OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The bike trails throughout the Omaha metro will soon be open 24/7 and 365 days a year after Omaha City Council approval on Tuesday.
Before this, the city trail system closed from 11 p.m. to 5 p.m. and that will still be the rule for visiting city parks, outside an emergency.
It was an easy vote for many city council members.
“It sends the right message. We should encourage and not discourage multi-mobile transit on all our trail systems and I think this is what that does,” said Festersen.
The city previously didn’t allow this because Omaha Police couldn’t properly patrol the trails.
Parks Director Matt Kalcevich said Omaha Police will evaluate how they can do this for a year, but other cities like Boulder, Colorado, and Parks City, Utah had no issues.
“The national data is limited but nothing overwhelming in terms of negative feedback to give us pause on activation of new policies in places where a similar concept has been implemented," he said.
Scooters and e-bikes will also be allowed, which gave some council members pause.
“One of the issues that I still have a little angst about is allowing the scooters on the trails,” said Harding.
Harding said this will also continue to be evaluated, but is at ease by the fact that scooters already aren’t allowed anywhere in the city during the late-night hours.
So now bicycles, scooters, runners, and walkers can now roam the trails all day and all night.
“Just very appreciative for keeping the trails open 24 hours because people are always talking about multi-modal and such like that and people get thrown off on what that is, and that includes walking, so we don’t want to criminalize walking,” said Manne Cook, Urban Development Director at Spark.