Jennifer Bethea, another Arkansas citizen, taxpayer, voter, consumer, and property owner says 'enough!' in her note to the folks at Garver/AHTD. I especially like the last paragraph: "I have lived in Little Rock all my life and have never been more proud of my hometown than I am right now. I encourage you to find a way to address traffic flow that does not destroy the heart of our beautiful city." Yes. It's easy to point to the predictions of mythical time saved from these projects as their only all-positive all-the-time impact, but the real world repercussions of increased traffic (read about induced demand here, here, and here), severely impacted quality of life for the communities this project passes through, and the plain, simple, undeniably large drain on the economy that a $500 million bill represents all make the 30 Crossing project a lose-lose-lose for the people of Arkansas. Listen to the people, AHTD, and find a better way. Jennifer's full comment posted with her permission:
I am writing as a concerned citizen to request that you reconsider the plans to expand I-30 near downtown.
I understand that the river bridge needs to be replaced, but I am extremely concerned about the impact an I-30 expansion would have on the downtown of our city, which is currently experiencing a wonderful revitalization. I live downtown and every day see citizens and tourists alike enjoying the River Market, Riverfront Park, and the various pedestrian bridges via a lovely stroll or bike ride down President Clinton Avenue. People from all over the city come to enjoy this area. The bicycle trails which run through this area have brought a great deal of positive attention to our city from all over the country.
Sadly, the planned expansion would destroy this area, hurting local businesses, tourism, economic growth, and our citizenry's enjoyment of this beautiful and thriving part of their city. In addition, the area east of I-30 is thriving with an unprecedented addition of new businesses. It would do these business owners and their customers a great disservice to cut off this area from the rest of downtown.
I have lived in Little Rock all my life and have never been more proud of my hometown than I am right now. I encourage you to find a way to address traffic flow that does not destroy the heart of our beautiful city.