For LAB Bike Friendly Community Application Only
The following information is only intended for the League of American Bicyclists BFC reviewers. It is not confidential (it's published on the City webpage...), but it isn't written to be understood outside of the context of the LAB application. The intention is to have all of the information communicated below ALSO communicated in other Steps to Silver pages that are set up to be more accessible for the public. If a City resident is moved to do so, please cross-reference the information below to the 2020 City of Little Rock Bike Friendly Community application.
The reason this page was created, instead of simply writing the text into the application, was to allow links for more information without affecting the narrative flow of the answer.
Engineering Bonus Points
B25. Describe any other policies, amenities, infrastructure improvements or maintenance programs that your community provides or requires that create a comfortable and attractive bicycling environment for bicyclists of all ages and abilities. Use this space to expand on answers checked above, or to describe additional facilities or physical amenities provided that have not yet been covered.
B1c. The Complete Streets Ordinance requires we consider bike facilities on ALL road reconstruction and resurfacing projects; if percentage should be streets with bike infrastructure installed vs. all resurfaced streets (most of which are residential streets on which bike infrastructure would arguably be unhelpful), the response would be 0-10%. However, since 2017, the Bicycle Friendly Community Committee has been considering each resurfacing project individually and making recommendations to the City as to whether or not they feel bicycle facilities should be considered. If the percentage is the streets with bike infrastructure installed vs. streets on which the BFCC citizen advisory committee asked the City to consider bike infrastructure, the percentage should be 11-25% (see also 2017 Resurfacing, 2018 Resurfacing, 2019 Resurfacing, 2020 Resurfacing).
B2. The City is in Phase 2 of a two part procurement process to select an outside contractor to review and update our Master Bike Plan (Phase One created a short-list of three contractors based on Letters of Interest; those three contractors are submitting full proposals in February 2020). We intend for the new Master Transportaiton Plan to specify the level of separation/protection dependent on vehicular speed and volume, consistent with the Bikeway Selection Guide.
B3. Regarding "Mixed use zoning or incentives": The City of Little Rock has UU zoning, Section 36-342.1 "UU" Urban Use District. This zoning classification is designed to assure the continuation of development consistent with a traditional urban form. The urban use district is designated to help create a compact, dense, distinguishable core area. The district is established in order to provide for a an urban form allowing mid-rise and high-rise structures. This district is to provide for the office, civic, and business core of the City. Structures within the urban use district are encouraged to provide multiple uses within the same structure. The ground or street level of structures should include street oriented activity and pedestrian amenities. The resulting area is to be pedestrian 'urban' oriented. Regarding "Planned Unit Development zoning": This land use zoning classification is a process for owners/developers to use when it is desirable to present a unified site plan and plat for City review. There are four Planned Unit Development districts used in the process for multi-use developments (#30).
B4. Street design is governed by a variety of ordinances summarized in our Master Street Plan. As default policy, the City of Little Rock follows guidance all AASHTO Guides, including the AASHTO Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities, 4th Edition. We also sometimes refer to NACTO guidance in our “engineering judgement”, but we are not a NACTO city and haven’t adopted NACTO with any official policy. We also refer to not only the Small Town Guide, but to all of the exceptional content it has published within the last 10 years.
B5. Maintenance of bike facilities: the City of Little Rock has no policy specific to the restriping of bike facilities but cares for them as needed and as required by MUTCD federal law.
