Close the Gap White Paper
The Close the Gap Plan advocates creating more walkable, livable cities, suburbs and neighborhoods. Its overall vision focuses on expanding different transportation options that aim to build a more robust transit system, and as a result, help the Omaha-Council Bluffs Metropolitan Area grow its economy and improve the quality of life for residents.
It’s faster, more convenient, and easy to use. Plus premium transportation options bring additional benefits to the community such as:
- Providing access to jobs and education
- Attracting and retaining talent
- Fostering more active lifestyles to improve public health
- Relieving traffic congestion
- Creating great, vibrant places
- Saving public funds though more cost-effective infrastructure.
MAPA’s Heartland 2050 regional visioning project has released the Close the Gap White Paper and Executive Summary. These documents analyzed potential corridors, within the metro area, suitable for enhanced transit services and redevelopment. The plan proposes several locations for premium upgrades that will utilize cutting edge technology and permanent infrastructure. There are five main areas for consideration – the East-West Regional Spine (Dodge to Broadway), North-South Regional Spine (30th-24th Street), Downtown to UNMC, 72nd and 84th Street Corridors, and the Center and Maple Corridors.
The idea is to build off of previous plans to further connect the region’s jobs, entertainment centers and educational institutions. Currently, Metro manages all operating costs and services successfully compared to peer agencies. However, without new funding sources, maintenance or improvements become difficult. By securing regional funding, it will help maintain and expand Metro’s infrastructure, as well as providing more opportunities to reduce future congestion through new roads, transit, walking and biking trails.
MAPA is leading a study on the economic benefits to the region of enhanced transit services. The study is underway and is expected to conclude in late Spring 2018.
To read the Close the Gap Executive Summary or for more information on projects, efforts and future plans, check out the Close the Gap webpage at http://heartland2050.org/vision/what-were-doing/#layout-0