Seventh St. from Main St. to Booker (Fig. 1) is an important corridor for bicycle and pedestrian transportation, but does not currently serve either mode well.
Figure 1. Bike lanes proposed on the Master Bike Plan on 7th St. from Main to Woodrow would create the only on-street east-west bike corridor possible between the Arkansas River and I-630 without significant improvements to 3rd St.
1) Bus corridor: This segment of 7th St. is a major bus corridor, including the 3, 5, 11, 17, 25, and 26 bus routes. Bike, pedestrian, and bus transportation modes work best synergistically. Riders need to have safe access to bus stops and a way to get to their destinations after exiting the bus.
2) Southwest Trail: The Southwest Trail/Central High Corridor will intersect 7th St. Pedestrians could access the trail from bus routes or from Stifft Station, Capitol Hill, or Arkansas Children’s Hospital if sidewalk facilities were adequate.
3) The Midline is a proposed east-west bicycle and pedestrian corridor approximately following I-630. 7th St. is a part of that corridor.
1) See Above: This corridor is important for the bicycle mode because it is a bus corridor (all buses have a front rack that holds two bikes), because it intersects the Southwest Trail, and because it is a part of the proposed Midline.
2) West from Downtown: There are only three on-street ways between the Arkansas River and I-630 to go west out of downtown. LaHarpe/Cantrell is not a safe bike route, 3rd St. may not get bike facilities anytime soon. That leaves 7th St. as the only east-west corridor available to create a lower-stress corridor to encourage ridership and commuting.
3) Bikeshare: Some of this corridor falls within the Phase 1 bikeshare focal area. If the Capital Mall and Arkansas Children’s Hospital are not included in the Phase 1 launch, they will be high priority targets for Phase 2. Quality bike facilities (those that offer substantial separation between bikes and vehicular traffic) have been shown to increase the use and success of bike share programs.
4) Main St. Connectivity: The importance of connectivity cannot be overstated when implementing a bicycle transportation network. Creating a high quality east-west corridor that intersects with a high-quality north-south corridor on Main St. will increase ridership and bike commuting.
We have already considered lane configurations and held public meetings regarding 7th St. from Broadway to Chester.
Scope of Work
Creating buffered bike lanes on 7th Street from Main to Booker Streets would increase ridership and make this a safer bicycle corridor. This would require restriping much of this road and possibly widening 7th Street from Summit to Dennison and from Appianway to Booker Streets.