B6. City of Little Rock Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator regularly attends professional development conferences and training. Since receiving the BFC Bronze in 2016, the City BikePed Coordinator has attended the following conferences/workshops: 2016 FHWA Road Diet Peer Exchange, EDC 3 (Nashville, TN), 2017 National Bike Summit (Washington D.C.), 2017 Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (Memphis, TN), 2018 National Bike Summit (Washington D.C.), 2018 Arkansas Bike Summit (Bentonville, AR), 2018 Arkansas STEP Working Group (Little Rock, AR), 2019 FHWA Bikeway Selection Guide workshop (Jonesboro, AR); attended and presented at the following conferences: 2019 Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (Portland, OR), 2019 ArDOT Transportation Research Committee (Hot Springs, AR); and attended, presented, and assisted in the organization the following conferences:2018 Transatlantic Walkability Symposium (Little Rock, AR), 2019 Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP), EDC 5 (Little Rock, AR). The City BikePed Coordinator regularly attends webinars. While no other City staff members are regularly attending bicycle-specific conferences, City planners and engineers are attending conferences with sessions related to bicyclist and multi-modal on-street and off-street recreation and transportation.
B7. Bike parking continues to be a challenge in our community. The South Main business district has made a strategic decision to encourage cyclists to visit by providing bicycle parking. The City installed three bike racks along Main Street as part of a revitalization grant in 2018. The City will likely install additional bike parking as part of 12th Street Jump Start Project. The City has negotiated with our bikeshare provider, Gotcha, to allow private bicycles to be parked in their network of ~25 bikeshare stations strategically placed throughout downtown Little Rock (see also "Expand Bicycle Parking").
B9. We are aware and promote APBP bike parking guidelines, but we do not require outside entities to follow them nor has the City published its own guidance on bicycle parking based on these guidelines. The City Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator intends to publish guidance (not requirements) for bicycle parking within the next 12 months.
B12a. All Rock Region Metro buses have external bike racks, each with a two-bike capacity, that customers can use at any time the buses are in service.
B12d. Bike racks are located at Rock Region Metro's downtown hub and Rock Region Metro intends to install more racks in this location this year with Federal Transit Authority funds to facilitate a major bikeshare station. Bike racks are also being installed in a new, covered transit stop at the Port of Little Rock through a 2018 Metroplan (MPO) Transportation Alternatives Program grant. Rock Region Metro recently hired a new executive director who is aggressively seeking funding opportunities, in partnership with the City, for bike and transit pairing and bikeshare and transit pairing to solve first and last mile problems in our community.
B12e. Information on transit schedule: Rack and Roll
B13a. Changes from 2016: Miles of different types of trails have changed, sometimes considerably, from our 2016 application. These changes do not reflect dramatic changes between what existed in 2016 vs. what exists now. The current City of Little Rock Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator was hired in November 2015 and coordinated the completion of the City LAB Bike Friendly Community application submission in February 2016. He did not have the time or resources to generate the miles of these facilities at that time and relied on City Parks and Recreation staff to supply the 2016 application numbers. In Summer 2016, the City did a comprehensive review of our trail system and generated our first Master Trail Plan with an interactive map. The data reported in our 2020 LAB Bike Friendly Community application is pulled directly from this ArcGIS shapefile.
LAB Categories Do Not Perfectly Match CLR Categories: While these data may be more easily tracked to their source, our natural trail widths are not cataloged as requested in the BFC application. We have total miles of paved trails greater than 10 ft. wide (TR Type = "BIKEWAY 1 - MULTIUSE") and 8-10 ft. wide (TR Type = "TRAIL"), as requested, but our natural surface trails are not broken down into the requested categories. We have natural surface trails equal to or greater than eight feet wide and narrower than eight feet wide. I have called all trails narrower than eight feet wide single tracks and lumped all trails eight feet wide or greater into the 8-10 ft. wide category. We may have natural surface trails greater than 10 ft. wide, but we have not made that distinction in the way we collected these data.
B15. The City has ArcGIS layers with our street grid classified into street types (residential, collector, arterial, etc.). Though these classifications typically correspond to a speed limit range (see Master Street Plan pg. 10), our ArcGIS layer does not have each street's speed limit encoded into it (and a street's speed limit can vary). These answers are estimated based on the assumption that minor residential and residential streets are less than or equal to 25 mph, collector streets are between 26-35 mph, and minor arterial and principal arterial streets are 36+ mph.
