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Business Owners Want Two-Way Traffic On Farnam

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Photo: Video by kmtv.com

Business Owners Want Two-Way Traffic On Farnam

By Josh Egbert. CREATED Jan 7, 2014

Omaha, NE- Big changes could be on the way to historic Farnam Street. The area just beyond Midtown Crossing could be two-way by the spring.

It all have to do with revitalization in the area. With business owners hoping to replicate the success of their counterparts right down the road.

Dan Houlihan has been busy getting the new location of his bar ready for business.

"We've been waiting for this for a long time." said Houlihan.

The Midtown icon is just moving across the street. It's a bigger building with better access for patrons, but there's one big flaw.

"This one way street killed this neighborhood, it did, it turned it into a highway, an artery." said Houlihan.

Farnam is a one-way street from 36th to 42nd, designed to get those who work downtown home quicker. But business owners and residents wanted to change that, so they created The Blackstone Business Improvement District.

"A group of like-minded business people that took an investment in a midtown community that needed it." said Houlihan.

Omaha City Council member Chris Jerram has been working with the BID for several years to turn that stretch of road to a two-way street.

"These property owners, these businesses, these neighbors that live there said let's expand on the success of what we know. Mutual of Omaha did and is just achieving to the east, let's expand to it to the west and put a shot in the arm of reinitializing the neighborhood." said Jerram.

Jerram says the change isn't just about traffic, but turning this once thriving neighborhood back to what it used to be.

"Business owners expressed interest in making their neighborhood more of a destination rather than a speed way on the way home for commuters." said Jerram.

And making it that destination is exactly what Houlihan wants.

"It's a big boom to have a two way street, we've been lobbying for this for a long time." said Houlihan.

If council approves the measure, they'll use about $400,000 dollars in TIF money.