Tuesday, November 15, 2011

River Bluff/Dillard's Trail Section: I'm On Board, But....

...there's a matter of the money.

Thanks to the folks at Metroplan and the City of Little Rock, I received a lot of information on the proposed River Bluff Trail section, which is to run behind Dillard's and "close the loop" on the trail. I read the 27 page hand-out (I have this in pdf format. e-mail jbarcycling@comcast.net if you want a copy. ) and I must say that it is an impressive sales piece, all the more so due to the use of one of my photos on page 16 (without permission, but I'm glad to do my part for the cause!). It is part of a grant application for federal transportation funding in the amount of around $12 million of the $15 million total project cost.
Watch this video and consider the possibilities:

The video does a pretty complete job of telling the story. I must admit that the timing of Mayor Stodola's image hovering in the corner as the vision for the development of the River Trail was being mentioned was a bit off-putting. Nothing against the Mayor, but I don't think he was around as Buddy Villines and Pat Hays were taking giant steps to make the trail happen, and the implication is that he was the visionary. I'm being petty, but the subtle message didn't ring true and Mayor Stodola will have his chance to put his stamp on the River Trail with his handling of the solution to the "Moronic Mile". OK, I got that off my mind!
The possibilities for the River Bluff trail section are nothing short of spectacular!  I would not take odds on the project getting funding in the current political climate, but the only way to get it is to ask. That process in and of itself is expensive, especially with a project that requires significant engineering, but now there is a plan. I did not expect the Two Rivers Bridge to be funded anytime soon, but when the stimulus dollars became available, the project was planned and ready to roll. Stranger things have happened in the world of money and politics.

And heeeerrrre's Tom!

Tom Ezell filmed a ride through the current dangerous route past the proposed trail section, and it is presented as a link in the grant application. Ride along if you dare!


Vinny F said...

Awesome videos. I really like Tom Ezell's video of the Little Rock "River Trail".

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when you force cyclists onto pedestrian sidewalks.

Tom Ezell said...

All I did was follow along one of the ABC rides and turn the camera on... ;-)

I spent one afternoon riding up and down that thing filming from various perspectives, but just chasing riders down the trail worked better. There wasn't even as much traffic as normal for a Sunday afternoon, but it caught a lot of the craziness that goes on out there.

I was surprised to see the crash picture in the application, too... but also glad that I wasn't still on the bike!

Anonymous said...

Tom, thanks for taking the time to film and upload.