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October 3, 2011

32

Construction of 14th and Superior roundabout to begin Oct. 11

by Deena Winter

The roundabout at 33rd and Sheridan Boulevard


The city will begin building a controversial $11 million roundabout and other improvements to the intersection of 14th and Superior on Oct. 11.

The night before, citizens are invited to a “public meeting” about the project at the Belmont Recreation Center. However, if you’ve ever been to one of these meetings, you know that there is no formal presentation and it is really an open house, where there are pretty pictures of the project and people come and go as they wish, and can ask questions of the city employees and consultants. I’ve noticed over the years that the city never, EVER holds a true “town hall meeting” or true public meeting where there’s a presentation and then people can ask questions in a public fashion.

I imagine some PR genius told them that’s a good way to keep the crowd quiet and in control.

So if you’re interested in learning more about the project — which is much more than just a roundabout, but also a widening of 14th from two lanes to four north of Superior and reconstruction of the 14th Street bridge over Interstate 80 — go to the meeting or check out this website. But don’t expect to be able to harangue any public officials about the wisdom of the project at the meeting — unless you want to corner one of them one-on-one. And in any case, I doubt there’s anything you can say that will prevent the project from going forward the next morning — meaning 14th Street will have road closures from then on.

The I-80 bridge is scheduled to open in August 2012, and the roundabout is scheduled to open in November 2012. The entire project is expected to be completed in May 2013.

Lincoln resident Kolleen Krikac was surprised to hear construction will begin soon when concerned residents asked for a meeting months ago to discuss the project.

“How is it possible to have a meeting scheduled for the night before construction is to begin?” she said in an email to city officials. “This appears to be a sneaky way to pass it under the radar of the citizens of Lincoln, especially those whom it will most affect. The vast majority of people who live near this intersection are opposed to it and want their concerns to be heard.”

She said 99 percent of the people in her neighborhood signed a petition opposing the roundabout.

Personally, I have no problem with roundabouts. In fact, I like them. I use the one at 33rd and Sheridan Boulevard almost every day. However, it does not work under certain circumstances — primarily in the morning before school, when tons of traffic is coming from the south, headed east and north to Southeast High School. That allows the people coming from the west to jump in much more often then the huge line of cars to the south. Go and watch if you don’t believe me. I imagine the 14th and Superior situation could create a similar rush-hour snarl.

But the city (and state) is in love with roundabouts and this project is going to happen. The meeting is at the Belmont rec center, 1234 Judson St., and the time has been changed to 6 to 8 p.m.

Accidents never happen in roundabouts...

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32 Comments Post a comment
  1. Carol
    Oct 3 2011

    I am so frustrated with this city!!! It seems like they will tell you ANYTHING to get you off their backs and then they hope you forget or give up trying to get some answers!!! The residents in North Lincoln DO NOT want this roundabout. We were promised a meeting so we could talk about this decision again and have some input. This is not our government this is a Nazi regime!!! Oh I am mad!!!

    Reply
  2. Roger Yant
    Oct 3 2011

    Welcome Carol to a government who does not ask what the people want and need but what they think is best for you and THEM & the UNIVERSITY! They don’t want to hear from you, because their mind is made up. As a city we are broke, but no one has told the ones running the city. They know they have a bank to pay for all this, it’s called the bank of Carol, Roger, Mike, Deena, John and the rest of us saps who let them stay in office. Look at what they are spending. Round-a-bout 14th Superior, Jail (county),13th & “P”, Arena, Block 38, round-a-bouts on the University, and so many other projects to list. We elect them, so we pay for what they do. If we keep electing these people we will continue to pay. Carol, stay mad and remember next time an election comes up to try and change it.
    PS: I too like the rond-a-bouts on Sheridan Deena, but believe this one on 14th is not called for, asked for or needed. Do we have $14 million right now?

    Reply
  3. Ellie
    Oct 3 2011

    This roud-a-bout is extremely costly at a time when this country is OUT OF MONEY. When will the city wake up to the reality of that. I am also concerned that they will put in tunnels for children to walk through before and after school. How dangerous is that? As a retired school administrator, that is an accident waiting to happen.

    Reply
    • ej
      Oct 3 2011

      A roundabout is much less costly than a standard stoplight-controlled intersection.

      Reply
      • slim jim
        Oct 3 2011

        How would you know? Are you in the finance dept where the bid rigging is take place on the towing contract. We know how it works. It’s JUST A NUMBER ADJUSTMENT. Sloppy contracts with the arena, and I BET if someone looked into it the City and the RR have probably had soom funny stuff going on for years.

