Latest Blog Posts

Roundabouts on the South Side

May 25, 2006 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The Department of Roads is talking about using roundabouts on Saltillo Road at 14th and 27th Streets, as well as one just west of Highway 77. Lincoln’s love affair with roundabouts began on Sheridan Boulevard, with the conversion of the intersections at 33rd and 40th Streets. Those intersections seem to work very well. But how well will they work on Saltillo Road, where heavy traffic and four lane roads are likely? It’s tough to say so early in the process. I wouldn’t mind seeing more roundabouts in action around Lincoln, but the proposed locations concern me just a bit. It will be easier to make a judgment after more detailed plans are available.

Lincoln’s Rich and Powerful Get Naughty

May 24, 2006 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

What is it about the rich and powerful that causes them to have to get their kicks via foul, abusive, and “racially charged” humor and lots and lots of alcohol? Is it just me, or does Monday’s Lincoln Community Playhouse fundraiser sound a lot like something that would come straight out of a frat house?

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good foul joke. (One of my favorite movies is Southpark: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut.) Stories like this just make me go “hmmm”, that’s all.

Oso Too?

May 23, 2006 at 5:45pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

It’s rumor time, boys and girls. A little bird tells me that Oso Burrito might be looking to add a second location, perhaps on Lincoln’s south side. If it’s true, it’s a big win for local restaurateur Nader Sepahpur. Stay tuned…

Star Tran Survey

May 23, 2006 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Star Tran is conducting a ridership survey on its buses. I was impressed by how many people not only picked up the survey, but actually completed it and handed it to the driver. I was also extremely impressed by the quality of the survey. Few people know how to write a good survey. The Star Tran survey was well written and I only had a couple nits to pick. If it had one big flaw it was the survey’s length (1 sheet, front and back), which might scare off some of Star Tran’s primary riders. But making it shorter would have required sacrificing some items Star Tran probably wasn’t willing to sacrifice.

The survey’s final question was a predictable one: how would you make Star Tran better? There are a host of possibilities, but I think the one thing Star Tran really needs to take a serious look at is discarding the single-hub model and adopting a multi-hub approach. Currently almost every route loops through Downtown. That means if you want to cross from the north side of town to the south, you first have to go through Downtown. Even if you want to go from 70th and Havelock to 70th and A. It’s silly and impractical in a city Lincoln’s size. A multi-hub model comes with its own downsides, but I think it’s worth looking into.

What one thing would you say would improve Star Tran?

Java or Greenspace on Van Dorn

May 23, 2006 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Neighbors again made their opposition known regarding a proposed commercial development between 9th, 10th, Hill, and Van Dorn Streets. Developers want to built a Starbucks, dry cleaners, and sandwich shop; neighbors want green space.

I said it once before and I’ll say it again: done well, the proposed development is much more likely to raise property values than to harm them. The neighbors’ resistance to the change is understandable, but ultimately uncompelling. Their demand for additional green space is difficult to support considering the ample park space available just across Van Dorn Street in Van Dorn Park. Instead, I am swayed by the developer’s willingness to do something productive and tasteful with the property. That anybody wants to do anything with the property, rather than maintaining the current state of weeds and dillapidated housing, is good news.

The plan isn’t perfect—I don’t like that both the exits and one of the entrances place traffic pressure on Hill Street, for example—but it’s solid. Lincoln already threw away a perfectly valid development at another entrance to Downtown, furthering the city’s reputation for being bad for business. Let’s not screw up this one, too.

The Dogs are In Town

May 23, 2006 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The Saltdogs are in town tonight for their home opener. I’m headed to the game with The Missus to help corral a group of kids from her school. I’m used to either carrying a whistle or wearing a chest protector and mask when dealing with teenagers. How will I survive without them?

Redesign Preview: New Directory

May 20, 2006 at 7:12pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I have been unhappy with the Directory for quite a while. So as part of the Lincolnite redesign, I completely rethought the Directory. As of about five minutes ago, the Directory is now a wiki. Well, it’s still under wraps, but when it is unveiled it wiill be a wiki. The design still needs some work, but I like the idea so far. We’ll see how it works out.

Which brings me to my big question: would anybody out there care to be a moderator? Your task would be to help keep the riffraff from abusing the collaborative aspect of the wiki concept, and I would also hope that you would be motivated enough to be a frequent contributor to the Directory. If you think that sounds like something you would like to do, drop me an e-mail at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). In your e-mail please explain why you would like to be a moderator, and include any other information you think might be pertinent (e.g. a particular area of expertise). And no, this is not a paying gig. Maybe I’ll buy you lunch now and then.

