South Salt Creek Projects Public Open House

Meeting invitations in various translations:


 Download the Cooper Park Interlocal Cooperative Draft -6.8.2021.pdf(PDF, 653KB)

Download Exhibit A(PDF, 2MB)



 A public open house will be held Wednesday, May 12, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. at Park Middle School, 855 South 8th Street in the Commons area. Enter Door #1. The public open house will offer residents a way to learn more and offer feedback about Cooper Park and Park Middle School planned improvements, and street improvement projects planned for the area. Information presented will include:

  • A new proposed access drive connecting Park Middle School’s parking lot to South 6th Street to enhance safety of students and pedestrians.
  • Shared playfield and play courts at Park Middle School available for community use.
  • Cooper Park improvements, including a new shared playfield with Park Middle School
  • South 8th Street improvement projects, including additional on-street parking along the Cooper Park frontage of the street.
  • Park Middle School traffic planning to increase efficiency and safety during student drop-off and pick-up times.

Lincoln Public Schools, Lincoln Parks and Recreation, and Lincoln Transportation and Utilities team members will share information, answer questions, and collect feedback. Participants will visit information stations organized by topic. Facial coverings/masks will be required. Interpreters will be available at the public open house.

Information Packet Materials

Project Timeline

Download the project timeline(SVG, 520KB) to view detail.


Neighborhood Feedback and Response


Some neighborhood residents were not aware of proposed plans before construction began

  •  Acknowledged.  Working with the neighborhood steering committee, which was formed from neighborhood residents with assistance of NeighborWorks Lincoln, was not enough.  (Five steering committee meetings were held, two public open houses, and two additional meetings—but these meetings were held more than one year before construction began.)
  • City and LPS staff attended April 8 community meeting and April 13 South Salt Creek Neighborhood Association meeting to continue the conversation.
  • Planning Commission review of proposal to transfer land has been delayed/anticipate it will be withdrawn.
  • LTU mailed a postcard about South Salt Creek street improvements including work on So. 8th Street.

Prior meeting invitations may not have reached residents whose first language is not English.  Nearby employers and/or businesses may be able to assist in getting the word out about the next community meeting. 

  • Information about the May 12th community meeting will (1) go home with students from Park Middle School, (2) be posted (in both English and Spanish) in Cooper Park, (3) be displayed on traffic signboards near Cooper Park in advance of the meeting, and (4) be shared with the South Salt Creek Neighborhood Association for distribution to neighborhood residents, businesses, and employers.  Information that goes home with students will be translated into the five languages most common at Park Middle School.
  • Interpreters will be available at the May 12th community meeting.
  • Going forward, the City will prioritize timely and accessible communication with neighborhood residents on Cooper Park-related issues. 

Ownership of Shared-Use Land

 The Park Middle School geo-thermal wellfield is beneath the proposed playfield.  The improved playfield would sit on both City and LPS land.  The City and LPS jointly manage the existing playfield, which sits on both City and LPS land.

Other options for ownership of parkland should be explored 

  • Rather than the City selling land to LPS as originally proposed, easements will be granted to allow: (1) continued community use of the shared playfield, (2) the proposed Park Middle School access drive, and (3) Park Middle School’s geo-thermal wellfields beneath the playfield.  The access drive will sit on approximately 0.25 acres of the overall 11.52 acres of Cooper Park.
  • A use agreement between the City and LPS will include language assuring continued community access to the shared playfield during non-school hours (see below for additional discussion). 

Management of Shared Playfield

Community Access to playfield during non-school hours needs to continue

  • A use agreement between the City and LPS will include language assuring continued community access to shared playfield during non-school hours.
  • The playfield will be signed in English and Spanish with hours that the playfield is available for community use.  LPS and the City will coordinate with neighborhood residents to determine whether this signage needs to be translated to additional languages. 

 Any new fencing needed for safety should not be locked and/or restrict community use

  • Fencing will likely be needed along the west side (by So 6th Street) and south side (along the access drive) of the playfield to contain sports balls. 
  • Neighborhood preferences for fencing (to avoid sports balls going into traffic), striping the playfield, and locating the soccer goals will be gathered during May 12 community meeting.
  • The ownership that neighborhood residents have in this playfield is critical.  The neighborhood’s help will be needed to monitor the playfield and ensure it is used appropriately.   Continued neighborhood “eyes on the playfield” will help discourage vandalism.

The playfield is separated from the park by the proposed access drive

  • A more pedestrian-friendly connection between the park and playfield will be developed, which may include a crosswalk platform between the two areas.  

If needed, additional traffic calming measures will be considered to help support people moving easily between the park and the playfield.  



Cooper Park Improvements

Trees were removed from the north end of the park and along the west side of So. 8th Street

  • New trees will be planted in the fall.   
  • Five additional trees in the park are in poor health.  These trees have been identified for removal this fall, and new trees will be planted to replace them. 

