FROM BRIDGE TO PARK: If New York can do it with rail line, why not LR with Broadway Bridge.

  • thehighline.org
  • FROM BRIDGE TO PARK: If New York can do it with rail line, why not LR with Broadway Bridge.

I wrote yesterday of my support for the recent push by Mayors Mark Stodola and Pat Hays for turning the Broadway Bridge into a pedestrian and bike corridor, plus plaza, connecting the cities of Little Rock and North Little Rock. This, instead of tearing down the bridge, screwing up traffic for years and replacing it with a ho-hum span of limited aesthetic appeal and expanded use. Naturally, the Highway Department favors the latter course. They don’t want to be bothered with delaying the non-emergency bridge replacement to come up with new plans for a traffic crossing farther upriver at Chester Street.

I got a letter today from reader Clyde Snider further endorsing the mayors’ idea and elaborating on how this bridge could become sorely needed additional park space for Little Rock.

Before you join the unimaginative bunch at the highway department — and enabler Tom Schueck, who nominally represents Little Rock on the powerful Highway Commission — in the just-move-along chorus, I’d urge you to take a look at what New York City created by converting an abandoned rail viaduct, the High Line, into a masterpiece of an urban park. Good for property values, business, new development and human beings in general. Great cities and great leaders do great things like this. Mediocre public servants tear down a perfectly serviceable bridge to replace it with a yawner of a replacement, cause untold economic losses and offer unsupported claims that this is really good for us.

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Snider wonders if any city can claim a park spanning a river. It could be our Hanging Garden of Broadway.

Here’s one of the images prepared by Polk Stanley architects for this fine idea and there’s lots more at Tim McKuin’s MoveArkansas blog. ….

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HANGING GARDEN OF BROADWAY: Visualizing a park over Arkansas River.

  • HANGING GARDEN OF BROADWAY: Visualizing a park over Arkansas River.