Transportation In Omaha
Transportation in Omaha, Nebraska, includes most major modes, such as pedestrian, bicycle, automobile, bus, train and airplane. While early transportation consisted of ferries, stagecoaches, steamboats, street railroads, and railroads, the city's transportation systems have evolved to include the Interstate Highway System, parklike boulevards and a variety of bicycle and pedestrian trails. The historic head of several important emigrant trails and the First Transcontinental Railroad, its center as a national transportation hub earned Omaha the nickname "Gate City of the West" as early as the 1860s.
During a tumultuous pioneer period characterized by its centrality in proximity to the Western United States, transportation in Omaha demanded the construction of massive warehouses where frontier settlers could stock up and communities west of Omaha got food and supplies to build themselves with. Riverboats and stagecoaches jammed the riverside city with a variety of newcomers, prospectors and shady characters. Early Omaha also landed the Union Pacific Railroad headquarters, leading to its important place in national railroad lore.
After quickly growing into a city, Omaha failed to pave its streets accordingly. A chaotic transportation system was highlighted by several miles of successful horsecar tracks; however, the city only ever had four miles (6 km) of cable car service. Several early suburbs were built on reliance of service from these lines, including Dundee, Benson and Kountze Place. In the early 1880s an extensive boulevard system was built to create a park-like atmosphere for drivers throughout the city. The Trans-Mississippi Exposition in 1889 led to the construction of many new transportation features, particularly the magnificent Burlington Station.
In the 1930s the city's transportation system was marred by violent protests. Transit workers wanted to unionize, and with the main company's management against any effort to change Omaha's reputation as a non-unionized city. After the introduction of buses in the early 1950s, streetcars were closed down, and in the last years of the decade the city began construction on its components in the Interstate Highway System.
Today Omaha's transportation system is growing with the city, and trails for bicycles and pedestrians, as well as public transportation, highways and parkways, and other innovations are being developed. The city has a section of the Lincoln Highway listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and there are more than 100 miles (160 km) of Interstate and freeway lanes, more than any other area in the state of Nebraska.
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