Riverdale traffic | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Riverdale traffic

Posted By on Thu, Aug 16, 2007 at 4:34 PM

I've done a quick breeze through four discs of info from Metroplan on the ongoing Riverdale traffic study, a project done in conjunction with the state and city of Little Rock. It all is part of a first-phase study of population, development, traffic volume, and congestion in the area. A second phase would be a study of solutions for any problems identified. A third phase would be doing the work.

I note with interest that a first draft of the study, which is to be final in a couple of weeks, referenced overloaded streets. A city traffic planner suggested that that phrase not be used because the data didn't support that conclusion, at least not yet.

Indeed, Some quick notes on my reading: Traffic along Cantrell in the Riverdale area is not nearly so congested as, for example, Cantrell in the Heights, Tanglewood and beyond. Most key intersections operate at acceptable efficiency, with the exception of turn lanes here and there during morning and evening rush hours. Traffic is up historically through the Riverdale region, but not by extraordinary amounts. Traffic accidents have actually declined in recent years and, over a 10-year span, pedestrian and bike accidents also have declined. Others undoubtedly will disagree, but I find in the report some support for my view that traffic isn't as bad as described, with some peak hour exceptions.

The study is looking at traffic in "cut-through" neighborhoods, such as Hillcrest, an escape route to I-630 from Riverdale, and Overlook-Kingwood-etc., an escape route at the western end of Rebsamen Park Road to Highway 10.

Turn lane and signal improvements clearly aren't adequate, despite some recent work, on Cantrell at Cedar Hill and Riverfront Drive. But I hope the notion of putting more traffic on steep, narrow and windy Cedar Hill; of trying to make it easier to move traffic on the Cedar corridor through pedestrian- and neighborhood-traffic-friendly Hillcrest, and of making "improvements" at the western end of Rebsamen Park, whether on a cut-through uphill to Cantrell or, worse, an extension of the road over Jimerson Creek, remain off-limits. Other areas of the city (see University Avenue) need help more and stable neighborhoods don't need to be degraded to help commuters get home to Bryant quicker.

Eternal vigilance .... Thus my interest in reviewing the work. More as it comes along. Thanks to Jim McKenzie at Metroplan for providing the work so far.

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