One of two tennis courts are proposed be replaced

  • Parks and Recreation has investigated a location for a second court.  Although there is not room for a second, full-size tennis court (without significant grading work that would affect the historic landform of the park), there is room for two smaller courts.  These courts can be used for both pickleball and youth tennis.  With the proposed layout, all three courts would have a north-south orientation, similar to the displaced tennis courts.  This proposal would also require the removal of 12 additional trees.   The neighborhood’s input is needed on whether to proceed with (a) one full-size tennis court, or (b) one full-size tennis court and two youth tennis/pickleball courts. 

Can the “Day Dreams” sculpture be illuminated/lighted at night?   What about additional park lighting?

  • Parks and Recreation staff is working on a plan for lighting the sculpture, which will be implemented with the next phase of park area lighting installation. 

Can a full basketball court be added to the park?

  • Full basketball courts often draw players from outside the area, which can cause parking/other concerns in neighborhood parks.
  • Cooper Park is designated as a neighborhood park.  Neighborhood park development standards call for a ½ basketball court to encourage neighborhood-friendly recreational play.  Community parks generally include a full basketball court, as such parks generally have additional off-street parking available to accommodate the increased park usage from non-neighborhood residents.
  • Park Middle School will include an area for outdoor court games, including four basketball goals.  This area will be available for public use during non-school hours.  To encourage neighborhood use, the basketball goals at Park Middle school will not be aligned for full-court play.

Can additional stones from the Cooper Park retaining walls be saved for future projects?

  • Additional stones will be saved and stored by LPR for potential reuse as part of corner entrance features in the park.

Cooper Park is a contributing element of the historic designation for the South Salt Creek neighborhood. Will the agreements between the City and LPS and/or the work being done affect this designation?  Is an EIS required?

  • The easement and use agreement between the City and LPS will not affect the historic designation for the South Bottoms National Register Historic District.  (The City of Lincoln Historic Preservation Commission reviewed the proposed land transfer and Master Plan for Cooper Park; no historic preservation concerns were raised.)
  • No federal funding will be used for and no federal permitting is required for either the Park Middle School project or the Cooper Park improvements.  Planning Department staff confirmed that given these circumstances, neither an environmental assessment (EA) nor an environmental impact statement (EIS) is required. 

Relocation of Access Drive & Parking

Access drive will be re-located from So 8th St. to So. 6th St.

Why is the new access drive needed? 

  • Traffic engineering study outlines the pedestrian/public safety benefit of closing the current access drive and relocating it to So. 6th Street.  A summary of the study is available.  

New access drive on So. 6th Street will increase traffic during student drop-off and pickup

  • With the new access drive, student drop-off and pick-up will continue to be focused on So. 8th Street.  So. 6th Street will not be the primary drop-off and pick-up location.  Removing the access drive from So. 8th Street improves safety by eliminating the turn in/turn out lane and related pedestrian conflicts.
  • The speed limit on So. 6th Street adjacent to school property will be reduced to 20 miles per hour and during student arrival/departure times and posted 300 feet on either side of school property (this speed reduction is consistent with school areas throughout Lincoln). 

How the new access drive will be used?  Will it be used for student drop-off and pick-up?

  • Lincoln Transportation & Utilities and LPS will update the plan for pedestrian and vehicular traffic circulation during student drop-off and pick-up.  This updated plan will be distributed publicly before the start of the 2021-22 school year.     

Can the access drive be re-routed to follow the old F Street right away to connect with So. 6th Street?

  • This route for the access drive was evaluated but not selected because of grading issues due to the difference of elevations between So. 6th Street and the Park Middle School site.  These grading issues would be particularly difficult during winter, where winter conditions would impact the ability to access the drive safely.

Manufacturing truck traffic on So. 6th Street during student drop-off and pick-up may be an issue

  • LTU will communicate with area manufacturers regarding upcoming projects at Park Middle School and Cooper Park.  

New access drive will result in a loss of on-street parking

  • Acknowledged.  The new access drive will result in the loss of three or four parking stalls on the east side of So. 6th St.   Other on-street parking will remain.  Current on-street parking is restricted from 7 am to 4 pm on school days.

New parking bays along Cooper Park frontage of So. 8th St. needed and should be properly managed

  • New parking bays will provide additional parking for park visitors.
  • New parking bays will be signed/designated as loading zones during student drop off and pick up (similar to the bays along the west side of So. 8th St, between F and G streets).  Otherwise, the bays will be available for public parking.


Park Middle School Parking and Construction Impacts

Are there other locations where parking for Park Middle School could be developed? 
  • Parking needs to be adjacent to the school for ease of access, including accessibility for people with mobility limitations. 
  • The existing parking lot was recently reconstructed and better configured for use.   
  • Zoning regulations and guidance from the adopted South Haymarket Neighborhood Plan do not support adding surface parking lots north of Park Middle School.

 There is mud coming from the construction onto So. 6th Street

  • LPS has coordinated with the school construction contractor to ensure appropriate sedimentation control measures are in place.  



