Thursday, June 28, 2007

Happy Trails to You

At a special called meeting yesterday the Fayetteville Sidewalk and Trails Task Force, chaired by Ward 2 Alderman Kyle Cook, voted to support the version of the Crossover Road widening project that includes a median and ensuring that bike lanes remain a part of the project in compliance with the city’s Master Street Plan.

Opposition to bike lanes is coming from residents of the exclusive Candlewood Estates subdivision. Property owner Eva Madison recently protested that bike lanes on Crossover Road would interfere with the elegant entrance to her special housing development and that bike lanes were a waste of money.

John McLarty, transportation planner for the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission, explained that abolishing the bike lanes would not save the city a dime. Fayetteville taxpayers are responsible for $7.7 million to expand Crossover Road for the benefit of Eva Madison and her wealthy neighbors, even if she gets her way to have a special exemption to eliminate bike lanes from the Master Street Plan.

Matt Mihalevich, city trails coordinator, said the on-street linkage is included in the Fayetteville Alternative Transportation and Trails Master Plan. Laura Kelley of the Bicycle Coalition of the Ozarks, said streets need to be built according to city policy, and if people are against bike lanes, they should work to change that policy instead of demanding special treatment.

The Fayetteville City Council will discuss the project and consider a resolution in support at its meeting next Tuesday at 6 p.m. We will know then where the Mayor and Council stand on the issue.

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