Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Omaha Unveils Latest Part of Trail System - Omaha World Herald

Omaha unveils latest part of trail system

Although cold, blustery weather rarely inspires bikers and joggers, Omaha on Monday morning unveiled the latest part of its trail system.

Mayor Mike Fahey officially opened the Turner Boulevard Trail during a brief ceremony at Dewey Park.

The trail mostly follows Turner Boulevard south from Harney Street before turning west to 36th and Pacific Streets. Users can then follow city sidewalks to connect with the Field Club Trail.

The northernmost portion of the trail, linking Turner Boulevard with Dodge Street, will not be finished until 2009 because of the ongoing Midtown Crossing development.

The concrete trail is 1.2 miles long and 8 feet wide. The project cost $593,000, with about $474,000 coming from the Nebraska Roads Department and $59,300 each from the city and the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District.

"It (the trail) makes it even more enjoyable to live here in midtown," said NRD board chairman Jim Thompson.

Thompson said the Turner Boulevard Trail is the second of the city's new urban trails. The first was the Happy Hollow Trail, which opened a few years ago.

Thompson was joined by City Councilman Jim Vokal and neighborhood leaders at the trail's opening.

Carol Haas of the Leavenworth Neighborhood Association said it's important to link the city's green spaces.

"We couldn't be more excited," she said.

• Contact the writer: 444-1149, tom.shaw@owh.com


Scott Redd said...

You may think I have a thing for this tiny trail (post one, post two). In some respects, I do.

To me, this project represents more than just a pretty exercise trail. It's also more than part of an eventual connector that will link downtown Omaha with the Keystone Trail via the Field Club Trail, opening up safer bicycle commuting to even more Omahans.

This project is the product of the Leavenworth Neighborhood Association, with the help of Omaha By Design, to redevelop the historic in-town parks in their neighborhood. The idea is to draw people out to the parks and public spaces, resulting in a cleaner, safer, and more attractive neighborhood.

I think it's important for forward thinking citizens, developers and city leaders to think about bringing development back into the city, rather than always focusing on outward expansion.

It's quite possible that these improvements, coupled with the completion of the Midtown Crossing projects will make midtown Omaha a destination.

For more information on the work done by the Leavenworth Neighborhood Association and their plans for the area, check out this page and this page describing a public art project for Dewey Park.

Scott Redd said...

Leavenworth Neighborhood Association:

Omaha By Design: