Unintended consequences | Arkansas Blog

Monday, November 5, 2007

Unintended consequences

Posted By on Mon, Nov 5, 2007 at 9:06 AM

A note to Little Rock traffic planners: Nice try, but ....

Work has been completed on a slight widening of Cedar Hill road on the south side of the Cantrell intersection. This made room for a left-turn lane from northbound Cedar Hill onto Cantrell. This change was made so that the stream of traffic busting down curvy, narrow Cedar Hill as a shortcut to the Alltel campus wouldn't have to be delayed behind the occasional car that made a left turn onto Cantrell. But it turns out the new thru lane doesn't always move so quickly. Why? The new configuration removes the open right lane that had accommodated traffic not going straight to Alltel but turning right onto Cantrell to head downtown. Now the lane headed to Alltel is stacked up with cars that can't make the right turn because there's no longer room to pass on the right. Based on my anecdotal experience, the change has made the situation worse. I never recall once waiting through three cycles of a light to make a right-hand turn onto Cantrell, as I did this morning.

A petty, parochial concern, I know. But, to me, the work is indicative of reactive, rather than thoughtful, city government. And while we're talking about Cantrell, I didn't see much hope for productive city leadership on the question of retaining a useful and safe bike and pedestrian path around the Episcopal Cathedral School in today's Democrat-Gazette article on the subject. The school, which will worsen the situation if the city approves its proposed plat for a new elementary school, was barely mentioned in the article, the plat proceeding not at all. Some cows in town are sacred, apparently, including Collegiate School and Alltel commuters.

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