Improve Pedestrian and LIT Network Funding
The following list is meant to make this goal more actionable and SMART. This list may not be complete.
14.1 Dedicated Proportion of 2020 Street Fund to Alternative Transportation Modes: We propose the City dedicates a percentage of the street fund to exclusively fund projects prioritized by the Master Transportation Plan for alternative transportation modes. This would not limit the remainder of the Street Fund to be spent exclusively on motor vehicle infrastructure, but would provide a steady stream of funding to implement high priority projects identified in the Master Transportation Plan.
14.2: Better Fund Trail Construction: To date, shared use trails have been considered a largely recreational resource, to be funded by City of Little Rock Parks and Recreation and outside grants. This approach has limited the pace of new trail construction. One way to improve trail funding would be to acknowledge their benefits for both recreation and transportation. Folding the Master Trail Plan into the Master Transportation Plan is a step in that direction. Another step might be to employ a full-time crew to install a shared-use trail transportation network, as done in Fayetteville.
14.3 Grant Match Funds: Much of the bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure is currently funded by outside grants. The City once had a pool of money from which City staff motivated to fulfill their missions could draw for required grant matches. This insured that opportunities for the City to seek federal and other outside funding would not be lost because individual departments did not budget matches. Recently that pool of money has disappeared and its absence has directly resulted in the City not seeking specific grant opportunities. While the City has budget concerns, addressing those concerns by taking away opportunities to secure additional money for the City is unwise. The City should reinstate that pool of money, at least for alternative transportation.