The Lincoln Bike Plan is one pedal closer to becoming a reality.
The plan would include bikeway connections between the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus to surrounding neighborhoods as well as between campuses to make commuting easier for students, according to Lincoln Bike Plan project manager and transportation planner Kellee Van Bruggen.
On Wednesday, Jan. 23, the City Planning Commission approved the plan and put it on its way to be presented Feb. 11 at the Lincoln City Council meeting.
Once the council reviews the bill, the public can voice support or opposition during the bill’s public hearing.
BikeLNK City Manager Jamie Granquist said she is open to hearing all opinions on the Bike Plan because she believes they will all help the plan develop into its best version.
“Lincoln is built for all of its citizens,” she said. “Student needs aren’t necessarily family needs, so we want to hear all opinions.”
She said people can also give feedback on social media, which reaches more people. She said she wants every voice to be heard, but often people do not think their opinion is valuable.
“Getting people to realize their voice matters is difficult,” Granquist said.
Granquist said when people share their concerns the committee can use the feedback to change the plan and its vision.
Van Bruggen said the committee worked with the comments it has already received along with building an on-street bike network that would work for all of Lincoln’s citizens.
Granquist said the project has so far been successful in its yearlong journey.
“There were several steps to check in with the community to work towards developing a plan that works for Lincoln,” Van Bruggen said.
The committee took in public opinion and combined the committee’s 25 members’ opinions to create a singular vision.
Granquist said this vision includes goals like working with North Lincoln, because the area’s highway and railroad force bike trails into the backseat.
“We have an intentionally concerted effort to try to get those there,” she said. “Some things we knew would be harder, so we worked harder to make it happen.”
In its next stages, the plan will need approval from the city council and then become a master plan before it’s developed into a formal city ordinance.
The ordinance would include maps of trails and ideas for the locations of additional bike lanes in the case of construction.
“It would be like the framework of a house,” Granquist said. “It gives you guidance of what priorities might be good.”
The bike plan would build from existing bike trails and N-street bike facilities that would then connect bikers to key destinations, Van Bruggen said.
Granquist said the bike plan has options for all sorts of bikers.
“Lincoln has a very varied system,” she said. “If you’re recreational, the trails are fantastic by the waterways, but if you’re commuting downtown, you can go as fast as cars.”