Greenway installation to finish by Friday
The installation process of the Siloam Springs Neighborhood Greenway — also known as the bike lane pilot project — began yesterday and is expected to be complete on Friday.
This will require certain street closures to be in effect each day of the week, according to the city website. Tuesday’s closure started at the intersection of Mount Olive Street and West Jefferson Street up until reaching South Elm Street, and Wednesday Harvard Street will be closed from where it intersects with Carl Street up until its intersection with Elm Street.
As for Thursday, road closures will begin at the intersection of Carl Street and Harvard Street, where they will continue until turning left onto Elm Street, which will be closed along with West Jefferson Street up until it reaches Mount Olive Street. On Friday, West Jefferson Street (beginning at Mount Olive Street) to Maxwell Street will be closed, and Maxwell Street (beginning at Jefferson Street) to East Main Street will be closed.
Financing for the project was provided by a grant from the Walton Family Foundation, which also provided grants to conduct similar projects in Springdale
and Fayetteville. It was facilitated by BikeNWA and LaneShift, two Northwest Arkansas-based nonprofits with a focus of advocating for programs for cyclists and pedestrians alike in the area.
The goal of the project is to study the relationship between the efficacy of traffic alleviation measures such as speed humps and tables on city streets and the level of use by nonmotorists, like pedestrians and cyclists, on those streets. In the case of Siloam Springs, one of the most notable of traffic-calming measures to be used is a mechanism referred to as a pinch point, which is part of a roadway consisting of two spaces, both of which are contained by a railing and extend into the roadway directly across from one another; resulting in a narrowed portion of road in which only one vehicle can pass through at a time.
By doing this, the underlying notion is that it will force motorists to reduce speeds and pay more attention while behind the wheel, which might result in increased amounts of cyclists and pedestrians us
ing the roadway— whether for recreational or trans
portation purposes — because they feel safer. Data will be gathered using traffic counters capable of detecting the volume and speed of traffic in the affected area, and will also be able to differentiate whether it is a vehicle or a cyclist crossing over the counters.
The temporary project was approved by the city’s board of directors during their Oct. 16 meeting and is slated to last for a period of one year. If it is deemed a success, the city could decide to implement the measures permanently.
Those wanting to volunteer to help with the installation process can sign up online at bikenwa. org/communityadvocacy and click on the link titled “Volunteer Signup” under the Siloam Springs section. Consultants will be available to provide the necessary training.