LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – From commuting to work to hitting the trails, bicycles are a common sight in Little Rock, but they could be more common on one busy Hillcrest road.
The City of Little Rock is asking neighbors to weigh in on bike lanes for Kavanaugh Blvd, part of a proposed road redevelopment project that would change the layout of Kavanaugh from Markham to Van Buren.
The plan would change the road layout to include two bike lanes, two buffer lanes, two lanes of traffic, and move on-street parking to only one side of the roadway.
The only stretch of Kavanaugh that wouldn’t change is the Hillcrest business district, which will remain a road shared by bicyclists and drivers alike.
Starting June 22nd, neighbors in the Hillcrest area can virtually share their thoughts on these bike lanes in an online forum hosted by the city.
Sam Williamson of the Community Bicyclist Bike Shop knows a thing or two about riding in Little Rock. Kavanaugh is one of his top routes to get to work. “It’s always been one of my favorite streets to ride a bike on, just for getting around,” Williamson explained.
He believes bike lanes are exactly what the roadway needs, and that the added buffer will make traveling safer for cyclists.
“To just lower the stress level for everybody and make it safer and more feasible to get around on a bike,” Williamson said, “I mean, that definitely makes me happy.”
But the project has yet to shift into high gear. Victoria Schmidt is the owner of Hillcrest Dog Spa. The business is just over a block away from where the added bike lanes would get rid of half the street parking.
“Every morning I get the dogs out of the car, and every evening, I get the dogs back in the car,” Schmidt said, explaining why street parking was vital to the area. “That’s the majority of what we do.”
The removal of on-street parking is one of the main concerns for neighbors not willing to OK the project just yet, especially for residents in the neighborhoods many apartments, which lack driveways or parking lots.
But city planners say a study has been conducted on the demand for spots, and there’s more than enough spaces to go around.
Tuesday at 5:30, the virtual forum kicks off on the Little Rock city website, here.
Organizers will go over the plan in detail and answer any questions.
Neighbors will then have until July 2nd to make their concerns or approval known.