Green­way in­stal­la­tion to fin­ish by Fri­day

Siloam Springs Herald Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By Hunter McFer­rin Staff Writer ■ hm­c­fer­[email protected]

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.

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