People Against Two-Way Street Construction in North East Omaha

By: Leah Uko

OMAHA (KPTM) - A north eastOmaha neighborhood with heavy traffic may get even busier after a two-waystreet conversion project is complete.

Construction crews started aproject on Monday that will turn Cass Street to Ohio Street on 19thStreet, 20th Street and Florence Boulevard into two-way streets,instead of the one-way streets they are currently.

Construction Engineer withthe City of Omaha's Public Works Department, Tim O'Brien, said the projectshould be done in 58 calendar days.

Crews spent the first dayrestriping pavement. O'Brien told FOX 42 News that majority of the work wouldconsist of restriping the pavement and adjusting traffic signals to allowone-way traffic in each direction.

Currently 20thStreet runs south, while 19th Street and Florence Boulevard runnorth. Once the construction is complete the streets will run both north andsouth.

Not everyone was happy aboutthe developments.

Terry Grixby drives hisschool bus on 20th Street every day and said a one-way directionkept traffic steady.

"It's going to be a ton of trafficthat comes through here," Grixby continued. "With all these little kids--at leastwith it being one way it was easier."

Dennis Lyons, who has livedin the area for 40 years, said he feared the two-way streets would create chaosand danger.

"Bad idea. It's too muchgoing on. You got elderly people, they used to this," Lyons continued. "It'sbeen like this for years. I've been down here for 30, 40 years and it's beenthe same way. Why change it now?"

But for people like KeraGrixby, whose house was on the corner or 20th and Ohio streets, atwo-way street was a safe solution for careless drivers that, in the past, haddriven the opposite direction.

"They had came up here andthey hit my house, they hit the neighbor's house and then was in the middle ofthe street," Grixby continued. "I hope it's better than it was before becauseall that one-way and hitting cars and stuff, houses--I just hope it's betterthan it is."