by Max Brantley
BUS STATION RELOCATION
A reader comment about potential relocation of the Greyhound bus station on East Washington Avenue in North Little Rock piqued my curiosity and I ran down some information from Danny Bradley, the mayor's chief of staff, and Terry Hartwick, the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce chief, who attracted the bus station downtown when he was mayor years ago.
I haven't reached a bus company spokesman yet, but both Bradley and Hartwick said the interstate bus company was looking at a "different business model," moving away from free-standing bus stations in favor of providing space for bus stops in combination with existing businesses, such as a fast food/service station outlet on an Interstate. The company currently runs 15 buses a day through the North Little Rock station, Bradley said. The city is concerned with loitering associated with the station and the fact that it is front and center to people arriving in the city over the Main Street bridge. The area could be ripe for redevelopment — a hotel or bank, say — if the bus station relocated.
Bradley said a representative of the bus company has been in town in the last week, looking at potential sites. He and Hartwick said a spot on Interstate 40 — the Prothro Junction exist was mentioned as one possibility — seemed likeliest.
Nothing firm to report at this point.
UPDATE FROM GREYHOUND:
Greyhound has been in talks with the city about relocating our facility in Little Rock. We have been looking at various sites, but nothing has been finalized. We will be sure to notify the public and the media if that changes.
Spokesperson for Greyhound
ALCOHOL SALES ELECTION
Hartwick had firmer news to report on another business front — his drive to gather sufficient signatures to call a special election on allowing alcohol sales in seven former voting precincts turned dry years ago. A new state law provided a means for calling wet/dry elections on areas that once constituted governmental units that no longer exist. The effort particularly targets the dry strip through Park Hill along JFK Boulevard.
Hartwick says he's gathered signatures sufficient for two precincts covering some the prime targeted area (specifically precincts 4D and 4M on the map below). He's close on some others. Some areas are entirely residential and not candidates for alcohol sales anyway. The county clerk is reviewing the two precincts already canvassed. He hopes to gain sufficient signatures in at least four or five of the targeted precints and then ask Mayor Joe Smith to call a special election, perhaps by the last week in October or first week in November.