Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola made a major announcement today regarding the Arkansas River Trail "Cantrell gap". After years of pressure from BACA, along with other cycling and pedestrian interests, Stodola said, "I'm tired of hearing about it. We have a fantastic plan from Jacobs Engineers, we have widespread support from the community, and now we have a commitment from the Walton Family Foundation for matching funds that will allow us to complete the River Bluffs Trail Section."
He pointed to the Walton Family Foundation's pledge of $15-million which supplemented federal TIGER grants and local funding to complete the 36 mile, $38-million Razorback Greenway in Northwest Arkansas.
From the Greenway website:
Trails for bike riding and walking ranked second out of 18 different amenities that new homebuyers look for in a community, according to a 2002 survey of new homebuyers sponsored by the National Association of Home Realtors and the National Association of Home Builders.
A Foundation spokesman said that central Arkansas had been important to the growth of Walmart in its nascent years and that the Walton family was glad to be able to give back to the community. It's also good for business: "Trail systems are proven to spur economic development and bring more people to communities That's good for Walmart."
Dillard's representatives did not wish to comment.