Business owner brings up potential challenges of Omaha streetcar route

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – Those responsible for installing streetcars in Omaha are trying to allay neighbors’ concerns. An entrepreneur along the proposed route shows what has been bothering him in recent months.

“I’m the 4th generation and I have three of my kids who work here,” says Tom Koley.

Tom Koley’s Omaha business is a family affair. His great-grandfather is on the exterior mural of Koley’s Incorporated.

For more than 100 years, the core task has remained the same.

Repairing and repairing metal and custom builds. The pieces are often heavy, but it is delicate work, especially the beautiful ecclesiastical objects. This also includes large appliances. And to move products and bring in supplies, semi-finished products are a necessary part of doing business.

“The semi-finals will get their nose out the front and then back in. And I’ll get my crew to stop the traffic,” Koley said.

This is his concern, the tram route goes past his front door, straight down Harney Street. He worries that since the tram is running on schedule, what will happen if one of his semis backs up to its loading dock, a process that takes skill and time?

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Those responsible for installing streetcars in Omaha are trying to allay neighbors’ concerns.

Tom Koley, who supports the tram project, shared the challenge with those responsible on Monday.

“I think it’s a great idea, but practically we’ve been around for a long time and I’d love to stay in the company,” Koley said.

And for the first time, the old entrepreneur got an answer. Something that should be reassuring to the number of other businesses along the six-mile track on the tram route.

‘You share the space. The design approach should be to respect the use of that space because we share it. There is a very strong determination of the design standards for streetcars to ensure that we can work with the neighboring companies,” said Rick Gustafson, interim director of Omaha Streetcar Authority.

Although the city is still two years away from construction, time will be critical for navigating and troubleshooting along the route.

“They said we would share the street together and I hope they will. We will do everything we can to make this project a success,” said Koley.

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It’s not just semi-finals and other challenges that the tram route brings. Don’t forget that here on Harney there is a dedicated bike path where the tram tracks would go east.

In the past hour, the Omaha City Council passed a resolution urging public works and the mayor to investigate this pilot project and its data and decide whether a bike path and a streetcar can co-exist here and if not, where the bike paths have to come .

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