CONWAY, Ark – There could soon be more biking and walking trails in Conway.
The city says they are in the process of drafting up a proposal to expand trail ways into the eastern part of the city. They say the project would cost about $25 million and would be paid for using money from a federal grant.
Bobby Kelly with the Mayor’s office says for years the city has been getting push back from those who live in the eastern part of town who say they want more bike trails.
“The trail infrastructure is nonexistent in those areas,” Kelly said, “We always hear folks from the eastern part of Conway saying, ‘Hey what about us?'”
Kelly says right now bikers in those areas usually drive to an open path or create their own along the street.
“You can see the cycle tracks in the dirt you can see the walking paths in the dirt,” Kelly said.
The city says its plan to create more trails to make for saver routes but also to connect the eastern part of town to the rest of the city.
“If we really want to build out a safe connected infrastructure where not just our bike lanes are great, but those bike lanes connect to trails that go to places where people want to go, that’s the ticket,” Kelly said.
Terry Coddington rides his bike most days out of the week. He says he utilizes the trails in the central part of town and rarely ventures off to the eastern part.
“If I’m going over there typically it’s shopping and I’ll end up using a vehicle just because there’s no way to get over there,” Coddington said.
Coddington says many feel the same and is hoping if the trails are built more will start riding for fun or even ride to work.
“I think the biggest thing is opportunity and access,” Coddington said.
Kelly says the city still has to apply for the federal grant and should hear back by next summer. If the city doesn’t receive the 25 million, it says it will look for money elsewhere in additional grants.
The city is asking for public input before plans are finalized and submitted. They will be hosting two public forums.
Sign up HERE for the Thursday, September 23 virtual meeting on zoom at 6 pm.