Today the Lincoln Independent Businesses Association is urging Mayor Beutler and the City of Lincoln to oppose any plan for the redesign of the 14th and Old Cheney intersection which unreasonably takes land from Lincoln’s businesses. Of the three proposed designs, one would require the city to displace five businesses, two of which were built within the past several months.
“LIBA recognizes that the intersection experiences traffic delays, but LIBA also believes that the City of Lincoln and its engineering consultants can work together to find a solution which does not adversely impact community businesses,” said LIBA’s Board Chairman, Joe Bolubasz . “To do this, however, the city must improve its effort to work with Lincoln businesses.” It is true that the city held meetings with certain “steakholders” before the redesigns were proposed, however, not all affected businesses were invited.
“Great strides were made in working with affected business owners when the Mayor’s Chief of Staff, Rick Hoppe, and City Councilman Doug Emery met with owners of Mr. Goodcents, Joyride Bicycles, Scooters Coffee, and more at the LIBA office to discuss the proposed redesigns,” LIBA President Coby Mach said. “We would like to extend our sincere thanks for that meeting and encourage the city Public Works staff to involve affected community members earlier and throughout any redesign process. Lincolnites should not have to learn that their livelihood is in jeopardy from the morning newspaper,” Mach said.
The City of Lincoln must work to balance its most pressing objectives of providing its citizens a safe place to live and raise a family and a healthy business climate to enable them to provide for their families. As such, LIBA insists that the City of Lincoln make construction of a South Beltway its highest roads priority. Currently, Highway 2 in South Lincoln is congested and dangerous with collisions resulting in seventeen deaths in eleven years. These statistics render construction of a South Beltway imperative.
LIBA understands and agrees that the traffic and congestion at the 14th and Old Cheney intersection is a problem for Lincoln citizens. LIBA also believes open collaboration between the city, engineering consultants, and community business owners will enable a solution to benefit Lincoln without disenfranchising job providers.