Creating a built environment that encourages bicycling (more trails, more bike lanes and bike boulevards, and more bike parking) is one of our greatest opportunities to improve for 2024. LAB's overall message was clear - we will not achieve Silver designation without significant improvements to infrastructure, safety, and ridership (Key Step #1). These three metrics are intertwined, infrastructure (engineering) has the greatest potential to affect safety and ridership.
This page considers the Engineering aspects of LAB's Attributes of a Bicycle Friendly Community and especially Little Rock's 2016 LAB report card (Fig. 1).
Little Rock's Encouragement score was high relative to other categories and we have made significant improvements in Encouragement since. Explore below to learn more.
Figure 1. Little Rock's LAB report card in May 2016. Engineering items highlighted in yellow bordered by red.
Prior to 2016
Progress Since 2016
36th Street Bike Lanes: In 2016, the City installed bike lanes on portions of 36th Street (see LR Bike Ways).
Overlook Bike Lanes: In 2016, the City installed the Overlook bike lane.
Arkansas River Trail @West Terminus: In 2016, the City installed the ART - West Terminus (Fig. 2).
SOMA Bike Racks: In 2016, the South Main (SOMA) business district installed a series of bike racks themed by local businesses.
Firehouse Hostel and Museum: In 2016, Little Rock opened its first hostel, the Firehouse Hostel and Museum. The non-profit hostel caters to bicyclists, provides an inexpensive lodging solution for bike tourists, and is supported by local bicycle organizations.
North Rodney Parham Bike Lanes: In 2017, the City installed bike lanes on North Rodney Parham.
University Sharrows: In 2017, the City installed sharrows on North University (see LR Bike Ways).
Van Buren Bike Lanes: In 2017, the City installed bike lanes on Van Buren (Fig. 3).
Figure 3. The Van Buren bike lanes were installed in a resurfacing project.
Arch Street/33rd Street Bike Lanes: In 2017, the Arkansas DOT installed bike lanes on Arch Street and 33rd St (see LR Bike Ways).
Asher Bike Lanes: In 2017, the City installed bike lanes on Asher.
Arkansas River Trail @Trail Maintanance: In 2017, the City, with the assistance of the Arkansas River Trail Foundation, purchased a riding trail blower to better maintain the Arkansas River Trail from Rebsamen Road to Two Rivers Park.
Arkansas River Trail @Broadway Bridge: In 2018, the Arkansas DOT installed a shared use sidepath along the Broadway Bridge. The City Parks and Recreation Department improved the connection to the Arkansas River Trail on the Little Rock side of the river.
Arkansas River Trail @Medical Mile Bridge: In 2018, the City installed a bridge over the Union Pacific tracks. This bridge will ultimately be part of the Arkansas River Trail (Fig. 4).
Figure 4. Construction of the Medical Mile Bridge in 2018. Photo by Metroplan Trail Coordinator Lynn Bell.
Taylor Loop Connection: In 2018, the City completed the Taylor Loop Connection, including bike lanes on Pinnacle Valley, LaMarche, and Taylor Loop, fog lanes on Chenal Valley, and sharrows and a shared use trail in the Village at Ison Creek.
Arkansas River Trail @Big Dam Bridge Restrooms: In 2018, the City, with the help of the Big Dam Bridge Foundation, installed restroom facilities on the Little Rock side of the Big Dam Bridge (Murray Park).
Arkansas River Trail @Riverfront Drive: In 2019, the City installed shared use trail along part of Riverfront Drive as part of a Arkansas DOT Transportation Alternative Program grant.
Pleasant Forest fog lanes: In 2019, the City installed fog lanes on Pleasant Forest as part of a street resurfacing project.
Arkansas River Trail @Two Rivers Park Bridge Restrooms: In January 2020, the City of Little Rock opened the Two Rivers Bridge restrooms.
Regional Trail Network: In February 2020, Metroplan (MPO) dedicated $55M over ten years, half of its Surface Transportation Program funds, to creating a shared-use regional trail network.
The following projects are approved and funded and will be completed within the next 18 months.
Bikeshare: Launching a bikeshare system is a 2016 LAB Key Step to Silver. The City of Little Rock has been working to launch a strong bikeshare program since 2016. Gotcha bikeshare will launch in Little Rock with 200 pedal-assist bikes in Summer 2020.
Pinnacle Valley Bike Lanes: Pulaski County is currently widening Pinnacle Valley Rd. to create a ~4.5 mile bike corridor from County Farm Rd. to Hwy. 300. This corridor will be all bike lanes except for the portion that is a shared use trail within Pinnacle Valley State Park. This will connect to mountain bike trails and other attractions within the park. This project should not be confused with the City of Little Rock's widening of a different portion of Pinnacle Valley to install bike lanes.
Arkansas River Trail @Medical Mile: In 2020 (obligated by July 2021), the City will install a ramp from the Medical Mile to the UP Bridge, creating a continuous, shared use trail corridor from the Clinton Presidential Bridge to Dillard's Headquarters.
Arkansas River Trail @Two Rivers Park: Pulaski County received $300K to reroute the Arkansas River Trail away from a restroom and vehicular access choke point, improving trail user safety.
Boyle Park Mountain Bike Trails: The City received $200K to create mountain bike trails at Boyle Park.
Southeast Trail: In February 2020, Metroplan (MPO) funded the City of Little Rock's and Pulaski County's applications for a total of $700K for Phase One of the Southeast Trail. These funds must be obligated by October 2020.