The Little Rock Board of Directors will consider at its meeting next Tuesday a resolution to hire an engineering firm to provide a design to reduce a section of Markham Street to three lanes.
For four weeks last summer, cones were placed and new striping was done to create a center lane between one westbound and one eastbound lane on Markham from its intersection with Kavanaugh Boulevard to Cedar Street. The road diet was part of the seventh* annual PopUp in the Rock, the street/neighborhood improvement demonstrations sponsored by studioMAIN urban planners and Create Little Rock. Road diets encourage slower traffic, safer sidewalks and spur development. Empty storefronts between Johnson and Booker — west of the Oyster Bar — were occupied and vendors lined the streets on the weekends of last year’s June demonstration.
Sidewalks on Markham were reduced to slivers when the street was widened to four lanes, and walking westbound is particularly dangerous. The agreement with McClelland, for $122,500, is to design a three-lane route with sidewalks from Markham from Kavanaugh to Pine Street.
The Capitol View Stifft Station Neighborhood Association has passed a resolution supporting a permanent road diet. President Hunter Windle said he’ll provide the City Board with copies of the resolution before the meeting next week. He said last year’s PopUp demonstrated that a road diet would be “a positive thing for the neighborhood,” as it has been for South Main, inspired by the first PopUp.
*A previous version of this post mistakenly said the most recent PopUp in the Rock was the third annual event.