Redesign Preview: New Logo

May 19, 2006 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Lincolnite is undergoing a redesign behind the scenes. Here’s a preview of the new logo:

Lincolnite: Lincoln's Online Community

Friday Five

May 19, 2006 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Five goods and bads about Star Tran:

  • Good: gets me to and from work every day / Bad: takes a little longer than driving
  • Good: allows me to do my little part to save the earth / Bad: air quality and temperature inside the bus are sometimes poor
  • Good: great for people watching / Bad: some riders are annoying
  • Good: I get to read or relax rather than having to focus on driving / Bad: squeaky brakes and the occasional bad driver make relaxation tough some days
  • Good: over the years I have saved thousands of dollars on gasoline, vehicle maintenance, parking, and so on / Bad: now I don’t have a good excuse to buy a new car

De Facto Beltway

May 19, 2006 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Jeanine Bryceson makes a good point in her letter to the LJS editor:

Now, aren’t the city leaders of Lincoln proud? They have made a bypass on the eastern edge of the city! Of course it goes through residential areas, past 11 churches, schools, has stoplights, is crossed by bike paths, school crossings and pedestrian crossings. And they call it the Truck Route.

This is 84th Street, not bypass, not truck route. What is going to happen when one of the speeding trucks or cars does not get stopped at the lights?

Lincoln has always been 25 years behind and I guess will continue to be since they still allow people to buy up properties that they should have held years ago for a real bypass for this city. They continue to let people build everywhere but have no routes to move traffic from one side of the city to the other, around it or over it safely.

Look at what Omaha has for moving traffic! Where has Lincoln been?

When visitors talk about the driving conditions in Lincoln, it makes me ashamed of an otherwise beautiful and friendly city.

We have lacked leaders who can see into the future and plan for it.

It’s true, 84th Street is the de facto east beltway. The street is wide, traffic flows reasonably well, and it’s straight as an arrow from north to south. In fact, that’s one reason why Lincoln has been able to avoid an east beltway for so long: it is harder to justify an expensive, controversial solution when there hasn’t been much of a problem to solve.

Ms. Bryceson’s conclusion is a bit off the mark, though. Lincoln’s leaders have been able to see into the future clearly. The catch is that they simply made different decisions based on their vision than leaders of other cities made. For example, Omaha plowed I-480 right through the middle of a residential area; Lincoln routed I-80 far to the north precisely because the city didn’t want a freeway near its neighborhoods. Where one city saw the importance of traffic flow, the other saw the importance of protecting neighborhood continuity. Lincoln feared sprawl and the destruction of Downtown. Indeed, looking at similar cities around the country, it seems their fears were justified. Other communities feared inefficient traffic flow and stifled economic development opportunities. Plenty of folks can argue pretty convincingly that that’s what Lincoln has seen over the years.

Interestingly, Lincoln seems to be changing course. The Antelope Valley project and the south and east beltway projects, along with the move to bump Highway 77 to freeway status, are all symptoms of a new acceptance of the importance of traffic flow around the city. Which begs two questions: 1) Is it too late? 2) Other than the Antelope Valley project, what about intracity traffic flow?

Conserve Our Water

May 19, 2006 at 2:00am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Once again Lincoln is asking its residents to follow voluntary water conservation measures to help prevent mandatory measures later in the year. As usual, if your address ends:

  • in an even number, limit outdoor water use to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
  • in an odd number, limit outdoor water use to Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday

It really isn’t asking much to limit your water use in this way, so please do your best.

Lincoln Teams Go 2-2 at State Soccer

May 18, 2006 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

The girls are runners-up, the boys are champions. That’s the way the State Soccer Tournament finished up. The Pius X girls lost 3-2 to Omaha Skutt on Tuesday, and the East girls lost 1-0 to Millard North last night. On the boys side, Pius X beat Skutt 1-0, and East defeated Millard South 1-0. Congratulations to all the teams on their great seasons!

Since I mentioned it several times leading up to this point, I suppose I should reveal that I did not end up getting a center at state, but I was an AR on the Class B boys match. My father, on the other hand, did earn a center. He reffed last night’s Class A girls match. Overall, five of the 16 referees in the finals were from Lincoln, including two of the four centers.

DCI in Lincoln

May 17, 2006 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I know it’s early, but I want to make sure folks have heard that the Cornhusker Marching Band is hosting a Drum Corps International show on July 13 at Memorial Stadium. Dubbed the Cornhusker Summer Music Games, the event will feature:

  • The Cadets
  • The Cavaliers
  • Crossmen
  • Blue Stars

Drum Corps International shows are some of the best, high-energy, family-friendly entertainment you can find. Given the quality of the performers and Husker fans’ support of the Cornhusker Marching Band, I expect this show to be quite the event.

Tickets are available through the Lied Center box office for $17 to $27.

For Sale

May 17, 2006 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I haven’t actually counted, but I’m fairly certain that at least 50% of the houses in Lincoln are for sale, recently sold, or about to go on the market. And of those, a hefty chunk are for sale by owner. Maybe it’s just me, but it sure seems like For Sale signs have been popping up on Lincoln lawns like dandelions. For those of you either buying or selling, how is the housing market treating you right now? Is it as much a buyer’s market as I’ve been led to believe? Has anybody else noticed an abundance of houses for sale, or is it just me?

Four Wins for Lincoln?

May 16, 2006 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

Lincoln could find itself with as many as four State Champion soccer teams this week. In Class B action tonight, the Pius X boys and girls both take on Omaha Skutt. In Class A action tomorrow night, the East girls face Millard North, while the East boys will face Millard South for the 3rd time this season (having won 5-0 and 3-2 in prior meetings). Congratulations, Pius and East, and good luck!

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