes, times, and stops change all the time and can't be counted on.

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Re: Is Omaha the "New LA"?

Postby jessep28 » Fri Oct 23, 2015 10:26 am

Joe_Sovereign wrote:Omaha needs to build permanent transit points in the suburban areas. These Transit points should have parking for park and ride commuters, every possible pedestrian and biking access from these points to nearby neighborhoods and businesses. People need to know that there is a permanent place where they can go and access the transit system. I live in Elkhorn, I have no idea where the Bus comes closest to my neighborhood, it's hours, where the bus routes run. I do know from previous experience that the routes, times, and stops change all the time and can't be counted on.


But using hundreds of millions of dollars of everyone's money on a streetcar loop that only benefits those in Midtown and Downtown is more fun. Let's do that instead.
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Re: Is Omaha the "New LA"?

Postby bigredmed » Fri Oct 23, 2015 10:47 am

jessep28 wrote:
Joe_Sovereign wrote:Omaha needs to build permanent transit points in the suburban areas. These Transit points should have parking for park and ride commuters, every possible pedestrian and biking access from these points to nearby neighborhoods and businesses. People need to know that there is a permanent place where they can go and access the transit system. I live in Elkhorn, I have no idea where the Bus comes closest to my neighborhood, it's hours, where the bus routes run. I do know from previous experience that the routes, times, and stops change all the time and can't be counted on.


But using hundreds of millions of dollars of everyone's money on a streetcar loop that only benefits those in Midtown and Downtown is more fun. Let's do that instead.


Oh come on now, you know that the hipsters and urban planner types loathe any place west of 72nd (to wit this board's definition of suburban as being west of 72nd and mid town as being east of UNMC and west of I480.) To expect them to deign to factor in west Omaha into a working system for the whole city, and all the people who will have to pay for it, means that they have to come to grips with the reality that people given the ability to choose, will choose to live differently than the central planners want them to (like in houses-- not giant apartment blocks). They will have to accept that cars and bikes are part of life and people are willing to bend a little, but will not destroy their lives for the sake of the central planners' fantasies.

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Re: Is Omaha the "New LA"?

Postby Midwestern » Fri Oct 23, 2015 2:21 pm

bigredmed wrote:
jessep28 wrote:
Joe_Sovereign wrote:Omaha needs to build permanent transit points in the suburban areas. These Transit points should have parking for park and ride commuters, every possible pedestrian and biking access from these points to nearby neighborhoods and businesses. People need to know that there is a permanent place where they can go and access the transit system. I live in Elkhorn, I have no idea where the Bus comes closest to my neighborhood, it's hours, where the bus routes run. I do know from previous experience that the routes, times, and stops change all the time and can't be counted on.


But using hundreds of millions of dollars of everyone's money on a streetcar loop that only benefits those in Midtown and Downtown is more fun. Let's do that instead.


Oh come on now, you know that the hipsters and urban planner types loathe any place west of 72nd (to wit this board's definition of suburban as being west of 72nd and mid town as being east of UNMC and west of I480.) To expect them to deign to factor in west Omaha into a working system for the whole city, and all the people who will have to pay for it, means that they have to come to grips with the reality that people given the ability to choose, will choose to live differently than the central planners want them to (like in houses-- not giant apartment blocks). They will have to accept that cars and bikes are part of life and people are willing to bend a little, but will not destroy their lives for the sake of the central planners' fantasies.


The exact reverse of this happens all the time too.

West vs East. Again. Yawn.

I think the BRT will be a good first step, and then we can go from there. Having feeder routes from certain points in West Omaha into the BRT stops would work well I think. The problem will be that without a fixed-transit line or lane, there won't be much transit time taken off of someone's commute from west O, so the extensions to west Omaha probably wouldn't have much ridership. But it's worth trying since it doesn't cost all that much money to experiment with bus routes compared to other mass transit.

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Re: Is Omaha the "New LA"?

