You Ask, We Answer: City of Fayetteville proposes trail extension project to improve connectivity

You Ask, We Answer

The City of Fayetteville is proposing a 1.5 mile trail extension of an existing trail along Mission Boulevard

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — In this week’s ‘You Ask, We Answer’ report, KNWA’s Katelynn Zoellner looked into the City of Fayetteville’s plans to build a new bicycle and pedestrian trail connection.

The proposed 1.5 mile trail is an extension of an existing trail along Mission Boulevard.

“This has been on our master trails program and it is in our 5-year plan to install this trail,” said Chris Brown, City Engineer for City of Fayetteville. “The main goal is a trail that runs between Viewpoint Drive along the east side of Mission Boulevard, so basically extending that existing trail along Mission Boulevard down to North Street and then it crosses the road at North Street and then goes on the west side of the road on down to about Maple Street.”

Brown said the project will fill in a missing gap for trail connectivity into the historic district.

“It is a multi-use trail, 12-feet wide, and so we will provide that bicycle and pedestrian connection that we do not have right now,” he said.

Not everyone is happy about the proposed plans. Katelynn spoke with Jennifer Morris, owner of the Gift House, about her concerns. Morris said property owners on Mission Boulevard who will be impacted by the proposed trail should’ve been notified earlier. She said she feels officials deliberately wanted to keep the plans out of the news until after the election. She also questioned the city’s reasoning for another trail through a busy and narrow historical street that leads directly to two schools.

“I have talked with her personally,” Brown said. “Our message to date has been that our consultant is gathering survey data and they are scheduled to provide us a conceptual design in early November.”

Brown said the city will review those designs and then coordinate public input meetings with residents.

“We are working on some opportunities to create those kind of spaces and maybe create a virtual space where people can look at the plans and talk with us one-on-one,” he said.

The city is also proposing a roundabout to be built as part of this project. It would be located at the intersection of North Street and Mission Boulevard.

Brown said the concept for the roundabout came out of a study that was done through regional planning. The study showed a roundabout would help with pedestrian and bicycle connections while also helping with traffic flow. Brown said this part of the project will not go to construction until late 2021 or 2022.

If there is something in your community that you want to know more about, we want to look into it. You can send your questions to Katelynn at KZoellner@KNWA.com.

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