The chamber has some words to put in your mouth to support 30 Crossing | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The chamber has some words to put in your mouth to support 30 Crossing

Posted By on Thu, Dec 7, 2017 at 5:13 PM

click to enlarge CONCRETE TENTACLES: Won't this look great in downtown Little Rock? - ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
  • ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
  • CONCRETE TENTACLES: Won't this look great in downtown Little Rock?

The Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce is helping its members gin up messages to Metroplan in support of the 1950s-style highway swath that the highwaymen want to build through the heart of Little Rock's downtown.

Businessmen and women who want to do the Chamber's bidding have been supplied a boilerplate comment to send to Metroplan urging the metropolitan planning organization to amend its Transportation Improvement Plan in such a way that would widen I-30 from North Little Rock at I-40 south to the I-530 interchange by four lanes (at a minimum), with six of them through lanes and the other four "collector-distributor" lanes.

Comments are due by Dec. 18; the Metroplan Board of Directors will vote Dec. 20. If you don't want Little Rock to build a wall between the East Village and all that is happening there and the River Market/Creative Corridor/SoMa renewal west of I-30, you probably know why you think it's a terrible idea and don't need help writing your objections. Email them to comments@metroplan.org.

The Chamber calls the concrete swath "critical" to "mobility" for the "Little Rock region!" Funny, that's not how Detroit; San Francisco; Portland; Milwaukee; Boston; Cincinnati; Rochester, N.Y.; Akron; Providence; Baltimore; Oklahoma City; Cleveland; Seattle; Trenton, N.J.; New Haven, Hartford, Conn.; New Orleans; New York — and so forth — see it. They're getting rid of their city-killers. But what do they know?

The Chamber suggests supporters write that a 10-lane highway "will also enhance driver and pedestrian safety" and offer "new opportunities for development in downtown Little Rock." Yet a boulevard would do that, enhance Little Rock's appeal and cost less than $700 million, 30 Crossing's estimate. The chamber touts the promise of  "17 acres of green space incorporated in that design" — don't you want to spend time in "green space" under a 10-lane highway? Lotsa shade!

And finally, the chamber calls the highway department's plan, which Metroplan says will require all the connecting highways to be widened as well, "represents a truly innovative approach to enhancing multi-modal transportation in Little Rock and the region." Huh? Innovative in Eisenhower's day, maybe.

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