Baxter Reecer | Arkansas news, politics, opinion, restaurants, music, movies and art

Baxter Reecer 
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Recent Comments

Re: “SPUIs, split diamonds and pipe dreams: 30 Crossing open house


It stand for Single Point Urban Interchange. Basically, the same type of underpass interchanges you see around much of Little Rock and the rest of the state of Arkansas, with stop lights and left turns.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Baxter Reecer on 04/27/2016 at 9:48 AM

Re: “Firm outlines a different approach for Interstate 30


It does propose a new bridge across the river, somewhere connecting Pike st in NLR to a street in Little Rock. It's been in conversations before, and it's purpose is to provide an avenue from NLR to Cantrell without going through downtown.


Yes, you would take the Boulevard and hit the lights. What most people are misunderstanding, however, is that the traffic load on that road would be significantly reduced due changes in NLR at the 67/440/40 interchange. Off of the numbers that we have ran from Metroplan's reports, we don't think hitting 4 or so lights (timed) at 40mph for 9 blocks would be any slower than how traffic currently is. The reality is that Little Rock traffic is not bad, compared to many national averages (although the AHTD's numbers make it seem bad, but commuting from Cabot to LR is a longer commute, and therefor obviously a longer amount of time). Also, I'm not sure where in our plan you're seeing a ramp be removed at 630...we simply suggested tucking it in closer to accommodate the other changes at that interchange to allow the Hanger Hill neighborhood to be redeveloped. We didn't focus on the NLR side because, well, working for free isn't very sustainable and we didn't want this document to be so complicated and big that people couldn't understand it in 5 minutes.


We didn't look at that idea, I think mainly because we focused on the LR side of things more than anything else (this plan's purpose was to show to LR City Board of Directors). I've heard it talked about though. I think that a bridge connecting Pike would be a better choice to avoid how much traffic has to move east and west through the main part of downtown.

I think it's important to think about the highway systems as pipe that flow into one another. No matter how big the initial pipe is, water will slow down when it hits smaller pipes down the line. Just like the pipes, our roadways shouldn't try to force everybody through one single choke point. Even if the interstate was ten lanes, what happens when those ten lanes have to turn into 6 again? When has the AHTD added lanes in Central Arkansas that have ever actually improved commute times after 5 years? Induced Demand will occur (build it bigger, more people will want to take that way, more development occurs because of that pathway, then the road needs to get bigger, and bigger, etc.) What our plan tries to do is divert the traffic from all of the different sources throughout Little Rock, so that instead of moving 75% of the commuting traffic through one road, were moving it through several roads. Many people look at the boulevard and focus only on that, but in reality if this was to happen, that would be the last and the least expensive thing to occur.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Baxter Reecer on 01/15/2016 at 7:20 PM

Re: “Firm outlines a different approach for Interstate 30

There is another link that might work better for you, as well as allow you to download it if you want.

Arbiter, I don't think we are claiming to be traffic specialists or highway engineers. I will admit that I know very little about traffic dynamics! I don't think that we've caused any harm by trying to think out an alternative option, and I will be the first to admit that this plan is far from complete. Little Rock has not yet hired an urban designer to address this issue, so instead of letting the citizens of Little Rock have their city designed by roadway engineers (who, I don't think, are practiced in city design just as I am not practiced in traffic design) we thought we'd take a stab at an alternate idea. Sorry if this has offended you! We did this in our free time because we're concerned about the future of the city. If you would like to read some more on city design, I suggest checking out "A Pattern Language" by Christopher Alexander and "The Death and Life of Great American Cities" by Jane Jacobs.

There is a huge amount of documented evidence that adding lanes to interstates does NOT speed up traffic flow. Even further, our plan attempts to describe a way to divert and spread traffic throughout the city, not push both localized and thru traffic through a valve. The realities of transit are changing very quickly, and I hope that those in charge are aware of it.

4 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Baxter Reecer on 01/13/2016 at 11:20 AM

Re: “Firm outlines a different approach for Interstate 30


If you're referring to the new "Arkansas Boulevard" being able to handle the load versus the re-branded 440 (new i30), we think it would take significant load off due to rerouting much of the Cabot/Jacksonville traffic onto 440. The third page of the proposal details a potential connection off LaHarpe to Pike St in North Little Rock as well. What this means is that the Arkansas Boulevard should only be handling the traffic from NLR, Sherwood, and Park Hill neighborhood, and with an added Cantrell connection for people commuting to WLR, the new Pike St. Connection can allow these people to skip over downtown completely.

Our current (and unfortunately, our potential future) solution pushes everybody, even traffic that is en route from Memphis to Dallas, through a tiny choke point by downtown. Some might argue that this provides access, but access to downtown shouldn't be provided via a 70mph speedway. It will take no longer than, and probably less time to commute by 440 with this plan to Jacksonville and Cabot than it currently does WITH traffic on i30 right now. This is achieved with smart fly-overs that eliminate merging at the 630/30 interchange, which is a good location to divert traffic, not in the middle of downtown.

8 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Baxter Reecer on 01/12/2016 at 4:20 PM


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