In this story from July 25, 2008 airing on KETV, Omaha residents near Karen Park (near 62nd St. and H St.) oppose the city's plan to connect the Keystone Trail to the Field Club Trail with a wide, multi-use concrete path running along Buckingham Avenue.
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The plan for the first of two phases is to connect with the Keystone Trail on the east side of the Papillion Creek, go north to Buckingham Avenue, then east to 60th Avenue, then south to H Street. The path then runs north along the west side of 60th Street, then does a switchback to join the old Chicago and Northwestern rail bridge to cross 60th. The trail will then follow the old rail line, cross 50th Street using a pedestrian activated stoplight, and then continue to 45th Street near Dayton Street.
Construction for the first phase may begin Summer 2009. The second phase will connect to the existing Field Club Trail near 35th Street and Vinton Street and will begin shortly after the first phase is complete.
As a homeowner myself, I can understand the hesitation with respect to an enlarged sidewalk and an increase of foot and cycling traffic running along my street, however, I think the fear is really fear of the unknown and the fear of change. One homeowner mentioned that she's seen bottles, trash, and fights by the trail at Karen Park. I've ridden through Karen Park many times, and I certain that this is not the doing of cyclists. Maybe she means some other kinds of "bikers" loitering in the park or the Karen Park Elementary School throwing impromptu parties. In all my years of riding the Keystone, I've never seen cyclists tossing bottles and trash on the path.
In the end, this can only be a positive, progressive thing for Omaha. As a bike commuter, I can tell you that bike routes running east and west are extremely rare. The Keystone East Connector Trail will allow commuters to get from origins out west to in-town destinations like downtown and Midtown Crossing, making Omaha more of a bikeable community supporting sustainable transportation.