B16b1. Changes from 2016: Centerlane miles of bike facilities have changed from our 2016 application. Some of these changes represent additions of bicycle infrastructure, others represent corrections in the data. The current City of Little Rock Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator was hired in November 2015 and coordinated the completion of the City LAB Bike Friendly Community application submission in February 2016. He relied on other City staff and an accurate Master Bike Plan to supply the 2016 application numbers. The numbers were provided to him in 2016, so he can't comment on how they were generated, but he has made considerable corrections to what bike infrastructure exists on the Master Bike Plan. The existence of all reported bike lanes and fog lanes reported in the 2020 application have been verified by the CLR Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator and reported in LR Bike Ways. Therefore, while it is possible the City is under-reporting our existing infrastructure because the CLR Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator is unaware of it, we are confident that we are not over-reporting existing infrastructure.
In 2016, we reported 25.64 miles of bike lanes on streets from 26-35mph speed limits. In 2020, we report 22.28 miles. No bike lanes have been removed and not replaced; bike lanes have been added in this category since 2016 (Van Buren, Asher, 36th St., LaMarche, Taylor Loop, Overlook, and Pinnacle Valley). While, again, the CLR Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator has greater insight into how the 2020 data were calculated, we can still identify two reasons this number decreased. First, we reported only 0.51 miles of bike lanes on streets with a speed limit greater than 35mph in 2016; we report 5.05 miles of bike lanes on streets with speed limits greater than 35mph in 2020. We believe some of the centerlane miles of bike lanes were incorrectly included in 26-35 mph in 2016. Also bseveral streets (Daisy Bates, Chester, Loyola, Two Rivers Park Road, and Chenal Valley) were incorrectly included in the Master Bike Plan as completed bike lanes in 2016. They were at that time and are now fog lanes. The Master Bike Plan has been corrected and LR Bike Ways has been created to provide a more accurate dataset. Similarly, we reported 3.4 miles of sharrows on streets with speed limits from 26-35mph in the 2016 LAB BFC application. In 2020, we report 16.33 miles. While sharrows were added between 2016 and 2020 (N. University, Scott Hamilton, Overlook, and Pleasant Forest), major corridors which were completed prior to 2016’s application were not entered into the Master Bike Plan at that time and therefore not included in the 2016 LAB BFC application (9th Street, Roosevelt, and Fourche Dam Pike). These errors have also been corrected.
B18. Regarding "Physically altered the road layout or appearance" see Pleasant Forest (Figs. 1 and 3) and Battery Traffic Calming. Regarding "Road diets": see Road Diets - Road Diets in Little Rock. Regarding "Lane Diets": see Pleasant Forest and Battery. Lindsey Rd., Mauney Rd., S. Battery Street, Arch St., Kavanaugh Blvd., and Wellington Village Rd. have also had lane diets, see also “fog lanes” on LR Bike Ways.
B20a. Regarding "Timed signals": We are not sure what is meant by this selection. Like most communities, our traffic signals are timed and the timing changes depending on whether motor vehicles are detected (our video and loops are typically unresponsive to bicycle traffic) and on time of day to move vehicular traffic efficiently. Regarding "Intersection crossing markings for bicyclists": bike lanes have sometimes been continued through an intersection as in North Rodney Parham, Fig. 6. If this type of treatment qualifies to check this box, it should be checked, otherwise it should not be checked.
B22b. A Lime e-scooter pilot launched in our community in January 2019 with a maximum of 500 e-scooters but, in reality, never exceeding 400. Their fleet is currently ~250 e-scooters. The City of Little Rock is committed to maintaining e-scooters on our streets, but will be partnering with an e-scooter company(s) through an RFP process in 2020. We recognize the potential for e-scooters to cut into the market share of our new bikeshare system, interfere with the safe movement of bicycles on-street and on shared-use trails, and increase public angst toward alternative transportation modes. We also recognize the potential for e-scooters to increase bikeshare use (by encouraging more people to travel via alternative modes), increase demand for Light Individual Transportation infrastructure, and raise driver awareness of alternative transportation modes. We have not seen overwhelming evidence of a positive or negative impact of our e-scooter program on bicycle planning or ridership (and bikeshare will launch in August 2020).
