Saturday, October 1, 2011

(a little) Rain on the Parade

The whole Clinton fam is in town this weekend partly to open the long-awaited bike and pedestrian bridge that crosses the Arkansas River next to Bill's library and partly to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of his presidential campaign announcement. There're beaucoups of dignitaries and celebrities being dignified and celebratory in conjunction with the events, and the weather has been absolutely, positively sublime. If that's not enough to light your fire, the Downtown Partnership also organized a Food Truck Festival on Main Street today complete with big screen tv's to show the Razorback-Aggies game from Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.
The Clinton Bridge is Open!
However, despite all of this wonderful-ness permeating everything this weekend, someone decided to turn the River Rail Trolley tracks into a PARKING LOT from Friday through Sunday:
Drivers Only. Transit Riders Use Side Door.
So here's the situation as I see it: we have tons of out-of-staters staying downtown (including a former President, the current Secretary of State, Chicago!, etc, etc.) to dedicate the newest piece of the growing active transportation network in Central Arkansas during the most perfect time of year for people to walk and be active, and what do we do? Shut down the main link between the downtown hotels and the Clinton Library... to make room for a few extra CARS! Call me cynical, but how in the world does that make any sense? Come on people. This was an ideal opportunity to showcase the usefulness of of a balanced transportation system that allows choice, and we turned it off for CARS. Oh well. Maybe next time.

(In the interest of full disclosure though I must say that there appears to be a number of extra shuttle buses operating throughout downtown LR this weekend, but still, if we're going to invest in rail-based transit infrastructure and then criticize it for low ridership, why would we shut it down on one of the few weekends during the year when it might be able to post some real numbers?)

2 comments:

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  2. Edited/reposted to try and figure out why my first comment disappeared. Who knows!

    Ed Levy, chairman of the Little Rock Bicycle Friendly Community Committee, is on record in the DemGaz as saying "bike lanes are scary". Doh!

    Anyways, I believe Ed is a stooge for the mayor and is scared of traffic and I predict that we won't see significant improvements to the city bicycle infrastructure while he's around.

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