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Little Italy residents voice concerns over one-way road

Posted at 10:50 PM, Dec 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-18 23:51:40-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Residents of the Little Italy neighborhood in South Omaha are upset over a road that was changed to one-way in 2012, and seven years later, they're still voicing their concerns.

The road in question is a section of Pierce Street between 6th and 8th Street that is one-way to the east. Residents in the neighborhood said the road had always been two-way until the city changed it in 2012. They said every day countless cars ignore the one-way signs and go the wrong way, which poses a danger to those in the area.

"It makes absolutely no sense for this to be a one way road and I think it is dangerous because most people ignore it," said Bryan Kilpatrick-Petersen, a resident who moved to Pierce Street in 2017.

Todd Pfitzer, the city engineer with the Omaha Public Works department, said the one-way road was put in place after residents voiced concerns over trucks leaving a nearby distribution center and going too fast down Pierce Street. The trucks now have to drive around Pierce and take Pacific to leave the distribution center. The city said the detour has worked.

"In the letter dated in 2013 they said this is a disaster waiting to happen someone is going to get killed out here," Pfitzer said. "That was in 2013 and we're still waiting. This type of a thing does not cause accidents. Speeding causes accidents. Trucks through a neighborhood are very dangerous. Something like this does not cause accidents."

Pfitzers said if neighbors have an issue with drivers going the wrong way they should reach out to the Omaha Police Department. He said if the residents who live on Pierce Street between 6th and 8th Street want the road changed to two lanes they need 75-percent of the residents to sign a petition agreeing to the change. As of now, 75-percent haven't signed the petition.