The Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) and Little Rock Parks and Recreation, are teaming up to temporarily open two lanes for people walking and biking on Jonesboro Drive between Children’s Library, Little Rock Zoo, and War Memorial Stadium, and War Memorial Park. This project, which will stay up until October 17, is the first implementation action of the new Safe Routes to Parks Plan.
War Memorial Stadium has been meeting monthly via Zoom with a group of community stakeholders to create Little Rock’s Safe Routes to Parks Action Plan based on community surveys as well as health and safety data. Motivated by community feedback, these temporary “pop-up” lanes are not only an opportunity for people to experience a safer space for walking and biking between important destinations, but it will also bridge the gap created by I-630
In January, CALS received a grant to join Safe Routes to Parks Activating Communities, a program focused on ensuring people can safely enjoy the physical, social, and mental health benefits of parks regardless of who they are, where they live, or whether they have access to a car. As part of the program, Little Rock is among seven diverse communities across the country to receive training from Safe Routes Partnership and funding from the JPB foundation to develop an action plan for improving active travel to local parks and green spaces and implement early actions from the plan.
After partnering with Rock Region Metro and Little Rock Parks and Recreation for the Be Mighty campaign, the Safe Routes to Parks project is a way to enhance this partnership while continuing to improve access to important community destinations. Over the long term, with increased safety and accessibility, this project seeks to increase park usage and improve health for people of all ages, races, abilities, and income levels in Little Rock.
The temporary bike and pedestrian lanes on Jonesboro Drive will be between 12th Street, Zoo Drive, and S. Monroe Street. The set up will take place on Saturday, September 19, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Volunteers are needed to help with setting up signage and cones. Anyone interested in volunteering may sign up by clicking this link. Volunteers are expected to wear face coverings and maintain 6 feet distance from others.