Our annual Big Ideas for Arkansas is just a few weeks away, and we really want to hear from you. Send an email to me with the subject line “BIG IDEAS.” I’m at email@example.com. Deadline for submissions is Dec. 4.
To get your wheels spinning, here are all of the Big Ideas we’ve collected since 2010. There’s lots and lots of great stuff here. Some that have come to pass. Many more that haven’t, but should. Here’s one of my favorites, from Cary Tyson in 2010:
Tear down I-630
By Cary Tyson
Like all long-lasting revitalizations, Central Arkansas’s traditional commercial core is amidst a slow renewal. But the process is disconnected. We have separate groups working in the South Main neighborhood and downtown and in the River Market. Because we’re divided. I-630 separates our city.
So tear it up and start over. Expensive? Sure. But necessary for long-term holistic revitalization? Absolutely. It’s not without precedent either. All over the country — in Oklahoma City, Portland and San Francisco — cities are in the process of destroying poorly planned highways. (Really, name another interstate that ends in a traffic light.)
Build a boulevard in place of 630. It could accommodate similar traffic flow, but at lower speeds; reconnect our neighborhoods, and spark new revitalization. Every once in a while, smart growth means starting over.