The Greater Omaha Young Professionals group invites the public to explore the abandoned Omaha Belt Line during a guided bicycle tour Saturday morning.
It's an opportunity to learn more about the corridor's potential as a light rail and commuter trail, organizers say.
The 20-mile belt line once connected the city's key industrial centers but was vacated in the 1980s and remains unused.
Emerging Terrain, a local nonprofit, has proposed repurposing the line.
The group's founder, Anne Trumble, said the project has the potential to spark economic development, link different parts of the city and promote public transport.
Greater Omaha Young Professionals is hosting the Bike the Belt Line event to share Emerging Terrain's vision.
“The young professionals in this town are interested in this kind of initiative,” Trumble said. “A lot of them work in corporations and firms that would be interested in it as well.”
Participants will bike three miles of the northern section of the corridor, starting at 10 a.m. at the Charles B. Washington Library near 28th Street and Ames Avenue.
They will stop at points of interest along the route, including the North Omaha Transit Center, the Malcolm X Memorial and Adams Park.
“It's probably the most unexplored part of the whole 20 miles, and it's such a beautiful landscape,” Trumble said.
After the tour, the guides will speak in greater detail about the belt line.
Trumble hopes the event also familiarizes people with B-Cycle, a public bike-sharing system that recently expanded to downtown Omaha.
B-Cycle will provide a limited number of bicycles for the event, but those who plan to attend are encouraged to bring their own. To reserve a bike, register online at www. omahayp.org/news.
Those who borrow a B-Cycle bike will receive a free bus ride back to the tour's starting point.
Trumble said biking the corridor will give Emerging Terrain feedback on the viability of the recreational trail portion of the proposal.
“It holds so much potential,” Trumble said of the project.