Fix a Street
If you could tackle one road project in Lincoln, what would that project consist of, and why would you choose to do that project? Assume you have a reasonable, but not unlimited, amount of funds to work with.
I have several possibilities on my list, but for this exercise I’m going to say that I would widen South 27th Street between South Street and Highway 2. Assuming that citywide political will doesn’t suddenly shift enough to widen the street to four lanes, I would implement a three lane dynamic solution. The outside two lanes would be used for north/south traffic, while the center lane would be assigned to north, south, or center turn lane (left turn) traffic on a dynamic, computer-controlled basis. The amount of street widening would be minimal, keeping the backlash from the neighborhood relatively subdued. ("Relatively", in this context meaning that they would only pray for my head to fall off, rather than actively seeking to rip it from my neck.) The greatest engineering challenge would be configuring turn lanes at Woods Boulevard, Van Dorn Street, and Sheridan Boulevard (and maybe Calvert Street), but that’s nothing a little creativity can’t handle.
The reason I selected this project is that it would be reasonably inexpensive to implement relative to the expected gains. The most substantial “cost” would be political, rather than financial; after all, who dares to widen a road through such a wealthy neighborhood? The next greatest cost is in the creative energy required to address some of the inherent design hurdles. But I, for one, am willing to give a few neurons some exercise for the benefit of superior traffic flow on one of Lincoln’s most important streets.