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Old 04-11-2007, 07:12 PM
Location: West Omaha
1,181 posts, read 3,652,191 times
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There have been recent attempts to get Omaha and Lincoln to really get serious about a more cooperative partnership. In the past, efforts have been made to further develop the interstate corridor between Omaha and Lincoln which would serve to more intimately connect the two cities. The result would be a metro area of well over 1 million people. This has garnered more attention as of late because of the near continuous development that now exists between western Omaha and eastern Lincoln.

This would then allow Omaha-Lincoln to more effectively compete with other dual city metros like Minneapolis-St. Paul, Dallas-Ft. Worth, and etc. Being thought of as one statistical geographical area would help garner more national attention which encourage more large businesses to come into the metro area more readily. I don't recall the article that I last read on issue, but the relevant task force was shooting for a 2010 implementation of a united statistical region. Statistically it would basically be like adding about 300,000 people to Omaha's population. Granted, as of right now, the connection may be somewhat artificial, as there are clearly two communities. However, with a focus on this process and another 10 to 20 years I think the connection would seem pretty natural.

Any thoughts on the issue?

Last edited by mattpoulsen; 04-11-2007 at 07:21 PM..
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Old 04-11-2007, 08:02 PM
Location: Omaha, NE
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Default matt..

I believe you are correct... An interesting note to add is that over 50% of people in both Saunders and Cass counties work either in Douglas or Lancaster, both qualifying as an MSA county with Douglas and both CSA county with Lancaster and possible MSA status being attained by either county to Lancaster soon, also reaching MSA status to Lancaster very soon is Saline and Otoe counties... Gage reaching CSA very soon with Lincoln...
Quite a mess of statistics, however the big picture is that the region is spilling out into other areas and growing together, to me they are starting to behave like one CSA...
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Old 04-11-2007, 08:26 PM
Location: West Omaha
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I don't recall the approximate population that they quoted but I would probably estimate it at around 1.2 to 1.3 million. That would include Omaha, Lincoln, Council Bluffs, and all the smaller towns and communities down the I-80 corridor. Again, that's not L.A. but its not exactly a "cow" town either.
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Old 04-12-2007, 02:19 AM
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska (moving to Ohio)
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Omaha CSA 860,000 people and Lincoln MSA 280,000 people means between the two the population is about 1,140,000 people.

Dallas-Fort Worth are of course far, far larger and far more devoloped then Omaha/Lincoln. Minneapolis borders St. Paul so there is a large difference in my opinion between Omaha/Lincoln and Dallas/Fort Worth and Minneapolis/St. Paul.

Omaha/Lincoln is much like a smaller version of the Denver/Colorado Springs and Minneapolis/St. Cloud situation. Basically, all three areas have about 30-40 miles between the metropolitan areas that are not urbanized on a large scale. But each slowly have urbanized areas creeping closer and closer towards one another. Even though these metropolitan areas are moving closer and closer every year.

However, Omaha/Lincoln could become like a Minneapolis/St. Cloud which is one (CSA) or a Denver/Colorado Springs on the other hand which is not and likely will not be in the same (CSA) anytime soon. I think Omaha/Lincoln is more like the Denver/Colorado Springs (not a CSA) then a Minneapolis/St. Cloud (a CSA)

Alot of the reason why Colorado Springs/Denver arent the same (CSA) is because Douglas County, Colorado residents largely commute to Denver and not to Colorado Springs where the economy is far weaker. Thus because not enough people commute to Colorado Springs from Douglas County it doesnt have a enough commuters going to both places to become a (CSA).
This is the type of situation the Omaha/Lincoln is in where Omaha has the much stronger economy (Omaha) and the other one has a relatively weak economy (Lincoln)

On the other hand Sherbourne (spelling) county, Minnesota residents both commute in large numbers to both St. Cloud and Minneapolis where both cities have relatively strong job bases.

I think this might indicate that Omaha and Lincoln are more then likely not going to be the same CSA anytime soon. Cass County residents have far more job oppurtunities in Omaha then Lincoln and I heavily the doubt the employment interchange rates are high enough for Omaha/Lincoln to be one CSA.

It seems to be about 30 miles from where the Lincoln urbanized area stops (Waverly) to where the Omaha urbanized area begins around Gretna (exit 438?). So while they do have some rural distance between Omaha's urbanized area continue to work its way further into Cass County. Lincoln's expansion on the other hand is mainly to the South.

In my opinion they could have an publicly operated inter-city transit carrier (like Denver to Colorado Springs has).

Last edited by MattDen; 04-12-2007 at 02:30 AM..
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Old 04-12-2007, 12:41 PM
Location: West Omaha
1,181 posts, read 3,652,191 times
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You must also include populations from Council Bluffs and all the small towns that run between Omaha and Lincoln. I would guess, as of right now, the number would be about 1.3 million.

Yeah, I agree that as of right now it wouldn't be a natural as Dallas/Ft. Worth or Minn/St.Paul. However, with a concentrated effort to foster this process and 10 to 20 more years of corridor development the two will be a pretty natural fit.

