Gameday, 9/29

Fans gather in the Railyard to watch the Nebraska-Purdue football game in 2018. 

A second experiment with expanding the Railyard's footprint for Husker gameday went well enough the company in charge will soon ask the Lincoln City Council to do it again.

The Railyard expanded for 10 hours onto a closed Canopy Street for the Nebraska-South Alabama football game Saturday, allowing patrons to drink alcohol from the adjacent bars and watch the game on The Cube. 

Katy Martin of Hurrdat, a Lincoln company managing the Railyard, said the environment was exciting and safe. 

Between the pep rally with the Cornhusker Marching Band in the Railyard on Friday night and Saturday's expansion, Martin conservatively estimated the space drew between 3,000 and 4,000 people. 

Saturday morning started foggy and slightly rainy, but that wasn't a deterrent, she said. 

"The crowds came out and so did the sun," she said.

Hurrdat plans to talk with the Lincoln Police Department about how Saturday went from its perspective. 

In the past, police officials expressed concern that expanding the Railyard's footprint would stretch thin a police department already challenged by the influx of visitors to the city. 

Last year, the City Council approved a request for the Purdue game, but Railyard and police officials later said that wasn't a good test case because of the rainy, cold weather and poor record of the teams. 

That day netted only a few police citations. 

Tuesday, Lincoln Police spokeswoman Officer Angela Sands said the department was reviewing the number of liquor and tavern violations, but "there were no major issues in the downtown area reported during the first gameday."

Off-duty officers in the Railyard responded to an average number of alcohol-related disturbances and fights, she said.

"We will continue to work with our community partners in the Railyard to keep gamedays a fun and safe experience for all who patronize the area," Sands said in a statement.

Hurrdat will likely be back in front of the City Council as soon as next week, asking for permission to expand the Railyard again Sept. 28 for the Nebraska-Ohio State game. 

"That’s going to be the biggest game of the year," Martin said.

Music City scooter experience

Lincoln is likely to match Omaha in the dockless, electric scooter craze later this year. 

And while city officials here develop a pilot program to govern their arrival, I decided to research the popular, but sometimes controversial, transportation craze during a weekend in Nashville, Tennessee. 

The scooters are seemingly everywhere in and around the downtown Nashville entertainment districts. I, along with my fianceé, Brigid, and her brother Daniel needed to get from Music Row to South Broadway en route to a rooftop bar overlooking the river. 

We elected to try scooters, and we all took off down Demonbreun Street in the bike lanes together. 

But a short time into my spin on a Lime scooter, I noticed I was falling behind.

Scooters in Nashville

Riley Johnson tests out scooters in downtown Nashville.

As I tried to throttle down and giddy-up, I looked at the digital monitor and saw it had run out of charge. 

I was in the middle of an intersection, luckily with a green light. 

So I put my foot down and hustled down Demonbreun, desperate to catch up to my scootering companions and find a new ride.

I parked mine, upright on a corner, ran across the street and tried to start a Bird scooter that was out of commission. 

Then I crossed the street again and linked up with a fully charged Bird scooter. 

All three of us zoomed the rest of the way down Demonbreun and parked our scooters in a designated on-street zone near the Broadway District. 

Here's some numbers: 

* 16.6 mph — My top speed.

* 0.9 miles — My total distance traveled. 

* $6.01 — Total cost of my trips.

* 0 — Injuries in my group.

Final thoughts: I enjoyed Lime's pay-as-you-go approach. (With Bird, you load money into the app.) Throttling down is fun. Cars seemed to give us room. Helmets were not provided — sorry Mom.

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Reach the writer at 402-473-2657 or rjohnson@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSRileyJohnson.


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