by Max Brantley
Marshall also informed us that those planned upgrades on major streets, the arterials, such as Roosevelt Rd., also a state highway, are the key to relieving congestion, in his research into other cities and their systems. And he told us federal officials have approved requests to spend money on these streets to relieve interstate congestion – that’s good news!
You and your Metroplan staff had it right all along. Hold to that approach, and do not be swayed. We recognize the state agency remains in place, a partner in highway spending, when Marshall goes home. However, this issue is too important, and the cost is too high, to compromise. We all have agreed decisions now will impact our city for the next 50 years. Those made in the previous generation turned out not to benefit us all as promised.
We agreed the bridge ought to be replaced; that fixes for safety ought to be made; and that the bad connection at Second St. should be changed.
However, the excessive spending on 10 lanes and related features should not be allowed. Especially when the state plans to borrow $100 million and repay it from future federal allocations – already assigned to upgrade Roosevelt Rd. and other arterials.
The Little Rock consultant, Nelson Nygaard, has not even made its report yet. Surely, you owe it to your citizens to delay any action until that, too, comes before you.