FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — There’re only a few days left to voice your opinion on the future of bike and walking trails in Northwest Arkansas.
Biking to work or walking to the grocery store is becoming more of a reality with our growing system of trails, and the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission is updating its bicycle and pedestrian master plan by using years of research and your ideas.
Rob Potts is the co-owner of Lewis and Clark Outfitters, a bike shop in Springdale. He said improving the bike trails, so people can use them as a substitute to driving has many benefits.
Potts said he recently submitted his thoughts to the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission, since it’s updating it’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan for the first time since 2015. He’d like to see bike trails expand east and west in the area for people to turn to biking as their main transportation method.
“You can get almost anywhere, but but not quite, and you have to be able to get there all the way without getting on the roads,” said Potts.
Tim Conklin is with the planning commission. He said connecting the trails across the area is a way to decrease traffic as well.
“It’s important that we invest in transportation and and overall infrastructure in our region in order to keep up with the growth,” said Conklin.
The updated master plan will use the Razorback Greenway as the ‘spine’ and show where more bike and walking paths can be added to connect them.
“We just need more cycling infrastructure so that it’s safe. I mean, people will take that form of transportation, but probably they won’t do it, if they don’t feel safe on the road,” said Nelson Peacock, the president of the NWA Council.
With safety features and expansion in mind, the planning commission is providing Northwest Arkansas with a template on how to improve another way of transportation.
The Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission is asking for public input until Tuesday May 31. You can view the previous plan and submit your input form here.