Bicyclists by the Dozens Show up At Omaha City Budget Meeting


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Bicyclists by the Dozens Show up At Omaha City Budget Meeting

By Meghan Matthews. CREATED Aug 12, 2014

Omaha, NE - They ride from the North, South, East and West. Their destination is wherever the road leads them.

Tuesday night, Omaha cyclists pedaled to city hall.

"There's momentum right now. I"ve never seen so many cyclists on the road. I think if you take away the bicycle coordinator we're gonna lose momentum."
They didn't walk into council chambers angry but passionate. Supporters of the city's Bicycle-Pedestrian Coordinator pleaded to city council members to keep the position in the mayor's 2015 budget.
"I'm asking that the bicycle pedestrian coordinator position be maintained."
"We have people who have disabilities, we have people who have no other form of transportation other than to walk or to take public transportation or to bicycle."
Mayor Stothert announced she'd cut that role to trim money. Bikers say that decision will pump the brakes on the progress.
"Now the mayor is saying that they are no longer applying bike routes down 24th street. There's a lot of people, the only way of transportation is with bicycles. We need a safe place for people to bike, for people to walk."
They say in four years the coordinator helped put roughly 20 miles of  bike lanes and 400 new bike racks across Omaha.
"All of these things have made me feel safer as a cyclist, and have increased awareness about bicyclists among motorists."
An environmental trend growing here, these cyclists say.
"The bicycle lanes, the share-rows, the designated bike lanes and routes have really helped bicycle commuters a lot."
Also supports of Omaha's public libraries and museums spoke for more funding. City leaders asked to push forward with violence prevention and job creation. 
City council will vote on the budget August 26th.