University Crossing 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.

A bicycle and pedestrian bridge or tunnel over University somewhere between I-630 and Midtown Ave. would have local and regional benefits.  Locally, this bridge would allow visitors of St. Vincent's Hospital and War Memorial Park an opportunity to shop and eat at the businesses immediately west of University Ave.  Even though there is a crosswalk across University at the northern portion of Midtown Ave. and University Ave., bicycles and pedestrians typically do not cross University in this region due to heavy vehicular traffic volumes (37,000 ADT) (Fig. 1).   Regionally, this is an important link for the proposed Midline route, which would create a long sought and much needed east-west bicycle and pedestrian corridor through the heart of Little Rock.  A safe and convenient University crossing would increase the use of the entire Midline system.

Figure 1.  This intersection is intimidating for someone on foot or on bike.

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.

BikePed Crossing on University:  High traffic volumes (37,000 ADT), high traffic speeds, seven traffic lanes, and complex traffic movements make crossing University Ave. at Midtown Ave. (the only signalized pedestrian crossing between Markham and I-630) challenging for bicyclists and pedestrians.  A quality bicycle and pedestrian crossing would create opportunities for St. Vincent’s visitors to visit restaurants and shops immediately west of University or to take a picnic to War Memorial Park.  This bridge or tunnel would also make an important connection for the Midline.  I would like the City of Little Rock to design and build a bridge or tunnel over University between I-630 and Midtown Ave. and explore cost-sharing solutions with local businesses and the new SHOPS development that would benefit from this connectivity.  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.