      • John
        Oct 3 2011

        Sorry, ej. You if you are to look at the bigger piture I’m sure that will agree with me that in the long run a stoplight would be better. Superior will need and still needs a stop light on on 24th and superior. The Traffic will be trickling down going east and no way to be able to turn west on superior at 21st or 24th. What are we to do? Go East and the make a U-Turn at 27 and Superior to go back west? Just think about all of the folks that live on the south side, what do you want them to do? Take the back roads! Give me a break! We are tax payers too. Roundabout cheeper, BS.

      • ej
        Oct 4 2011

        So you’re a traffic engineer, slim jim?

  4. slim
    Oct 3 2011

    It is government shoved down our throat.

    Reply
  5. BUZZ
    Oct 3 2011

    Carol: You need to get active in the Watchdog Group. We are trying to change the “Nazi Regime”, but we need more active members. There is strength in numbers. We’re small in active members now, but we’re making an impact on the city council and the JPA. We’re tired of having all these new projects {mostly downtown and for the university) crammed down our throats and then raise our taxes to pay for them. Get MAD, MAD, MAD !!!
    The WATCHDOGS WILL PREVAIL !!!

    Reply
    • Roger C.
      Oct 4 2011

      Perhaps you should rename your group “Old folks against change, modernization, and anything UNL”, then people could see you for what you really are.

      Reply
      • BUZZ
        Oct 4 2011

        Roger: You haven’t attended any of our meetings, so you don’t know our ages. You need to pull your head out of the sand, because our city government is like quicksand and you’ve undoubtedly been sucked in.

  6. jenny
    Oct 3 2011

    As a city employee I just have to say that this is so typical. They don’t want to hear what the “little people” have to say even though us “little poeple” might have some valid questions & suggestions.

    Reply
  7. pete
    Oct 3 2011

    It is so unbelievable how dirty this administration is! I was listening to Drive Time with Coby Mach tonight on my way home and can not believe how many dirty dealings that are going on right under the citizens noses! I’m not against roundabouts but i am against people not having a voice who make up this city! We elected these officials to represent us, the citizens of Lincoln! I think that these elected officials are so comfortable shoving it in our faces that they don’t even try to hide it, very well! They don’t care what the citizens want, or have to say! Where is Mike Foley? Maybe if Mr.Foley got involved it would stop this spending machine! Cut off the money, maybe it would cut down the corruption!!! One more thing, I really don’t care who gets the towing contract but it should be done fare and on the up and up, not dirty and underhanded! Who’s responsible for all the new handicap ramps put in improperly? Who’s paying for that? Who is going to be accountable? Why were 280 some put in wrong? Wouldn’t you stop someone after two or three? Does the city have inspectors sign off on these handicap ramps? What a mess! Every since this mayor has been re-elected there is something in the paper or on Coby Mach or Witerized every week about some dirty dealing! Obviously control has been lost at our highest level of city government!

    Reply
    • slim jim
      Oct 3 2011

      Pete, 280+ handicap ramps put in wrong is bad. My neighbor told me the city had engineers making $75,000 a year putting up street signs and painting stripes on the road, something any worker could do. Who’s paying for it ? We the people..

      Reply
      • ej
        Oct 4 2011

        My neighbor told me? LOL!!

  8. Lilly C.
    Oct 3 2011

    ACCOUNTABILITY, ACCOUNTABILITY, ACCOUNTABILITY!!!

    Reply
  9. slim jim
    Oct 4 2011

    Ej, you seem to question my authenticity and miss the bigger issue. If the city has this type of thing happening, I’m sure you would agree this is a waste of money. If this is happening, (which I tend to believe) and if this is the person or person’s regular assignment, the job is over classified. This type of over administration is happening all over, including L.P.S., and it costs tax payers a lot of hard earned money that could be better spent, like repairing the handicap ramps that a engineer should’ve been watching out for instead of putting up street signs. One more thing my neighbor told me is that those people are not drug tested. I thought everyone that works for the city is tested randomly? If you truly care about the city and its people then you would agree this type of mismanagement should be stopped. As far as me being a traffic engineer, maybe I am. I’ve been driving for over 54 years. The truth will set you free…

    Reply
    • ej
      Oct 5 2011

      Well, slim jim, my neighbor between 2000 and 2009 worked for the city (still does). His job? Striping streets, putting up signs and other street maintenance. He ain’t no engineer, I guarantee.

      Reply
  10. slim jim
    Oct 5 2011

    I don’t have a beef with you or your neighbor, ej, but let me simplify what my point was. If the person who is putting up street signs is being paid for some type of an engineer classification job, he is overclassified for putting up the street signs. Do you agree, ej, with this point I am making? Yes or no.

