OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — We could see some changes to the segment of Farnam street from Dodge St to 46th St that would put an end to its two-lane one-way traffic during weekday commuter hours.
The City of Omaha Public Works Department is completing a corridor study to improve this segment of Farnam street, converting it to a two-way street permanently, and addressing concerns at the intersections of 50th and 52nd, which have a history of being high crash areas.
The city will be holding a public house Monday night to get feedback from business and property owners in the area and any other members of the public.
Since 1958, the one-way commuter traffic has taken place every weekday from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Tim Lammers has lived on the corner of 50th and Farnam for 18 years.
In his time, he says he’s seen a number of crashes, many right at the 50th street intersection, including one just last Thursday.
“This gets to be a raceway at night and in the morning. I mean it’s not unusual to see people at 40-50 miles per hour,” Lammers said. “I have three daughters that can drive and I tell them to not ever use that other lane. Just go in the lane you’re supposed to, stay in the lane you’re supposed to, because you can never see over the top of these hills who is coming.”
Lammers says he had a trip planned for this week but canceled it when he found out about the open house.
“I think somebody is eventually going to get really hurt, seriously hurt here," Lammers said.
Despite the city saying they want feedback at the open house, Lammers isn’t too confident it will be received.
“Since they haven’t been out to talk to me personally, living on this street corner, we have a lot of valuable information. Both myself, and I know a number of people that live up on 52nd and we certainly could’ve helped them, but my guess is it is just a ‘hey, this is what we’re going to do’ kind of thing,” Lammers said. “I hope they take our opinions and will form those into maybe a change, but again I don’t even know what the plan is yet.”
Lammers says there are pros and cons to the one-way commuter hours but overall that it is dangerous.
He would like to see most of the commuter traffic get moved to Dodge because it is faster and Farnam is in a residential neighborhood.
The open house will take place at the Barbara Weitz Engagement Center on the University of Nebraska-Omaha campus Monday, from 5 p.m. To 7 p.m. in rooms 201, 205, and 209.