by Max Brantley
News on an issue concerning the River Trail for bikes and pedestrians that was put in play recently by the Blog: It seems headed to a happy resolution.
A member of Little Rock's vibrant bicycling community reports the happy news from Episcopal Collegiate School. We'd told you earlier that a school proposal for a new elementary school -- in a plat filed for city approval -- worsened an already poor situation for the River Trail, which runs on a too-narrow path in front of the school along busy Cantrell on its way between downtown and the Big Dam Bridge. I had written that I hoped the city would use the leverage of the planning process to encourage the school to help provide a good route for the bike path. Mayor Mark Stodola's early response was, essentially, can't be done.
Sounds like stronger leadership came from Episcopal Collegiate. My correspondent says:
We have a win-win.
They [ECS] have agreed to assign a strong negotiating team and considerable resources to joining us in finding a suitable alternate route that is not on Cantrell (our goal) and not in front of their school (same goal expressed from a different angle).
Their new plat will show a “Class I Bikeway” along their frontage on Cantrell and North Street. Thus, if the above effort eventually fails, the City will have the indisputable right to improve the trail to Class I standards along the present route.
ECS and Warren Stephens [the CEO of Stephens Inc. who is a major backer of the school] deserve to be complimented for coming forward and joining in this cooperative effort.
Photo of the current path, on sidewalk in front of ECS, is from bicycle advocate's post on the issue here.