R Street renovation features bike lanes, parking adjustments

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R Street renovation features bike lanes, parking adjustments
Construction begins July 17 and will continue through August

The renovation along R Street will temporarily close all parking between 12th and 14th streets starting July 18. When complete, the project will feature bike lanes, sidewalk improvements and parallel parking from 12th to 16th streets.
Craig Chandler | University Communication
The renovation along R Street will temporarily close all parking between 12th and 14th streets starting July 18. When complete, the project will feature bike lanes, sidewalk improvements and parallel parking from 12th to 16th streets.

A roadway renovation will introduce dedicated bike lanes, enhanced aesthetics and improved pedestrian safety to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s main drag.

The project, which includes designs by a University of Nebraska–Lincoln graduate student and current employee, will feature updates along R Street between 12th and 16th streets. The work is being conducted in concert between the university and City of Lincoln. It will impact vehicle and pedestrian traffic from July 17 to Aug. 21.

The university portion includes updates between curb and sidewalk on the north and south sides of R Street, between 12th and 14th streets. The work will feature new concrete apron for parking meters, paver installation at meters, new plantings and future additions, including benches and planters.

The city will oversee the reconfiguration of street parking from a mix of parallel and angled to all parallel, allowing for the addition of separated bike lanes running east and west. The new bike lanes are in accordance with the city’s recently adopted bike plan.

The reconfiguration will allow for safer sight distances at crosswalks along R Street, improving pedestrian safety along the busy campus roadway.

The university’s initial design for the project grew from a class project completed by Ann Powers, a research technician with agronomy and horticulture and former landscape services employee. Her design — which aimed to improve the aesthetic along R Street — has been incorporated into the city’s plan to extend bike lanes through campus on the roadway.

The overall project is also based on studies conducted in the 1990s and 2000s.

“In bringing these two projects together, the intent is to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety in this corridor,” said Emily Casper, assistant director for landscape services and campus landscape architect. “When complete, it will provide infrastructure for bike mobility and increased visibility for pedestrians. It will also be a more inviting and comfortable environment for all users.”

The change to all-parallel parking will reduce the number of parking spaces on R Street. However, that loss coupled with recent city updates to nearby parking along 16th and 17th streets, results in a net gain of 17 stalls in the heart of Nebraska’s City Campus.

All on-street parking on R Street will be unavailable for removal of striping and meter updates on July 17. Parking spaces from 14th to 16th streets will be available starting July 18, while on-street stalls from 12th to 14th streets will be closed through the completion of the project.

R Street will also be closed to complete striping of the new bike lanes. Notice of the closures will be announced.

Signage will also redirect pedestrian traffic as sidewalk enhancements progress.

Additional updates will be provided as needed.