    Reply
    • ej
      Oct 5 2011

      Yes. I agree with your point. However, I don’t believe your neighbor. I don’t think engineers are striping streets and putting up signs. You think the union guys who are supposed to be striping streets and putting up signs would allow that to happen?

      Reply
      • add lib
        Oct 5 2011

        Ej, I don’t think the union men set their own classification, or they all would be directors. Great site Deena glad I found it.

  11. Gail
    Oct 6 2011

    What really hurts us who live North of I-80 is that te 14th Street bridge over the Interstate is closed too. Great planning!! Getting to Walgreens is going to be a long haul…

    Reply
  12. lynn
    Oct 7 2011

    And several years down the road after countless accidents and unbelievable traffic jams, crawling traffic with vehicles all but stopped throughout the day, we can all anticipate that this intersection will once again be closed as the roundabout is torn out and replaced with what should have been built in the first place – timed lights and turn lanes in a multi-lane widened intersection. Jeez Louise, what DO these traffic engineers study in Traffic Engineer School, Intersections 101?

    Reply
    • ej
      Oct 7 2011

      Lynn, how much time have you spent studying in Traffic Engineer School, Intersections 101?

      Check out the temporary roundabout on South 14th by the State Pen. I travel that street at least twice daily. When I first learned about the bridge replacement plan and traffic reduction to one lane in each direction, I thought Armageddon and began planning other routes. Even without construction, traffic could back up all the way up the hill to the south. How could all of those semi trucks get in and out of Universal Cold Storage?

      The roundabout has worked incredibly well. Traffic flows slower, but smoothly through the construction zone. Not once has it been stop and go. The only time I’ve stopped is to yield to someone heading to Burger King or the warehouse facility. Just this morning, I watched a semi truck sail right around the roundabout and over to the cold storage facility. He didn’t wipe out three lanes of traffic; he didn’t cause any massive traffic stoppage. What he did do was slow down, navigate the roundabout and proceed along his merry way. And life went on.

      Reply
      • James Draper
        Apr 6 2012

        EJ it does not matter what the city thinks is best. The elected officials are elected to represent what the people want. It has always been that way and should continue to be that way. The people who live in the 14th and Superior area do NOT want a round-about. Therefore a round-about should not have been considered, even though the elected officials wanted it.

  13. Sie
    Oct 10 2011

    This is what happens when you put a bunch of idiots in charge, this is the most ridiculously ran government! This government is supposed to be ran by the people, not the congressman or anyone elected. We might as well just not even elect anyone anymore and start to run it ourselves. They will tell you anything to get you off their back and to make things go their way, even when it is the most ridiculous thing you have ever heard. Its basically communism. Plus it will seriously take 2 years for this to finish? It took construction workers less than a year to finish the round-abouts in front of the stadium, so why is this going to take 2 years? Seriously? It will take me double the amount of time that it will take me to get to the college now. If you guys want to pay for the gas and the mileage on my car that would be great. Thanks for ONCE AGAIN doing your own thing and not giving a S*** about what your citizens thing…

    Reply
    • ej
      Oct 11 2011

      Obviously you haven’t bothered to look into the scope of the project. It’s much more than just a roundabout.

      Do you really believe we the people should micro-manage government down to street design and traffic management? Seriously? Will we hold a special election to decide if a burnt-out street light can be replaced?

      Reply
      • porcupine
        Oct 11 2011

        ej, do you think the public should just follow the GREAT and POWERFUL traffic engineer like mindless sheep? Not having a say in what goes on, kinda like China or USSR ???

      • ej
        Oct 12 2011

        China? USSR? Big fan of hyperbole, I see.

        Have a say all you want, if that makes you feel better. I trust the experts will choose to do what’s best for the entire community.

  14. Sam Sticka
    Oct 17 2011

    I do not like roundabouts. Having to swerve to the right and back to the left to drive around a big obstacle in the middle of the road does not sound very safe to me. I do not like the roundabouts on Sheridan and will completely avoid those intersections because of them. Most people at roundabouts do not know when to stop or when to go. Roundabouts are an accident waiting to happen. The only reason people like them is because they look nice, but in reality they are more trouble than they’re worth.

    I do not want Lincoln to become another Carmel, IN.

    Reply
    • ej
      Oct 18 2011

      Wouldn’t you say an accident waiting to happen is better than an accident already happened? Roundabouts really aren’t that difficult to navigate. C’mon, you can do it!

      Reply
      • porcupine
        Oct 18 2011

        Public servants? Not in Lincoln, more like thugs working for crime bosses.

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