Postby Joe_Sovereign » Fri Oct 23, 2015 3:34 pm

I think what works about commuter train systems, subways, light rail systems is that the stations and the routes don't (can't) change. I know if I can get to Station A near me by whatever means, that I can go to Station B near my destination. Perhaps I have to worry about how to get to Station A or how I get from Station B to my final destination but the trip on the train is fixed. Buses miss this because a bench on the side of a busy road with no signage is a bad starting point and then when a bus shows up you really don't know if it is going where you want or where it is dropping you off. Then who knows if where you got dropped off is where you should reboard for a return trip.

BRT stops can duplicate some of the certainty of trains if the routes times and destinations get locked in and never change. You can't cut and restore routes and times every time the City budget winds change.

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Re: Is Omaha the "New LA"?

Postby Midwestern » Fri Oct 23, 2015 3:49 pm

Joe_Sovereign wrote:I think what works about commuter train systems, subways, light rail systems is that the stations and the routes don't (can't) change. I know if I can get to Station A near me by whatever means, that I can go to Station B near my destination. Perhaps I have to worry about how to get to Station A or how I get from Station B to my final destination but the trip on the train is fixed. Buses miss this because a bench on the side of a busy road with no signage is a bad starting point and then when a bus shows up you really don't know if it is going where you want or where it is dropping you off. Then who knows if where you got dropped off is where you should reboard for a return trip.

BRT stops can duplicate some of the certainty of trains if the routes times and destinations get locked in and never change. You can't cut and restore routes and times every time the City budget winds change.


Oh I totally agree that a bus feeder line cannot come anywhere close to being as useful as a fixed-rail station.

But what do we do? On one hand we have residents in the suburbs who seem very averse to spending on mass transit and would very likely say that it is a waste to have light-rail in the core, let alone the much less dense suburbs. Then on the other hand, you have people complaining that any mass-transit plans that don't immediately include the suburbs are unfair and are leeching money from suburban residents.

So what is the compromise for that situation? I personally am in favor of having mass transit options reach into the suburbs to provide an additional option for them to get to our core. I'm fairly certain most urban-minded people would agree with that. So what do we have to do to get a mass transit option started that is acceptable (and obviously beneficial) to suburban residents while also being financially feasible?

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Re: Is Omaha the "New LA"?

Postby Joe_Sovereign » Fri Oct 23, 2015 4:07 pm

Midwestern wrote:
Joe_Sovereign wrote:I think what works about commuter train systems, subways, light rail systems is that the stations and the routes don't (can't) change. I know if I can get to Station A near me by whatever means, that I can go to Station B near my destination. Perhaps I have to worry about how to get to Station A or how I get from Station B to my final destination but the trip on the train is fixed. Buses miss this because a bench on the side of a busy road with no signage is a bad starting point and then when a bus shows up you really don't know if it is going where you want or where it is dropping you off. Then who knows if where you got dropped off is where you should reboard for a return trip.

BRT stops can duplicate some of the certainty of trains if the routes times and destinations get locked in and never change. You can't cut and restore routes and times every time the City budget winds change.


Oh I totally agree that a bus feeder line cannot come anywhere close to being as useful as a fixed-rail station.

But what do we do? On one hand we have residents in the suburbs who seem very averse to spending on mass transit and would very likely say that it is a waste to have light-rail in the core, let alone the much less dense suburbs. Then on the other hand, you have people complaining that any mass-transit plans that don't immediately include the suburbs are unfair and are leeching money from suburban residents.

So what is the compromise for that situation? I personally am in favor of having mass transit options reach into the suburbs to provide an additional option for them to get to our core. I'm fairly certain most urban-minded people would agree with that. So what do we have to do to get a mass transit option started that is acceptable (and obviously beneficial) to suburban residents while also being financially feasible?