B23. Mountain bike trails have been built in several of our City Parks. A portion of the 88-mile Arkansas River Trail Grand Loop is within the City of Little Rock. A portion of the Southeast Trail (linear) is within the City of Little Rock (the Southeast Trail is currently a signed recreational route, but we are also constructing an off-street trail called the Southeast Trail that will follow the approximate alignment of the on-street route).
Additional Facilities of Physical Amenities
Please see Steps to Silver: Engineering
Education Bonus Points
C13. Describe any other education efforts in your community that promote safe cycling. Use this space to expand on answers checked above, or to describe additional educational programs or services that have not yet been covered.
C1. We are not aware of any public or private elementary school that offers bicycle education as part of their regular curriculum in Physical Education courses or otherwise. However, bicycle education features prominently in after-school programs staffed by local bike clubs and Bicycle Advocacy of Central Arkansas. For some programs, bikes have been furnished, free for all interested students, by Recycle Bikes for Kids. The City of Little Rock’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator and LCI and retired elementary physical education teacher Coreen Frasier modified and further developed an after-school program created by North Little Rock’s Willa Williams; BACA and Washington Elementary teachers collaborated with BACA LCIs to teach it.
C11. I reached out to all 13 LCIs on the LAB website over email and asked them to respond as to whether or not they have taught a class in the last year. Six of them responded “yes”, four of them responded “no”, and two of them did not respond (and were counted as “no”). Additionally, Jace Davis, who has moved out of state and therefore is no longer listed on the LCI website, and Nathan Keltch, who is currently on a long term sabbatical in India, did earn their LCIs in August 2018 and did teach the Friendly Driver Program within the past year. Meg Gholson is also an LCI in the August 2018 cohort, but she is not on the LAB website. She has also taught LCI classes. That puts our total active LCIs at 9.
Educational Programs or Services Not Yet Covered
Please see Steps to Silver: Education
Encouragement Bonus Points
D13. Describe any other events, programs or policies your community has to encourage bicycling. Use this space to expand on answers checked above, or to describe additional encouragement efforts that have not yet been covered.
D1a. Local business incentive program: Stone's Throw (www.stonesthrowbeer.com) - "...Thursday is happy hour if you walk or bike in!" We don't know if this is sufficient to include on our application, but it's a start.
D2a. The Arkansas River Trail spans the municipalities, the City of Little Rock, the City of North Little Rock, and Pulaski County. The Arkansas River Trail Task Force, coordinated by Metroplan, coordinates the management of the Arkansas River Trail. The Arkansas River Trail Foundation is a non-profit that promotes and help fund Arkansas River Trail projects. The Big Dam Bridge Foundation is a non-profit that supports the Big Dam Bridge (part of the Arkansas River Trail). Friends of the Southwest Trail is an advocacy group that promotes the construction of the Southwest Trail. Bicycle Advocacy of Central Arkansas is our local bicycle advocacy organization. The Bike Friendly Community Committee is our City's citizen advisory committee to make our city more bike friendly. Recycle Bikes for Kids is a non-profit that provides free bikes for children and earn-a-bike for adults. See also Organizations.
D3a. The City's BikePed Coordinator helped MCE with their recent Bike Friendly Business application. The City, BACA, and the LRCVB have watched with interest the upcoming BF Business Bootcamps in Fayetteville and are discussing how we might duplicate the program.
D11. We have had some turnover in our bike shops within the past year. Not all local bike shops are listed on the League of American Bicyclists website and some of the information that IS listed is out of date. Please see our currently open bike shops here.
