LPD increases O Street traffic enforcement during Memorial Day weekend

Law enforcement agencies are increasing safety measures on O Street for Memorial Day weekend.
Published: May. 26, 2023 at 10:20 PM CDT|Updated: May. 26, 2023 at 10:23 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - It’s been almost a year since a crash took the lives of two people and injured 20 others along one of Lincoln’s busiest streets as an unofficial Memorial Day weekend car cruise lasted well into the night.

The teenager accused by Lincoln Police of speeding and causing the crash will go on trial this fall.

10/11 NOW is looking back at that day and finding out what changes have been made to that area for the 2023 event.

After the incident, city and law enforcement leaders vowed change, and that’s taking shape in a number of ways this weekend, from an increased LPD presence to Nebraska State Patrol taking to the air.

“You’re going to see an up-staff of approximately two dozen,” said Jason Stille, an LPD assistant chief. “That does not include members of the air-wing which will also be up for the Nebraska State Police.”

People may notice Nebraska State Patrol chopper in the skies Friday night piloted by Lt. Brian Petersen.

“We can cover the city quicker,” Petersen. “We can go out on the interstate and look for an issue. If there’s a traffic crash on the interstate, we can go out and verify that it is in fact there.”

LPD is coordinating traffic with Lincoln Transportation and Utilities and limit congestion through partnerships with area businesses. There are a number of changes to traffic flow in the area on O Street between 48th and 52nd streets, where the crash occurred in 2022.

Turns from O Street to go north onto 50th Street will be off limits and drivers will have to wait for a green left-turn arrow, not a blinking yellow one, to get from O Street to 52nd Street.

The timing on O Street’s traffic signals will follow the same pattern used in high-traffic times, like during the morning and evening rush hours, with the aim of keeping traffic flowing.

LPD urges caution while driving and said they’ll do what they can to prevent drag racing in Lincoln this holiday weekend.

“We are trying to engage the public and make sure they are responsible for their actions and also look out for each other, look out for the person to the left and the right of you,” Stille said.

There is an LPD mobile command post in the Hy-Vee parking lot near the area. LPD asked if you see something, say something by calling 911 for an emergency or (402) 441-6000 for non-emergencies.