01 Apr Jon Cartu Review: Fayetteville transportation committee goes virtual
Kyle Smith, Fayetteville council member, gives a presentation on traffic data on Wedington Drive in Fayetteville during a virtual meeting of the City Council’s transportation committee on Tuesday. Council members were able to conduct business through the Zoom application. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Stacy Ryburn)
FAYETTEVILLE — The City Council’s Transportation Committee looked at some changes to the design of a bicycle lane, discussed safety along a major corridor and considered potential spots for new bus shelters during an online meeting Tuesday.
The four members of the committee were able to provide feedback to city staff as they would during an in-person meeting at City Hall. The meeting was held on the Zoom app. The council’s session for its next meeting happening April 7 also was held online with all members present.
For more information on how to log on to city meetings virtually, go to:
City Hall is closed to the public in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Only department heads sat in the council chamber, seated 6 feet apart, while council members logged in from home. The meeting lasted about three hours.
Members of the public also were allowed to attend the meeting and provide feedback, although none did.
Committee members reviewed some revised conceptual drawings for the Maple Street cycle track project. The project is a collaboration between the city and University of Arkansas and has been in the works since late 2018, made possible through a grant from the Walton Family Foundation.
Maple Street from the Razorback Greenway west to Garland Avenue will have a two-way bicycle track on the south side of Maple, new sidewalks on both sides and a signal at Gregg Avenue, among other features.
The new designs showed vegetation about 30 inches high separating the bicycle lane from vehicle traffic and cobblestones separating the bicycle lane from the sidewalk on the south side. Crosswalks also would be significantly wider with self-activating beacons.
Cost of the project is estimated at $6 million. The city would provide $1.5 million in bond money as approved by voters last year, with the university providing another $1.5 million. The committee agreed Tuesday to apply for a $3 million grant from the Walton Family Foundation for the other half.
Construction should begin late this year or early next year and take about a year to complete, Chris Brown, city engineer, said.
The committee also talked about safety along the Wedington Drive corridor. The Arkansas Department of Transportation has plans to redo the interchange with Interstate 49. The street doubles as a state highway.
Council member Kyle Smith showed the committee data compiled of traffic collisions along the stretch. Whatever the state does, the city needs to consider whatever it can do to make the situation less dire, he said.
The committee at a future meeting will look at possibly taking ownership of a stretch of Wedington east of the interstate and opportunities to install additional traffic signals.
Committee members also talked about potential spots for new bus shelters around town. Mobility Coordinator Dane Eifling used ridership data from Razorback Transit and Ozark Regional Transit to identify 26 potential locations. Examples included College Avenue and Dickson Street; Curtis Avenue and Fairlane Street; and Porter Road and Lawson Street.
The suggested locations were preliminary and will be further reviewed at future meetings. There is about $500,000 left in the 2006 transportation bond issue that the city could use to build the shelters, Brown said.
NW News on 04/01/2020
Print Headline: Transportation committee goes virtual