I am just saying that for the Bus system to be successful as a commuter system you need fixed permanent Bus Stop structures that never change. So Adults, teenagers, anyone knows I can go to the Papillion, LaVista, Elkhorn, or Village Pointe main stop and catch a bus to the Downtown main stop all day everyday and not get stuck but catch a bus back all day everyday. Many people don't ride the bus because of uncertainty around routes and times and fear they may get stranded somewhere.

My point is use the buses to replicate as much as possible those things that make rail successful, even in the core area these principles would increase ridership.

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Re: Is Omaha the "New LA"?

Postby bigredmed » Fri Oct 23, 2015 5:07 pm

Build a series of park and rides in various locales. They get served till at least 2am. They get cops past closing. They open at 5. They lock into express routes that go to a couple of high need areas (UNO, UNMC, downtown) circulator buses feed into the park and ride nodes.

I would be fine taking a bus, but not if I am going to not be able to count on getting anywhere or not being able to get to work on time.

BRT is great for the 1% crowd who live where it will be built. Not so much for all the wage slaves who get to pay for it, but never use it.

I will avidly oppose any plan that doesn't factor in the whole city. I don't need a limo, but if I have to pay, then I had better get to ride.

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Re: Is Omaha the "New LA"?

Postby Busguy2010 » Fri Oct 23, 2015 7:04 pm

They have plenty of Express routes

Village Pointe, Papillion, Lakeside, Bellevue, Q street, Millard, and NW Omaha. They all have park and ride lots and they run in both directions during rush times. So do you think they should run every 15 minutes until 2 am?

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Re: Is Omaha the "New LA"?

Postby bigredmed » Fri Oct 23, 2015 11:48 pm

Busguy2010 wrote:They have plenty of Express routes

Village Pointe, Papillion, Lakeside, Bellevue, Q street, Millard, and NW Omaha. They all have park and ride lots and they run in both directions during rush times. So do you think they should run every 15 minutes until 2 am?


How about Burke HS area? More importantly, a bus that can get me to work by 7 am and if I have to stay till 5:30 or 6 will still berunning.

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Re: Is Omaha the "New LA"?

Postby Busguy2010 » Sat Oct 24, 2015 12:06 am

Unfortunately with the expressway, that neighborhood is "flyover country". There are 30 or so people coming from First National Bank park and ride and Village Pointe park and ride who prefer to stay on the expressway. So in order to serve Burke HS you would need another route and that would be expensive and wouldn't make much sense.

What if they had an express route that has a park and ride at 132nd and Pacific to Downtown and took Dodge instead of the interstate? Would you ride that?

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Re: Is Omaha the "New LA"?

Postby Busguy2010 » Sat Oct 24, 2015 5:37 pm

Route 99 Pacific Express used to run from Oakview, up through Trendwood, on Pacific and back down to the Interstate then Downtown. They took it out years ago due to low ridership, though if they tweak it I think it might be possible to have it again in the future. Especially since there was an "agreement" between Sterling Ridge and Metro to provide service.

This route I drew up is fairly reasonable for what you might get in the next few years. What do you think of it?

https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid= ... sp=sharing

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Re: Is Omaha the "New LA"?

Postby bigredmed » Sat Oct 24, 2015 8:24 pm

Busguy2010 wrote:Route 99 Pacific Express used to run from Oakview, up through Trendwood, on Pacific and back down to the Interstate then Downtown. They took it out years ago due to low ridership, though if they tweak it I think it might be possible to have it again in the future. Especially since there was an "agreement" between Sterling Ridge and Metro to provide service.

This route I drew up is fairly reasonable for what you might get in the next few years. What do you think of it?

https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid= ... sp=sharing

For the most part, you could just have one that orbits from the west end of your route to the Westroads. Then an express route up and down Dodge.

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Re: Is Omaha the "New LA"?

Postby PotatoeEatsFish » Sun Oct 25, 2015 11:28 am

It will take many years untill Omaha gets serious about mass transit.
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