The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department will hold two public meetings this week to discuss updates to the state’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Plan.
The first meeting is on April 1 in Little Rock, but a second meeting is planned in Springdale from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, April 3 in the Sam’s Club Community Room at Arvest Ballpark (enter through front gate). A formal presentation will begin at 6:15 p.m. and will focus on West and Northwest Arkansas issues.
Additional meetings in other areas of the state will be announced as they are scheduled.
The Department hired Maryland-based planning firm Toole Design Group to help conduct the meetings and update the plan, which was originally published in 1998. The plan serves as a blueprint for state agencies, local governments and affiliated organizations to work toward improving the environment for both cyclists and pedestrians.
Arkansas moved up 13 spots in a survey conducted last year by the League of American Bicyclists to rank 37th among the 50 states for bicycle friendliness. The ranking was based on a number of key indicators, including infrastructure and funding that provide bicycle facilities; education and programs that promote cycling; and passage and enforcement of bicycle-friendly laws that make it safe and comfortable for people of all ages to ride a bike.
“Arkansas has made great strides toward becoming a bicycle friendly state,” said Scott Bennett, director of the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department. “Although our resources are extremely limited, we will continue to play a role in this progress toward providing a convenient and safe infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians in the Natural State.”