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October 6, 2011

31

Roundabout opponents get a public meeting; construction delayed

by Deena Winter

People who oppose the roundabout set to be constructed at 14th and Superior have convinced city officials to allow them to hold a public meeting about the controversial $11 million project and push back the construction state date to the week of Oct. 24.

An opponent of the roundabout sent me a flyer advertising a meeting to be held on Wednesday at the Belmont Recreation Center, 1234 Judson St., from 6 to 8 p.m. The city had planned to hold an “open house” on Monday — one day before construction begins. But at the city open house, there is no formal presentation or opportunity for people to line up at a microphone and give the city their two cents about the wonderful/insane project. Instead, there are renderings to look at and consultants to ask questions of and city officials to chat with, but this sort of setup keeps things calm and quiet and non-controversial. Nothing to see here.

But opponents say the city has now agreed to allow them to hold a public meeting, where (according to the flyer), people can voice their concerns and opinions (gasp!). And there will actually be a presentation (this is unusual, people) at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will include a discussion of neighborhood traffic issues and tunnel visibility and the public will be able to comment on the project timeline. Not sure if that’s all they’ll be allowed to comment on.

Does that mean the city is reconsidering the roundabout portion of the project? I highly doubt that. But this way, the mayor’s office can say it gave opponents a chance to speak their mind. Opponents had been promised a public meeting — but they never got one, except for the open house which had been hastily scheduled for one day before construction begins.

People who live and work near the intersection do not believe a roundabout is the best option for the area, and also don’t like plans for a pedestrian tunnel planned on the west and south sides of the intersection — saying it’s not a good plan for middle school students. The project will also widen 14th Street to four lanes from Superior to Interstate 80 and the Department of Roads also is building a bridge over Interstate 80 on North 14th Street.

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.

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31 Comments Post a comment
  1. Flake
    Oct 6 2011

    F’ Gawds sake, rotaries are EASY! Follow the {#%* ~} yield signs, you [bleep] morons!

    Reply
  2. cs
    Oct 6 2011

    The one that explains to idiots what a roundabout is, and how to use one?

    Reply
  3. Carol
    Oct 6 2011

    Flake, you don’t know the whole story! Apparently you do not care that 99.9% of the residents surveyed out her DO NOT WANT THE ROUNDABOUT or THE TUNNELS!!!!

    Reply
    • ej
      Oct 7 2011

      Yeah, and 99.9% of residents DO NOT WANT STOPLIGHTS between their homes and their work. Lame argument. I’d love to see how that survey was worded. Was it conducted by the opponents? Or by an independent research firm?

      I understand concerns over the tunnels. Maybe the solution is a pedestrian overpass?

      Basing your argument on we DO NOT WANT THE ROUNDABOUT just makes you look like a bunch of whiners who can’t/won’t deal with change.

      Reply
      • Neon
        Oct 7 2011

        Are you speaking on behalf of the Mayor, Council, or the city of Lincoln?

  4. Matthew Platte
    Oct 6 2011

    I just find it amusing that roundabout opponents are attempting to preserve their right to make left turns across oncoming traffic.

    Reply
  5. Roger Yant
    Oct 6 2011

    There is much more to this then a round-a-bout. It’s the cost when the city is broke. The neighbors don’t want it, and it’s NOT NEEDED!!!! Since when are the people 100% ignored on a project? LOL, (let me count the ways) they never listen to us. We are just the poor schlubs that have to pay for it. Hope to see many of you at both meetings. I live on Old Cheney Rd and it really do’s not affect me on a daily basis but the cost, and the people in the area DO NOT WANT IT! No matter what part of town you live in, be there in support of those that do live in the area.

    Reply
  6. porcupine
    Oct 6 2011

    City not listing to the people.

    Reply
  7. Daniel Thompson
    Oct 6 2011

    I would beg to differ on your argument that the city is not listening to people. The problem that you really have is that the city is not listening, and more importantly, abiding by what you are saying. In other words, if the city is not doing what you want them to do they are Nazi’s that are not listening to their constituents.

    Take this into consideration; for years one of the biggest complaints about Lincoln is the traffic. Lincoln is a 250k person city with 500k person traffic. So now the city is trying to do something proactive and at the same time do it safely and all you guys want to do is b*tch about it. Give me a break. They are damned if they do it and damned if they don’t.

