Bicycle and Pedestrian Striping Infrastructure Request

Public Works is currently taking requests from residents for infrastructure projects for the 2019-2021.  I have been approached from several people who are interested in projects that would make Little Rock a better place for bicycle and pedestrian modes of transportation but who are not familiar enough with current BikePed challenges and opportunities to make a meaningful request.  It is in that spirit that I share with you this and other ideas.  Unless Little Rock residents fill out an infrastructure request form for this idea, it will not be considered for the 2019-2021 funds.  The demand for each idea is measured, in part, by the number of residents requesting an idea.  Support from local organizations, businesses, and neighborhood associations can also help increase the likelihood that a project is selected for implementation.  Requests are due by September 30, 2017.

Street striping is inexpensive relative to street creation, reconstruction, or even resurfacing.  It is also inexpensive relative to the time, effort, collaboration, and money required to plan a system of bicycle and pedestrian connectivity (a Master Plan).  A Master Plan begins to age and become less relevant the moment it is created and ratified.  The City of Little Rock intends to apply for funding to create a new Master Plan that will include a network of bicycle and pedestrian connectivity.  The creation of that plan will include the public, City staff, advocates, and elected officials, so much of the outreach/public comment process that is currently so time consuming to implement a single bicycle or pedestrian improvement project will be done in the process of creating the Master Plan (but, like the Master Plan itself, the consensuses built around specific BikePed projects in the Plan will age and become less relevant).

Removing striping from the street without resurfacing it can cause scaring on the asphalt that can confuse traffic movement.  However, some projects (such as sharrows, crosswalks, and some bike lanes) do not require striping to be removed, only added.  All of those projects which only require the addition of striping could be done in the context of the 2019-2021 Sales Tax and Bond cycle.  It could help create important elements of the Midline, including Booker, Harrison, Kanis Park, Battery, UAMS/Capital, and Main as well as other bicycle and pedestrian striping proposed in our current Master Bike Plan or in our new Master Plan.

Figure 1.  Installing sharrows and crosswalks usually only requires the addition of striping.

If this is a project you would like to see completed, feel free to use any of the language below to complete an infrastructure request form and submit it to Public Works no later than September 30th (postal mail and email addresses can be found on the form):

1) Briefly describe the proposed project.  Please include the boundaries of the project.

Install Complete Streets Striping: The financial cost of the addition of striping to make our streets safer for bicyclists and pedestrians is dwarfed by the health, equity, economic, livability, and safety benefits that striping would provide if continuous bicycle and pedestrian corridors were installed immediately.  Strictly installing these facilities piecemeal as roads are resurfaced results in disconnected and poorly used facilities for many years.  It is my understanding that the City of Little Rock intends to create a new Master Plan that will include bicycle and pedestrian network planning.  The creation of that Plan will include consensus building from City staff and the public so that projects are more ready for immediate implementation.  I would like the City of Little Rock to install all of the bicycle and pedestrian striping recommended in the new Master Plan that only requires the addition of striping throughout the city limits and make a good faith effort to implement projects that only require the removal of some striping. This will make the time, effort, and consensus-building spend creating the plan fruitful.

2) Indicate if this is a new project or a continuation of an existing project.

This is the implementation of a new Master Plan that includes bicycle and pedestrian network connectivity.