Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Pit Stop and Pavilion at the Big Dam Bridge

Though there is likely some small, perverse sliver of the cycling community that enjoys stepping into the port-o-potties that currently serve us on the Little Rock side of the BDB on a summer day, most of us tend to avoid the stinky little hot boxes. The Big Dam Bridge Foundation, along with the City of Little Rock and others, has started a campaign to fund the building of restrooms and a pavilion at the site. The foundation has amassed some funds generated mostly by the successful BDB100 and will use that money as matching funds for donations.

From the BDB website:

Help Us Add Restrooms to the Big Dam Bridge
The Big Dam Bridge Foundation (the Foundation), the city of Little Rock, and others, are campaigning to add a permanent restroom and pavilion on the Little Rock side.
  • • Opening in 2006, the Big Dam Bridge (BDB) had over 1 million visitors in 2013.
  • • The only restroom facility on the south side of the BDB is two port-a-potties.
  • • This is a multi-phase project (click here to see the phases).
  • • The Foundation needs to build evidence of community support to pursue matching grant funds.
  • • The Foundation needs to raise $50,000+ by August 15, 2014. To help get there, the Foundation will match your donation dollar for dollar up to $30,000.
  • • Should we reach our fundraising goal, Little Rock will provide more matching funds and will seek an additional matching grant that will help us complete the project!
You can obviously help with a donation, but you can also show your support in other ways.
-Take a short 5-question survey.
-Attend a public meeting at 5:30, Thursday, June 26, at the Willie L. Hinton Center, 3805 W. 12th Street, Little Rock
-If you would like to see these facilities built, spread the word to increase support.

The facility would eventually include a pavilion, a viewing area overlooking the river, , concessions, and additional parking. The concessions plan is wide open at this time and proposals would be requested from vendors or organizations interested in operating in the space.
I have some concerns that the enhanced facilities will create congestion problems in the area, but my broader position is that the more people and the broader range of use that our trail system attracts, the more likely we are to see support for additional infrastructure, such as the proposed River Bluffs project behind Dillard's on Cantrell.
You can stake your position by taking the survey.

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