    On the other point of the roundabout itself. Any person that has directly or indirectly been affected by an accident that has happened at a big intersection where cars can drive as fast as they do on superior will be front and center at this meeting DEMANDING that this thing happens. Why? You tell me how someone can get t-boned on a roundabout going 40? It’s impossible. What will that do? I’ll answer that one for you too, it will save lives. So of course we have people on here like Roger Yant who says we don’t have the money, (of course if we had his way the city would not spend money on anything and the whole city would be dirt roads and we would have open sewers but that’s a different story) but what does it cost when their is an accident and people are killed? I’m not even talking about the losing of a life, I’m talking about the actual financial ramifications of a fatal accident. On top of that we have a middle school a block away and an elementary school a few blocks farther. The intersection was slated to be expanded due to increase of traffic flow and if the city expanded it in a normal fashion and all those kids had to play Frogger to get accross, you same people would be upset that the city is trying to kill our kids!

    My point to this whole story is that sometimes people need to look at what the city is doing through bigger lenses. And just because people don’t do what you want them to do isn’t because they aren’t listening to you, its just that you are not the only person in the world.

    Reply
    • ej
      Oct 7 2011

      You left out that in Roger’s World, all those dirt roads would lead to the State Fair.

      Reply
      • add lib
        Oct 7 2011

        The gravel roads that I drive on are smoother than most of the paved roads in Lincoln. Their are vary few dirt roads remaining. I believe its the poor road conditions that are upsetting people.

    • Oct 7 2011

      You make some good points Daniel. I had never been on a roundabout until I was driving while on a deployment in the south of France. (Yeah, I know). I came upon one and was somewhat surprised, but just continued driving. Except for not being able to read any of the signs, I did OK. Also, on a deployment to Cape Cod (Yeah, Cape Cod) (Air Guard) I drove up to a round about in MASS that joined two interstates and a few highways. It was huge. Lots of lanes. Tons of signage, and the first two, or three, or four times I drove on it I took the wrong exits and had to find my way back. But I got used to it in just a few days. I also teach driver education for SCC and while my students frequently tend to struggle their very first time through a roundabout, we go back and try a few more times. They catch on quickly. I understand people not wanting to spend the funds, wait it out and try something you think you don’t need. I would not have been pro-roundabout had I not driven on them, but I have to tell you, I use 14th and Superior 4 times a day and really HATE the traffic and sitting through 2-3 lights. I believe a roundabout will be faster. Statistically, I know it will be safer–roundabouts have fewer crash points as opposed to intersections.

      Reply
      • John
        Oct 9 2011

        I just hope you are able to get of your neighborhood when the roundabout is finished, or do you plain to take the back roads to 14th. street

    • Roger C.
      Oct 10 2011

      But apparently we did have enough money to defend a lawsuit, at least according to Roger Yant.,

      Reply
  8. Lilly C.
    Oct 7 2011

    Roger, you are right, people should show up in droves to support our fellow citizens! Someone on a previous post said it best, “government shoved down our throats”.

    Reply
  9. Flake
    Oct 7 2011

    The comments opposing the roundabouts prove my point. Give up your “right” to run red lights and look up “yield” in the dictionary.” While you’re at it, look up the difference between “then” and “than.”. The city is finally doing something right. Get over yourselves.

    Reply
  10. jenny
    Oct 7 2011

    Hate to say this, but it’s gonna happen, their minds are made up and I’m sure papers have already been signed on the dotted line. They’re just letting this meeting happen so we, the people, can feel like they listened to us and make us believe that they give a s— about what we have to say.

    Reply
    • Carol
      Oct 7 2011

      Meh…don’t be complacent Jenny come to the meeting and invite your neighbors. We will never know if we don’t try to get this project reduced to multi turn lanes instead of the roundabout and a safe way for the Jr. Hi kids to cross these roads….not underground…that is not a good plan! They have other plans drawn up for multi lane signaled section and they would just have to swap out one plan for the other!

