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Road Closure Limits Lake Atalanta Access

ROGERS, AR. --- In the near future, you won't be able to drive completely around Lake Atalanta. Instead, you'll be able to walk, bike or hike. That change isn't sitting well with everyone.
ROGERS, AR. --- A bond issue passed in 2011 will now pave the way for some changes near Lake Atalanta.

This week the Rogers City Council voted to permanently shut down about half of the road surrounding Lake Atalanta. The city hopes to turn that portion into biking and walking trails.

Randy Garrison and Strad Will walk around the lake a few times a week. Will grew up on the lake and Garrison runs and walks the trails regularly.

Right now, fishermen can drive right up to the lake and fish. With the new trails, folks won't have the same opportunity around for the entire area.

For walkers like Garrison and Will, the shutdown will be a good thing. The two realize that it might not be the best option for others.

"I don't think they really represented what the people of Rogers really wanted," said Will. "There's a lot of disabled people, elderly people, fisherman that just flat can't walk around to their favorite fishing hole and those are the people I kind of feel sorry for."

"I don't think some of the older folks were given a fair shot," said Garrison.

Rogers Planning and Transportation Director Steve Glass said the changes are meant to keep people safe.

"You have two issues; one, people walking on the same road as the cars that are driving and there are some places that it is very narrow," said Glass. "The other issue is at night. There's been a record of illegal activity down there."

Glass said they're keeping all visitors in mind in the process.

"We are going to try and keep it as accessible as we can to all people, even the fisherman and the people that like to drive around it," he said.

For regulars like Garrison and Will, they're happy to see their favorite spot get some attention.

Here is a link to see the plans for Lake Atalanta.
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