D12. In 2017, Recycle Bikes for Kids moved from Little Rock to North Little Rock, but very much still serves and is supported by Little Rock (Fig. 1). If LAB is unable to consider Recycle Bikes for Kids in Little Rock's bike friendliness, we understand. We simply wanted to provide brief context.
Figure 1. While the Cities of Little Rock and North Little Rock are two separate municipalities, for the cyclist, they function as one cohesive region. This perspective is likely fostered by the Arkansas River Trail lining both sides of the river and the connections created by two bicycle- and pedestrian-only bridges (Clinton and Junction), the 16 ft. bicycle- and pedestrian-only sidepath along the Broadway Bridge, and a mid-stress, mixed traffic Main Street bridge all connecting our two bike-friendly downtown cores.
Encouragement Efforts Not Yet Covered
Please see Steps to Silver: Encouragement
Enforcement Bonus Points
E12. Describe any other enforcement or safety programs/policies relating to bicycling. Use this space to expand on answers checked above, or to describe additional enforcement or safety programs or policies that have not yet been covered.
E1. Identified law-enforcement point person to interact with bicyclists: The Bike Friendly Community Committee’s LRPD contacts are Lieutenant Van Watson and Officer Charles Starratt. Police department assists with bicycle events/rides: The City of Little Rock has 17 major event rides per year within its borders. LRPD assists with traffic control for most of these rides. Police department hosts bicycle events/rides: LRPD hosts an annual event called Bike with a Cop in which police officers teach children to ride safely on the street, have a skills course, provide bicycle safety education, and give away bikes.
E3. The City of Little Rock Parks and Recreation Department began the Cycling Ranger Program within its volunteer Park Ranger Program. The Cycling Rangers are trained in conflict mediation, bicycle safety, and CPR; their presence on our trail network promotes the safety of trail users. The coordinator is Karen Sykes.
E4. In 2019, Officer James Phillips and Lieutenant Van Watson became Certified International Police Mountain Bike Association Instructors. This certification allows them to teach police officers and other first responders how to use a bicycle as a vehicle on their jobs. They have already trained 17 Little Rock first responders. The only other police department in Arkansas with Certified International Police Mountain Bike Association Instructors who actively train is in Bentonville.
E5. Penalties for motorists who “door” bicyclists: AR 27-51-1307. Ban on texting while driving: AR 27-51-1504. Safe passing distance law: AR 27-51-311.
E6. As far to the right as is practicable: CLR 32-489, but see CLR Friendly Driver explanation, Slides 58-65. Local law restricts use of e-bikes: an Arkansas state law states that Class 1 & 2 e-bikes can be ridden on shared-use trails but Class 3 bikes cannot. The law allows local municipalities to change any of these provisions; the City of Little Rock has not changed any provision. Restrictions on sidewalk riding inside of the Central Business District: CLR 32-494.
E10a and E11. These numbers are from Metroplan’s (MPO) Han Haustein, who compiles them and periodically uses them to create a Pedestrian and Bicyclist Crash Analysis. These numbers reflect the years 2013-2017, which unfortunately overlap two years of the latest Crash Analysis and the 2016 LAB Bike Friendly Community application, but are the latest years for which Hans has crash data.
Enforcement Programs and Policies Not Yet Covered
Please see Steps to Silver: Enforcement
Evaluation and Planning Bonus Points
F20. Describe any other efforts by your community to evaluate and/or plan for bicycle ridership and/or networks. Use this space to expand on answers checked above, or to describe any additional evaluation & planning efforts that have not yet been covered.