You also have to remember that Lincoln and Omaha bring different things to the table. Lincoln is the state capital and home of the state's largest and most recognizable University. It also possesses some pretty nice "big" name companies that would only expand operations if this expansion occurred. On the other hand, in general, Omaha does bring a more robust economy. I don't really think it matters who commutes where. Of course, more people will commute to the city with over 3 times the population. However, Lincoln has several offerings that Omaha does not and will bring plenty to the table. The point is that through this cooperation both cities will benefit by bringing in more out of state investment dollars.

I agree that they have about 30 miles to fill. However, that is kind of my point with this. Lincoln's expansion is primarily to the south, but I'm suggesting that both cities make a concentrated effort to expand down the corridor.
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Old 04-12-2007, 01:06 PM
Location: Downtown Omaha
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As much as I would like to see the population be over 1,000,000 I do not think 30 miles of sprawl is the way to go about it. In fact I don't think it should be that much of a perogative to connect the two cities. Both cities should concentrate on their own growth and eventually they could get to a CSA. Even though Omaha and Lincoln aren't in the same CSA they are close enough that they do have a special relationship to each other.
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Old 04-12-2007, 01:30 PM
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska (moving to Ohio)
673 posts, read 3,753,447 times
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I couldnt agree more with the sprawl just to have the prestige of calling it a Combined Statistical Area. Omaha should work on expanding its urban neighborhoods and downtown which are very mediocre now and could be vastly improved.
Dozens of miles of sprawl leading to a city (Lincoln) that has seen better days and is very, very unvisionary is not the answer.

As far being a Combined Statistical area I know that St. Cloud is in the same one as Minneapolis and that just being included in the same sentence as theTwin Cities on a population count hasnt automatically caused St. Cloud to be a big economic player.

Omaha should work at increasing its density in the downtown and central areas. Omaha is at an advantage that much of the housing stock in the center of the city is unattractive, wooden framed blighted with low property values which would make it prime for redevolopment. Overall currently, Omaha's urban amenities and neighborhoods could be much improved, although they seem to be making an effort.

I guess Omaha some big projects between 72nd and downtown are being built which are high density which is great because it makes Omaha seen much more urban and not so much like a suburban city.

As far as Lincoln goes I do think the state should stabilize and not completely ignore it the city but a vast majority of economic and business devolopment incentives should go to the Omaha area as its much larger, has far more economic prestige and a much more devoloped infrastructure. Look at the roads system in Omaha compared to Lincoln although it would be nice if Omaha has a trolley line and small light-rail line is the center of town it sure does have a much better road infrastructure then Lincoln.

I think having a high-rise corridor, improving the area between downtown and UNO having a much larger entertainment corridor downtown is much better then just having 30 miles of primarily cookie-cutter style housing types that lead towards a fairly low economic growth area such as Lincoln.
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Old 04-12-2007, 03:03 PM
Location: West Omaha
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Sprawl is not an issue, especially in the midwest. Take Kansas City for example. That city just goes forever! Its also not about the prestige of being a CSA. By being combined statistically economic opportunities will become available that wouldn't be available if they remain separate.

I would also add that this is something that absolutely is going to happen. The question is should Omaha and Lincoln work to accelerate the process. By being forward looking I think they have an opportunity to develop the corridor between the two cities in a way that far exceeds the I-80 culture that exists today. This is always a problem with cities trying to break out of adolescence...they need to use visionary not reactionary thinking. Admittedly, that is something Lincoln has struggled with the last 10 years...not much forward thinking. By getting ahead of the curve the infrastructure and economic development along the corridor can make the eventual melding of the two cities much more beneficial.

Its eventually going to happen...I just think we should do everything reasonable to get the most out of the joining of the two cities.
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Old 04-12-2007, 04:14 PM
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I remain amazed at the plans and pronouncements about the future that depend on the next ten years being just like the last ten. By 2017 we will all be 11 years past the peak in world oil production, 12 years past the peak in North American natural gas production, and 15 years past the time when world grain production last met world grain demand. The sprawl of suburbs that depend on cheap oil and abundant natural gas will be little more than abandoned slums, and most of the current residents of the Omaha-Lincoln metroplex will either be back on granddad's farm relearning how to grow their own food (assuming the Great Plains west of the Missouri haven't reverted to desert due to climate change) or searching for homes within walking/biking/commuter bus line distance of their jobs.
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Old 04-12-2007, 04:38 PM
Location: West Omaha
1,181 posts, read 3,652,191 times
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Oh please! You predict of the oncoming disaster due to dependence on oil, but refuse to predict new and developing technologies. I would also add that adjusted for inflation our oil prices are hardly at their peak.

And if you're going to start predicting deserts due to climate change then you might as well mention that those on the coasts better start growing gills. You have no ability whatsoever to predict these outcomes!

Why do you assume that by 2017 we'll be 11 years past peak oil production, 12 years past peak natural gas production, and 15 years past the last time grain production met demand? Are you assuming these things will not be met or peak again?? You have no basis for that. Besides grain production is not and has never been the issue! The issue is distribution and it always has been. Why you even bring that issue up is beyond me!

Are you not aware of the multiple numbers of wind-farming projects that are being planned and developed in Nebraska? Then you add that to the fact Nebraska has one of the best underground aquifer systems in the country and I think Nebraska may not be such a bad place to be in your doomsday scenario...which i don't buy.
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