Kavanaugh Widening 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.
Kavanaugh is a wide street for almost the entire way from Markham to University. This two block section is the exception. Not only does the street narrow to 29 ft., but the westbound lane narrows to 9.5-10 ft. to provide a wider eastbound bus lane.
The presence of a sharrow in a lane as narrow as this coupled with a double yellow line is concerning. A driver behind someone operating a bike must chose to either not overtake the bike (potentially causing frustration and erratic behavior of drivers behind her), illegally cross the double yellow line to give the bike the legally required 3 ft. of clearance, or illegally pass the bike with less than three feet of clearance. In short, this lane configuration encourages drivers to pass people on bikes too closely.
Figure 3. In order to widen this street, the street would need to be widened starting just east of N. Tyler for a block and a half west to N. Harrison and 3 bump outs in front of Yancey's Wine and Spirits would have to be shortened.
Creating bicycle connectivity between these two parts of the Heights neighborhood would increase the cohesiveness of the Heights, but it is also important for the larger Midline to Heights Connection and even larger Midline corridor.
If this is a project you would like to see completed, feel free to use any of the below language you would like 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.
Widen Kavanaugh between Polk and Newton: East of Newton St., Kavanaugh is 40 ft. wide and west of Polk St., Kavanaugh is 43 ft. wide. In between, the street narrows to 29 ft. wide and includes a 9.5 wide travel lane bordered by a double yellow line. This narrow sharrow can cause a bike vs. car conflict. I would like the City of Little Rock to construct widen this section of Kavanaugh to 40 ft. by expanding the street to the north for the approximately 325 linear feet between N. Harrison and N. Tyler Streets and approximately 167 linear feet west of N. Tyler Street. In that section, I would like curb and gutter to be added. I would also like the three bump outs in front of Yancey's Wine and Spirits to be shortened to make the street 40 ft. wide. If a new Master Plan reroutes the Midline to a route that bypasses this project's location, I would like the funding requested here to go toward making BikePed improvements to support that corridor.
2) Indicate if this is a new project or a continuation of an existing project.
This is a new project.