Thursday, April 30, 2015

Vandalism, poop threaten Big Dam Bridge hours and dog walking privilege

Posted By on Thu, Apr 30, 2015 at 6:31 AM

click to enlarge LIMITS: Hours may be curtailed as well as dog walking on the Big Dam Bridge if problems persist.
  • LIMITS: Hours may be curtailed as well as dog walking on the Big Dam Bridge if problems persist.

I learned from a bicycling blog, JBarCycling, that hours on the popular Big Dam Bridge might be curtailed because of vandalism and a dog ban is being contemplated because because of inconsiderate owners.

The blog reported April 3 a note from County Judge Barry Hyde, whose government oversees the hiking/biking bridge over the Arkansas River:

We expect to begin closing the BDB because of vandalism and criminal activity occurring during the night. The closure time will be the same as Burns Park and we will have the BDB open early in the morning for our early risers.

We also anticipate banning dogs on the BDB very soon. The cost of sending a crew out at least 3 times a week to clean up dog poop is not going to continue. It’s a disappointment to do that but the continued disrespect of some dog owners leaves me no choice.

Hyde confirmed the note later, but said it was meant mostly now as a 'shot across the bow" to get attention of people missing the bridge. John Burton, interim director of road and bridge, noted on the hours, however, that the Junction Bridge, a pedestrian/bike link downtown, recently reopened after renovation with 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. hours after previously being open around the clock.

John Burton, interim director of the county road and bridge department. He said no decisions had been made on either hours or dogs. The late-night vandalism, said Burton, was along the lines of people throwing items, such as heavy rocks, from the bridge. Both the county and Little Rock police operate surveillance cameras there. Burton noted that when the Junction pedestrian/bike bridge reopened recently in downtown Little Rock, it came with new hours, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., which coincides with Riverfront Park hours. That was a change from past 24-hour operation. Gates are now locked each night.

Hyde said vandalism complaints have arisen late at night. "About the time bars close, people head up to the Big Dam Bridge to continue the party and eventually things start getting thrown off the bridge, either at barges or tugs or people working there [at the lock and dam]." He said he's heard complaints from Corps of Engineers employees.

Both the county and Little Rock police have surveillance cameras on the bridge and Hyde said he hoped use of a fiberoptic connection provided by North Little Rock will allow real-time monitoring and some enforcement steps that could discourage such activity. One idea might be to post pictures of people misbehaving to "shame" them into better behavior. If the steps don't work, he said the county might consider overnight closure, perhaps from 11 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. "But maybe if we catch them a few times, they'll get the message this isn't a place to party and hang out any more."

Dogs? The situation is "out of control," Hyde said, both on the Big Dam Bridge and the nearby Two Rivers pedestrian bridge. He said he put out the word about a potential ban in hopes of getting law-abiding park users to hold fellow citizens accountable. He said the problem is far more than a few scofflaws. "I'm now getting complaints from visitors: 'Man that place is nasty.'"

Livestock and exotic animals are banned from the Big Dam Bridge, which passes over Murray Lock and Dam, but dogs have been allowed. Burton said he'd checked the bridge last week and said that it seemed the problem of dog waste wasn't as bad as it's sometimes had been, but he said it was still serious. Burton said he believed the only way to eliminate the problem was to eliminate dog access because some will always flout the rules to clean up after their dogs.

"Hopefully that won't happen," Hyde said. " But the dogs are out of control. We're sending a two-man crew three times a week. I'm not sure I can justify that kind of money to shovel peoples' dog manure."
 

