Improve Conditions for Pedestrians and
Bicyclists in the P Street Corridor
A crucial motive for the redesign of P Street identified in the Lincoln Downtown Master Plan, and echoed in the Lincoln Downtown Master Plan Update, was the desire and need for a “pedestrian-oriented” street.
STRATEGY 1: Increase Sidewalk Width
The width of existing sidewalks in the P Street Corridor vary from 7’ to 12’. This design expands sidewalk width to 20’ on the north side of P Street and 18’ on the south side. The design team recommends a minimum of 18’ from the front of curb to building face in order to accommodate outdoor dining space, a clear zone for pedestrians and space for planting and seating amenities. The wider sidewalk also increases the distance between pedestrians and moving vehicles, enhancing real and perceived safety.
STRATEGY 2: Decrease Crosswalk Distances
Shorter crosswalk distances correspond with an increase in pedestrian safety by minimizing conflicts between pedestrians and cars at intersections throughout the Corridor. With new traffic lane widths, expanded sidewalks and curb bulb-outs, the crosswalk distances in the recommended design are decreased from 52’ to 35’ creating a safer and more pedestrian-friendly P Street.
STRATEGY 3: Increase Bike Parking Capacity
Studies have found that increasing bicycle parking in urban areas can result in an increase in commercial activity. Bike racks currently dispersed through the P Street Corridor have the capacity to hold 112 bikes. Best Practices guides for bicycle planning recommend that the Corridor support a minimum of 108 bicycles. The new framework for the Corridor exceeds this number by planning for a total bike parking capacity of 168 bicycles. Not only will this support P Street businesses, but it also supports multi-modal transit options in the Corridor.
STRATEGY 4: Increase Bike Parking Locations
The P Street Corridor currently hosts 38 bike racks. These racks have an irregular presence throughout the Corridor. Best practices for bicycle racks would recommend a minimum of 54 racks in the Corridor that would be sited within 50’ of every actively used entrance. The recommended design envisions 84 bike racks regularly dispersed at active locations throughout the Corridor.
STRATEGY 5: Increase Public Perception
Improving aesthetic quality of the streetscape will not only enhance the visual experience of the corridor, but it can significantly impact the amount of foot traffic realized by the Corridor. When asked the question “How would you rate the appearance of P Street?” 22% of community members responded “Good.” In final public meetings, 87% of community members in attendance liked and supported the overall design concept. The implantation of this design would result in a 67% increase in perceived aesthetic quality of the street.
STRATEGY 6: Increase Seating Opportunities
Seating is an important part of vibrant public spaces. It allows pedestrians to rest, socialize, read and people-watch. Currently P Street has 18 benches, allowing for 54 seats. New York City Plaza Design Standards recommend one linear foot of seating for every 21 linear feet of street frontage. This benchmark suggests that the new framework for the P Street Corridor support at least 37 benches and 222 seats. The proposed design includes 110 benches dispersed throughout the Corridor to encourage moments for pause and interaction down the entirety of the street.
STRATEGY 7: Increase Urban Canopy
The protective and cooling effects of increased shade can significantly improve the pedestrian environment, especially during the hot Midwestern summer. The average existing canopy cover in the Corridor is 7.6%. Recommended canopy cover for business districts is 15% of the total area. The recommended design increases the canopy cover to 38.5%.
STRATEGY 8: Provide Support for Multi-Modal Transit
This master plan provides Downtown Lincoln pedestrians with a variety of transit options. The design includes support for a plan for more efficient bus transit, potential space for a P Street shuttle and the cycle-track on 14th Street in the future.
> Pedestrian-oriented streets are capitalized into office, retail, residential and industrial property values. The greater the walkability of a street, the higher the property value.
> Real and perceived safety issues play a significant role in the measurement of Pedestrian and Bicycle Level of Service. Improved lighting facilities and shorter crosswalk distances will allow pedestrians and bicyclists to feel and be safe.
> Aesthetics impact how pedestrians and bicyclists experience the urban environment. Increased aesthetic quality through streetscape improvements and the visual additions of landscape and art will increase the pedestrian and bicyclist conditions of the P Street Corridor.