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Bentonville Traffic Study Targets Troubled Intersections

Fast paced growth is bringing rush hour traffic to a standstill in Bentonville, so the city is looking for ways to improve the commuter experience.
Bentonville, AR - Fast paced growth is bringing rush hour traffic to a standstill in Bentonville, so the city is looking for ways to improve the commuter experience.

Bentonville commissioned a city-wide traffic study to find out which roads should be a priority.

"It's just cars as far as you can see," says Bentonville Police Chief Jon Simpson, standing at the intersection of Walton and 14th St. "Really it seems pretty endless."

Simpson says the only good thing about Bentonville traffic patterns, is the congestion isn't constant.

"They have peaks and they have valleys," Simpson says. "Just when you think it can't get any worse, it kinda clears up and we're back to more normal traffic flow."

Police routinely direct traffic in problem areas to speed things up.

"One of the schools, we're out there every morning... helping cars get off of the highway and into the school," Simpson says, however other intersections can't be helped.

"It truly is just a math problem," Simpson says. "There are more cars than there are spaces for those cars, so often times it's just a matter of waiting it out."

The study included in depth analysis for fourteen problematic intersections.

Mayor Bob McCaslin says the results aren't surprising. The problem areas are easy to spot during heavy traffic periods, but road improvements get expensive quickly. He says this study will help the city get the most bang for its buck.

McCaslin warns tax dollars won't be able to eliminate rush hour all together.

"Those cause points and places of congestion, we would like to help those as much as we can, but I don't want people to think we can do away with those," he says. "We will make them better."

"We're seeing problems now, that we never thought we would see 15 and 20 years ago," Simpson says. "It all has to do with growth, which I think is a good thing."
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