      Reply
  11. Roger Yant
    Oct 7 2011

    Ej I love your comment, got a chuckle out of it. I ask you, do we have $14 million to do this project? Daniel, I travel that street at least once a week, gosh, I have never had any trouble getting through that intersection. You say if up to me that I would not want the city to spend money on anything and the whole city would be dirt roads and we would have open sewers but that’s a different story. How did you know that is how I feel? Yes, bring back the horse and buggy, lets throw our garbage in the streets, and pee on the side of the road like in Europe. I can tell you have never met me. Here is what I am about. The government needs to spend money they have on projects that are needed to make our lives good and fair. We do NOT need a $14 million round-a-bout, a $300 million Antelope Valley Project, a $400 million arena, why, because we do not have the funds to do it. There are many tax-payers out there that don’t agree with you. I have lived in Lincoln close to 65 years now, and love it. The round-a-bouts on Sheridan Blvd do work great, no large semi’s try to get through, not a real heavy traffic area except two times a day. I do know that we can’t afford this at that intersection or any intersection at this time. You have the right to dissagree with me. That is what is great about this country.

    Reply
    • Daniel Thompson
      Oct 7 2011

      To tell you the truth, I have met you before. Way back in 2005 we both ran for city council.

      My point about your stance on dirt roads and open sewers was an exaggeration and I’m guessing you joined my exaggerating with the addition of peeing on the side of the road.

      It just seems that every time I see your name in print, either here or in the op/ed of the journal, you are ranting about the city never listens and they spend too much. Your rants are starting to have the same affect as the boy who cries wolf.

      I’m not even for this roundabout or against it. I haven’t really put a lot of thought into it. My main point is that this is not a “neighborhood intersection”. Supposedly 99% of the people in the neighborhood are against it. Good for them. They are a small fraction of the people who are affected by this decision. Lincoln is no longer a small town it once was 65 years ago.

      Reply
      • porcupine
        Oct 9 2011

        THANK GOODNESS, you didn’t get in office, with a out look on things the way you do.

  12. Carol
    Oct 7 2011

    flyered about a 100 cars this evening, making sure they come to the public meeting on the roundabout!! People are thrilled we will finally have a voice. More to flyer tomorrow!!!

    Reply
  13. john
    Oct 7 2011

    ej,flake,Daniel, I thank you for you input, even if you don’t know what is going on in NW Lincoln. If you can’t figure it out , this is what our country was built upon, citizen input. If our elected leaders and the city employees can’t listen to the people then , they should be voted out of office or fired. We the Taxpayer, pay their salaries. If this roundabout/tunnel system experiment does not work are you willing to have the Taxpayer of Lincoln foot the bill to fix their mistakes?

    Reply
    • add lib
      Oct 8 2011

      All it is for is the Univerisity and the arena. Send the bill to the 2015 group.

      Reply
    • ej
      Oct 9 2011

      So, John, I take it you’ll be satisfied if the city responds similarly: “John, thank you for your input, even if you don’t know what is going on when it comes to street/traffic engineering.”

      Reply
      • john
        Oct 9 2011

        ej And you think the city does? Of course I will not be satisfied until the roundabout is stopped and a multilane turn lane sytem put in it’s place. This is what the citizens think should happen and some of these individuals ARE Engineers as well so they do have experience!

      • ej
        Oct 10 2011

        Street design and traffic management by neighborhood consensus. Brilliant!

  14. slim jim
    Oct 7 2011

    The people of Lincoln have been saying for years to widen 27Th street, lets let the people vote.

    Reply
  15. Jane H Kinsey
    Oct 10 2011

    Anyone who thinks City Hall is listening to the people should investigate their behavior.
    Coleen Seng’s plan for a by-pass was defeated by a vote of the people. It can be done
    if voters take back their power to defeat those who controlled by the rich people in town
    like the 2015 Vision.
    Watchdogs will be at that Wednesday meeting to encourage people to take back their
    rights.

    Reply
  16. Mary
    Oct 10 2011

    “John”, it doesn’t make a dime’s worth of difference what quadrant you bunch of Amish Luddites live in, roundabouts are better for traffic movement than traffic lights. And.They. Are. EASIER. (if you’re not a complete idiot).

    Reply
    • John
      Oct 11 2011

      I have driven in GB, France and all over the East Coast. This idiot as you so put , probably has more driving years, than you have been alive. ( sorry if you are older than 25) I’m not Amish and I’m not a Luddite! Please try to use your dictionary if you can read some bigger words and know what they mean.
      I ‘m trying to help my city progress however in a good way! What have you done?

      Reply

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