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Pedestrians, neighbors share concerns over stretch of Farnam Street

Posted at 11:03 PM, Apr 25, 2022

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — It’s been a ritual that drivers along Farnam Street between Saddle Creek Road and Happy Hollow Road have followed for over sixty years. The two-lane road becomes a one-way during certain parts of the day.

From 7 a.m. to 9 a. m. Farnam turns into a one-way for eastbound traffic, and again from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. for westbound traffic.

"I think after you get the hang of it, it's a little bit better," said pedestrian, Teagan Mieth. "It still takes an adjustment even after a while."

While some commuters may have gotten the hang of it over the years. Pedestrians familiar with the road have their concerns.

"That’s always a bit sketchy when you see somebody coming the wrong way," said pedestrian Rachel Poulsen.

The city said neighbors along Farnam also have concerns about the street, they worked with a consultant to complete a traffic study.

"What we’ve learned is that it is feasible to make [Farnam] a two-way 24 hours a day, which appears to be what the residents of the neighborhood want," said City Engineer Todd Pfitzer.

Plans would see the partial one-way status gone along Farnam Street. It would also include changes at the 50th and 52nd Street intersections.

Options the city is considering include adding turning lanes or roundabouts, Pfitzer said there are pros and cons to each.

"[The roundabout option] will cause traffic backups worse than if we modify the signals," he said.

Pfitzer added the addition of turning lanes would mean more traffic lights at the intersections.

"The signals cost more and they’re not as safe because more than 40% of our crashes are a result of red-light running," said Pfitzer.

The city will keep collecting input from both neighbors and commuters, while pedestrians are hoping for an option that makes their walk to and from work safer

The city will seek additional public input once an option to move forward is decided.

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