by Max Brantley
Apparent winners in I-30 compromise 10-lane plan (6 interstate-4 access): Clinton Presidential Park; @RiverMarket district; NLR; commutersEsay for him to say, I countered. I work in the River Market. I don't buy the need for 10 lanes — or necessarily a freeway through town to begin with. The Clinton facility has been behind the plan from the start, even in its original form. City leaders didn't much care as long as something was done about the Cumberland-Clinton-LaHarpe intersection. Tonight, I'll be interested to hear what some of the broader interests have to say, including some of the design experts who've floated a lot of original thinking about handling traffic through Little Rock.
In anticipation of tonight's Public Involvement Meeting to discuss the modified plans to widen the interstate at the river bridge, the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) recognizes that our patrons have a wide range of opinions regarding the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department's 30 Crossing project.Removing the Second Street ramp would allow creation of a grassy mall envisioned by the library some time ago that would stretch from Cumberland Street to the Clinton Library (see above). Not a bad thing. This change would move the exit from the freeway to Fourth Street for southbound drivers and Ninth Street for northbound, with ongoing westbound traffic funneled over to Capitol Avenue and Sixth Street. There'dalso be a "Texas turnaround" to guide exiting traffic to Third Street.
From our perspective in the River Market, the most recent proposal is an attractive development with some very clear benefits for the CALS Main Library campus. The removal of the I-30 2nd Street ramps will create significant new greenspace beside the library and easier access to the library from the south. This will become increasingly important as growth continues in the River Market District.
I invite all interested parties to use our library's many resources in the library and online to study this or any other activity of state, local, or federal government that affects our communities.