Tags: , ,

Favorite

Speaking of Big Dam Bridge, Barry Hyde

  • JPs question county judge on Sherwood hot check court

    October 5, 2016
    Two members of the Pulaski County Quorum Court have sent a letter to County Judge Barry Hyde raising questions about the consolidation of hot check cases in a district court in Sherwood, an operation that has been equated to a debtors' prison by a sprawling class action lawsuit filed in cooperation with the ACLU. /more/
  • Rumor control: County garden plots will continue

    September 2, 2016
    A friend reported a rumor that the community garden plots rented by the county at Two Rivers Park might be in jeopardy. I'm happy to report that County Judge Barry Hyde's office says there's no truth to the rumor. But .... /more/
  • Concrete gulch hearing this week

    August 28, 2016
    Metroplan will vote Wednesday on a waiver of the six-lane freeway limit in its regional transportation plan to remove one obstacle to building a huge concrete gulch through the center of Little Rock — 10 lanes of freeway and even more concrete in some spots — to hasten the movement of traffic to and from suburbs to the detriment of quality of life in the city. Big surprise: the business establishment's drum major Mayor Mark Stodola, wants to pour the concrete. /more/
  • Happy Birthday, Big Dam Bridge

    August 23, 2016
    A variety of bigshots will gather at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 8, on the Little Rock side of the Big Dam Bridge to mark the 10th anniversary of what is said to be "the world’s longest pedestrian-and-bicycle bridge built and designed solely for that purpose." The investment long ago proved a wise one. /more/
  • Pulaski County government endorses end to dual holiday for King and Lee

    March 22, 2016
    The Pulaski County Quorum Court will vote tonight on a resolution calling on the state legislature to end the dual state holiday for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. /more/
  • Little Italy petition to incorporate denied

    February 26, 2016
    Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde has denied the Little Italy community's petition to incorporate into a town. In the judgement, Hyde cites the "unreasonably" large geographic area of the proposed town, its lack of necessary unity of place and an inadequate budget among reasons for denying incorporation. /more/
  • Little Italy incorporation hearing to resume Wednesday

    January 11, 2016
    Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde says the hearing on the Little Italy community's incorporation hearing will resume at 2 p.m. Wednesday in the Quorum Court meeting room. /more/
  • No decision today on Little Italy incorporation

    December 16, 2015
    No decision today in county court on petition by several hundred people to incorporate more than eight square miles of rural land in northwestern Pulaski County as Little Italy. /more/
  • Today's the day for Little Italy; what's at stake

    December 16, 2015
    County Judge Barry Hyde will hold a hearing today on a petition to incorporate a sprawling, lightly populated stretch of rural land in northwestern Pulaski County as the city of Little Italy. /more/
  • Local 'leaders' fuss about Quapaw plans for a casino

    March 20, 2015
    Local officials are suddenly worried that an Oklahoma Indian tribe might build a casino east of Little Rock near the Little Rock Port. Why do they hate economic development? /more/
  • More »

Comments (7)

Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-7 of 7

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • TGIF

    Here's the Friday open line, plus a roundup of news and comment.
    • Feb 24, 2017
  • Fake news stings Tom Cotton

    Satirist Andy Borowitz invoked the name of U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton in a humor column poking fun at Republicans running from town hall meetings. Maybe a little unfair to Cotton, who DID hold such an event.
    • Feb 24, 2017
  • Price of a free press: Political retribution

    The Trump administration freezes some reporters out of press gatherings. Dejavu all over again for us at the Arkansas Times.
    • Feb 24, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

Most Shared

Visit Arkansas

Little River County gears up for Sesquicentennial

Little River County gears up for Sesquicentennial

Historical entertainment planned for joint celebration of three Southwest Arkansas milestone anniversaries

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Price of a free press: Political retribution

    • Drumpf: "No more NYT in the WH press room for press briefings!" Drumpf: "The NYT…

    • on February 24, 2017
  • Re: TGIF

    • Today's hero, boys and girls: https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2017/02/2… ATLANTA When Nydia Tisdale turned her camera on a…

    • on February 24, 2017
  • Re: Diamond Pipeline protests continue

    • Its when these pipelines cross the waterways that we have the most concerns..yes we use…

    • on February 24, 2017

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation