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Blackstone pedestrians, business owners react to recent changes along Farnam Street

Posted at 11:26 AM, May 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-21 12:26:33-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Pedestrians in Blackstone are reacting to some recent changes along Farnam St.

The City of Omaha is trying to make the area safer.

Sara Lewis, the manager of Antidote Salon located at 40th and Farnam said she’s had her concerns about the traffic.

"The speed has always been an issue with people crossing the streets," said Lewis.

She has been in the area for two years and says getting around on foot can be dangerous.

"I frequent the restaurants and bars down here and I cross the streets just like my clients do," said Lewis. "I’ve had a number of close calls."

Pedestrians said they've felt the same way, over the years. Patrick Merrill said there are visibility issues along Farnam.

"This street is shaped to where these drivers don’t really see everything or don’t see people crossing," said Merrill.

The city recently took action by making traffic one-lane in both directions. The middle lane is for turning traffic only, and now includes posts near the crosswalk.

City officials said the purpose of the changes is to get cars on Farnam Street to slow down while keeping people crossing the street safely. The public's perception so far is mixed. Pedestrians said they'd like to see more.

"I think it's a start," said pedestrian Taylor Thomas. "I think we definitely need to have speed bumps down here for sure."

"Stoplights at each four-way stop would be the most productive for the pedestrians," said pedestrian Diana Seefus.

Pedestrians said the changes are a step in the right direction for the moment.

"I think they're worth a shot and I think hopefully that people will see them, and slow down because of it," said Merrill.

There have been 14 accidents reported in the Blackstone area over the past 7 years, including one fatality.

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