Northwest Arkansas has over 200 miles of trails, and The Razorback Greenway in Fayetteville is the most widely used one in the city but residents say they’re lacking in the number of trails.
The city now has funds to change that.
“It’s important that we provide access to people that are walking and biking to different parts of the city, and the reality is we just haven’t connected all the destinations in Fayetteville via pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure,” said Bike NWA Executive Director Paxton Roberts.
The city’s current budget gives $1.5 million a year to improving and building trails.
The newly approved Fayetteville bond program will add at least 6 new ones, and money through the bond will help build these trails much faster.
“We feel a very strong commitment to our citizens to spend the funds wisely, get done as quick as we can and do as much as we can as soon as possible,” said City of Fayetteville Engineer Chris Brown.
Brown said the biggest concern from residents is safety when walking or biking on side streets or along the highway.
Potential projects will help these concerns along with making safer connections for those who ride or walk.
“You wake up in the morning you get in your car and drive to wherever you want in the city. You don’t think about, “am I going to get there safely,” you just do it. It’s projects like this that will allow us to get one step closer to doing that for people who are walking or biking,” said Roberts.
Roberts said the biggest gap in the trails system is included for all travelers.
The bond program will help create that network.
“That word network is key. We need to really connect people where they live, where they work, and where they play. And until you can take your bicycle to ride a couple of blocks to get on a safe piece of infrastructure, we’re really not gonna see the true impact of this investment,” said Roberts.
With the new trail improvements, Roberts hopes residents can enjoy more of the home of the Razorbacks.
“More and more people want to be able to walk to a restaurant in the evening or come down for brunch on a Sunday morning. It’s just a really great way to spend the day and we are really excited about these new improvements that are coming,” said Roberts.
All funds allocated in the bond program will become available in Fall 2019.
Plans are already in place for trails to be completed within the next few years.