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Downtown bike lanes are there to stay

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Biking

Troy Gagner rides south on 11th Street after work on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2006. (WILLIAM LAUER/Journal Star file photo)

Downtown bicyclists can stop their torrent of letters to the City Council.

The painted bike lanes along 11th and 14th streets in downtown Lincoln will remain when the streets are rehabbed next summer.

The north-south bike lanes would be restriped as part of the project "just as they are now," Thomas Shafer, Public Works design manager, told council members during a public hearing on the downtown street project Monday.

The painted bike lanes became an issue after several council members suggested the city should take another look at whether to keep them.

Bike commuters began a letter-writing campaign to encourage city leaders to keep the lanes unless they are replaced with more protected lanes.

The city's Urban Development Department also is looking at putting a protected bike lane on N Street as part of the downtown renovation project.

The council approved agreements between the city and the state Department of Roads to allow federal funds to pay for construction engineering services for the downtown street resurfacing project and for a citywide micro-surfacing project.

In other action, the council:

* Approved a lease agreement between the city and the Lincoln Trap and Skeet Club for a portion of Boosalis Park, 44th and Superior streets, to be used as a public sporting clay range.

* Approved annexation, change of zone and comprehensive plan changes to encourage the building of a grocery store and other development at Fallbrook in northwest Lincoln.

The development has a commitment from B&R Stores of Lincoln to build a 60,000-square-foot Super Saver near the intersection of U.S. 34 and Fallbrook Boulevard in its MarketPlace retail development, which will be built west of the existing commercial and retail development.

* Approved about $785,000 in tax increment financing bonds that will be used for public-related improvements at Creekside Village, the six-acre development of apartments and townhomes at 10th Street and Military Road.

The development, finished in 2009, was controversial because it was built in a 100-year flood plain.

The development included tearing down the boarded-up, asbestos-laced former Naval Reserve building, and making park improvements.

Reach Nancy Hicks at 402-473-7250 or nhicks@journalstar.com.

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