Springdale Greenway 'Cycle Track' First in Arkansas

Springdale, Ar - Designers are taking a unique approach to keep cyclists safe on a Springdale section of the Razorback Greenway.

The greenway will connect Bentonville to Fayetteville with walkable trails, but a system of this size presents challenges.

The trail runs alongside Silent Grove Road in Springdale, but there wasn't space to widen the sidewalk. The city worked with trail designers to take away the turn lane, and add a cycle track.

"This is the first time that these type of lanes have been incorporated in the state of Arkansas," says Mayor Doug Sprouse. "A few years ago we probably never could have gotten this done, could never have gotten the support for this, but I think everybody is beginning to understand the positive impact that the greenway will have on quality of life, and on economic development."

The design separates bikes from cars and trucks on the main road, but it also has a calming effect on the traffic itself.

"It'll reduce some speeding that was going on here," Sprouse says. "With JB Hunt Elementary just down the street, and the trail, I think it'll be a win, win for everybody."

Sprouse says the city received a couple of complaints, but he's a believer, now that the track is complete.

"In the planning stages, I had some questions about it myself," he says. "After we see how this works, I think we'll see more bike lanes and shared road designed this way."

The city also plans to install a cycle track on Powell street, for the Southern section of the trail. Sprouse says the city is set to complete its three sections by this Fall, and the rest of the greenway should be done by the end of 2014.

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