Transportation Summaries and Memos

Download the Transportation Summaries(PDF, 804KB)

Produced by Lincoln Transportation and Utilities Department

MEMO: Park Middle School and Cooper Park School Zone Improvements



Dan Carpenter, PE, LTU-Traffic Engineering


May 10th 2021


Park Middle School & Cooper Park School Zone Improvements


In concert with the improvements to Park Middle School and Cooper Park, additional analysis was performed on school operations during arrival/dismissal times. An independent traffic engineering consultant was selected by Lincoln Public Schools to make recommendations regarding improvements to vehicles and pedestrians. As part of the selection process, field observations were made by Traffic Engineering staff and the private consulting engineer.

Recommendations for improvements were made after field observation and data collection. The primary improvements are:

  • Adding parking setbacks along the west side of 8th St. from D St. to F St. These parking setbacks will improve traffic flow along 8th St. by separating the drop-off and pick-up parking from southbound traffic, as well as increase capacity for drop-off/pick-up traffic operations on the west side of 8th St. This capacity increase will reduce the number of students crossing 8th St. during heavy traffic volumes and reduce the pedestrian/vehicular conflicts during AM/PM operations.
  • Removing access to Park Middle School parking lot at 8th St. & F St. The primary walking routes for students and the primary walking route to drop-off/pick-up locations is along the west leg of 8th St. & F St. By removing access to the parking lot at this intersection, there is a drastic reduction of pedestrian/vehicular conflicts at the primary entrance to the school. Expansion of the drop-off/pick-up lanes on the west side of 8th St. will reduce the number of students using crosswalks at the school, as well as reduce the number of vehicles turning across the crosswalks.
  • Relocating the access drive to Park Middle School parking lot from 8th St. to 6th St. By relocating the access drive to 6th St, there is a large reduction in pedestrians crossing the access drive location.

In addition, the City of Lincoln will be implementing updated School Zone Standards at Park Middle School in advance of the 2021-22 school year. These include:

  • Reduction of speed limits in the school zone from 25 MPH to 20 MPH, along 6th, 8th, and G Streets.
  • Installation of new crosswalks and consolidating crosswalk locations.
  • Defining primary walking routes for students that walk to school, and providing safe crossing locations for those students.

Additional information regarding School Zone Standards can be found online at or by contacting Dan Carpenter, Interim Traffic Engineering Manager at or 402-441-5511.



MEMO: Park School Zone Standards Implementation Plan


Park Middle School

855 S 8th Street

April 2021

School Zone Study:

The Lincoln School Zone Study was conducted to develop guidelines that can be applied to all public and private elementary, middle, and high schools in Lincoln. The recommendations prescribed in the study are based on national standards and best practices in order to enhance the safety of pedestrians and provide consistency for drivers. 

Utilizing the study recommendations, the streets and crosswalks adjacent to school property (the School Zone) and along the Primary Walking Route were evaluated to ensure the appropriate crossing treatments and traffic control devices are installed. Signing and traffic calming are being emphasized in the designated School Zone, so drivers know they are entering an area where additional care is needed. Once the recommendations are applied systematically throughout the city, drivers will have clear understanding that they must proceed with caution when encountering a School Zone.

Evaluation Summary:

LTU-Traffic Engineering has reviewed the existing crosswalks within Park’s School Zone and on the primary walking route. Based on the study criteria the following improvements will be made:

  • Refresh existing crosswalk markings and install new crosswalks on F Street west of S 6th Street; on S 6th Street south of F Street; on S 6th Street north of E Street; on S 6th Street north of D Street; on D Street east and west of S 6th Street; on S 8th Street south of E Street; on S 8th Street north and south of D Street; and on D Street west of S 8th Street.
  • Post parking restrictions near marked crosswalks to enhance the visibility of pedestrians.
  • Install stop lines in advance of the crosswalks at signalized and stop controlled intersections on the walking route.
  • Remove the crosswalks on S 6th Street north of F Street; on S 8th Street north of G Street; and on F Street east of S 8th Street. These locations do not satisfy the crosswalk criteria and their removal will direct pedestrians and focus driver attention to the other marked crossings at these intersections.


The most significant modification is the reduction of speed in the school zone from 25 MPH to 20 MPH.  Lowering speeds in areas where there is a mix of pedestrian and vehicular traffic can bring significant safety benefits by reducing the severity of crashes. The 20 MPH reduced speed zone for Park will include the portions of S 6th Street, G Street and S 8th Street that are adjacent to school property.  Signing on these streets will reduce the speed limit to 20 MPH with inclusion of a plaque stating, ‘When Children Are Present.'

Further Information:

The City of Lincoln School Zone Standards can be found on our website:



 For more information, visit (search: South Salt Creek Projects) or contact JJ Yost at 402-441-8255 or





  • Wednesday, May 12, 2021 | 06:30 PM


Park Middle School, 855 S. 8th Street (commons area), Enter door #1

Park Middle School, 855 S. 8th Street, Lincoln 68508  View Map

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