F4. City of Little Rock Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator regularly attends professional development conferences and training. Since receiving the BFC Bronze in 2016, the City BikePed Coordinator has attended the following conferences/workshops: 2016 FHWA Road Diet Peer Exchange, EDC 3 (Nashville, TN), 2017 National Bike Summit (Washington D.C.), 2017 Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (Memphis, TN), 2018 National Bike Summit (Washington D.C.), 2018 Arkansas Bike Summit (Bentonville, AR), 2018 Arkansas STEP Working Group (Little Rock, AR), 2019 FHWA Bikeway Selection Guide workshop (Jonesboro, AR); attended and presented at the following conferences: 2019 Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (Portland, OR), 2019 ArDOT Transportation Research Committee (Hot Springs, AR); and attended, presented, and assisted in the organization the following conferences:2018 Transatlantic Walkability Symposium (Little Rock, AR), 2019 Safe Transportation for Every Pedestrian (STEP), EDC 5 (Little Rock, AR). The City BikePed Coordinator regularly attends webinars. While no other City staff members are regularly attending bicycle-specific conferences, City planners and engineers are attending conferences with sessions related to bicyclist and multi-modal on-street and off-street recreation and transportation.
F6b. Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. took office in 2019 having run on a platform of inclusion. After taking office, he organized a citizen committee to propose recommendations to increase inclusion within the City and our community. The Inclusion Subcommittee has recommended several key items (Scott Script, pgs. 26-32). Among those items is to create an "Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion,... headed by a Chief Equity Officer who will also lead the rebranded Racial & Cultural Diversity Commission." (Scott Script, pg. 28), echoing the candidate Scott's platform. The Inclusion Subcommittee's recommendations do not have a transportation equity focus, but there remains an opportunity to demonstrate the importance of independent mobility to the overall advancement of community equity once the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is established.
F7d1. The Master Bike Plan, within the adopted Master Street Plan, states the goal of having a "safe, direct" interconnected bicycle transportation network "desirable for all users" (Master Street Plan, pg. 34). The Complete Streets Resolution (2013) calls for Master Street Plan revisions to reflect Complete Streets principles. The City’s adopted 2020 Sustainability Roadmap includes Accessible Alternative Transportation, the Arkansas River Trail, and Complete Streets three of seventeen goals. The City’s nationally recognized Complete Streets Ordinance mandates new and resurfaced streets accommodate bikes unless one of five exceptions is met.
F7e1. Much of the installed bike infrastructure to date has been in in minority, low income communities. These include fog lanes on Chester and Daisy Bates and bike lanes on Main, 12th, Wright, Asher, Mabelvale Pike, and 36th Streets (see also LR Bike Ways). These projects are vitally important because some of our low income residents commute by bike not by choice but because their households do not own a sufficient number of reliable cars to satisfy all of their transportation needs. Recycle Bikes for Kids provides a means for anyone in Little Rock to own and commute by a bicycle.
F14. The City of Little Rock has done annual bicycle counts in 14 locations as part of the National Bicycle and Pedestrian Documentation Project since 2014. The annual number of locations has increased from 14 to 17 in 2019. From 2014-2017, these counts were done in sync with North Little Rock's six sites. Since 2018, the City of Little Rock has been coordinating the counts in Little Rock and North Little Rock.
F15a. In 2017, the Bike Friendly Community Committee stated a goal of increasing commuting ridership to 3.5% of the population based on the average ridership of a LAB BFC Silver community. This goal did not have an associated timeframe.
F16. There hasn't been enough of an effort to answer "yes" to this question (not "routinely"), however the increase in annual bike count locations (from 14 to 17) was done for this very purpose. We started the Pinnacle Valley count location the year before we added bike lanes. We started the Cantrell at Dillard's location to show the lack of activity in this part of the Arkansas River Trail and show the increased activity once the trail is improved at this location (Arkansas River Trail, Fig. 4).
F18. Some of these items we hope to have our contractor do within the 2020 Master Transportation Plan project. We had specific plans to do several of these items when we applied for a Metroplan $200K Transportation Alternatives Program Grant (from which we were awarded $50K), an ArDOT TAP Grant (which we were not awarded), and a Made to Move Grant (which we were not awarded), and an AARP Livable Communities Grant (which we were not awarded). Unless we are able to secure additional outside funding, our project scope will be reduced.
Evaluation and Planning Efforts Not Yet Covered
Please see Steps to Silver: Evaluation and Planning