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Mith242

Fayetteville City Plan 2025

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I'm simply been posting most of the Fayetteville info in one topic but I think this deserves a seperate topic. I'll try to recap some info previously posted in the Fayetteville topic. A while back ago Fayetteville started taking a more serious interest in trying to plan city growth to help preserve many of the pleasant aspects of the city with all the growth going on here in the NWA metro. The city went to Dover Kohl Urban Design to take a look at the city. This ended up being the Fayetteville Downtown Master Plan. Changes haven't happened overnight but it's certainly changed the way things have been done in the downtown area. Fayetteville decided on wanting an updated plan that focused on more than just the downtown area more recently and ended up deciding on trying to take a look at the city as a whole. So Dover Kohl have been back in the city taking a look around for the past week and has worked with the city to set up this City Plan 2025 including some meetings and workshops for this particular week. The first meeting was held last night at the Walton Arts Center. Anyone familiar with the Downtown Master Plan then probably has a good idea of some of what to expect for the City Plan 2025. I usually find out about these meetings after they've already taken place so I was happy to find out beforehand and was able to attend. I wasn't really sure what to expect to be honest. I was pleasantly surprised to see so many people turn out, I guess I hadn't really expected to see so many people. One aspect focused on in the first meeting was UP1 TR2. Urban planning taking first priority then transportation second. Making the roads work with the urban design and planning. Dover Kohl believes a lot of the current road planning done in American cities today cause a lot of problems. Perhaps I should also point out that not every city is the same and these meetings were focused on what they perceive is best for Fayetteville and what Fayetteville citizens want. I can't remember all the numbers mentioned in the meeting but one point that was talked about is how the average distance traveled in vehicles has dramatically risen in the past decade and the previous decade before that. Part of that being the fact that people move into the suburbs to live and then have to travel back into the city to do activities like shopping or just even for recreation. Dover Kohl are advocates for New Urbanism. In a sense breaking the city down into 'cells' like a living organism and having these cells to be able to perform many functions on their own. It also allows people to do things without having to constantly rely on their vehicles to get around and do every single thing. I believe they mentioned 2000 ft is the typical distance the average person feels comfortable walking. Before I go any further let me break here and I'll conitnue in another post in a bit.

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Before I go into another long description on what happened at the meeting and such I wanted to show some other things. First I'll post a couple of pics. One being College Ave near the Lafayette intersection and also a pic of what Dover Kohl thinks should be the potential for that area in the future.

College_before.jpg

College_after.jpg

This isn't one of the newer pics by the way. That gas station is already closed in the first pic on the left and there's a small mixed-use development planned there now. I wish I could have access to all the pics and diagrams they used in the meeting. That and some of the info on the net I've found is in the form of pdf files. I'll try posting some links to some of that info a little later. On one of the pdf files there was a middle picture showing part of the changesmainly occuring on the left side of the pic.

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I'll post more on this later. There's a workshop that's starting in a bit so I'm off to go check that out. I think they're 3 hours long so hopefully I'll have more detailed info for tonight.

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I've seen that comparison of the pics before on the Fayetteville Masterplan.

The Downtown Masterplan has so much potential, it could really turn Fayetteville into a downtown city.

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I've seen that comparison of the pics before on the Fayetteville Masterplan.

The Downtown Masterplan has so much potential, it could really turn Fayetteville into a downtown city.

Yeah most of the info I'm seeing on their website is still based on the Downtown Master Plan. I'll post a quick pic of some population density on a chart I was able to take from the workshop. I'll post some more details later.

img1908ss2ip.jpg

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I'll try to post a little about today's workshop before I have some thing to go do. It was pretty interesting. First of all I got to see an area of Fayetteville I haven't really been around much in quite a while. The workshop was at the David Reynolds Fayetteville Boys and Girls Club. I'm surprised I haven't heard more about the facility. It was a very nice facility. About the only thing I didn't see that the Jones Center in Springdale has is an ice rink. I don't it's quite a big either but it's a really nice facility and looks like a great place to take the kids if you have any and live in the area. Anyway back to the workshop. After an introduction again covering some of the same things mentioned at the meeting I went to last night we broke up into different groups to discuss things wanted in the 2025 plan. The workshop I was attending was for the western part of the city so I felt at a little bit of a disadvantage because I'm not as familiar with it as other areas of the city. But I have to say I was really impressed with the people there. I guess for some reason I was expecting some people that you always seem to see on tv complaining about growth and developments and such. But I was really impressed how much a lot of the other people seemed to have a lot of the same ideas I have. Increased density, better public transportation, revitalizing College Ave and other major roads. Also concerns about having more housing for those other than the upper class. I guess the density really surprised me, I didn't expect to hear so many other people talk about increasing density. There were some city officials who went from table to table observing. I managed to ask one who was involved with transportation. I mentioned the possiblity of a trolley system. Basically it sounds like we need to first really improve just the bus transportation before we can look more seriously into something like a trolley. He said a trolley system would be rather expensive and they aren't always likely to had out a lot of funds if it's just as easy to have a bus system set in place instead. I also asked about why we didn't have something like a city museum too. I wasn't necessarily talking about something big but I think it was taken that way. It sounds like people have expressed interest in the area for a museum but just feel there isn't enough density in the area to support one. I guess our metro is just a little too spread out for now and not enough density. I'm trying to remember some numbers mentioned on density. I think Fayetteville's average density is around 1,800 per square mile. Victor Dover, who gave the introduction, said that this was rather low. He also mentioned that there are some very nice cities out there with much higher densities. One example was Charleston SC. I think he said around the peninsula there was around 20,000 to 25,000 per square mile. I think the French Quarter was around 40,000 to 45,000. I'm just giving estimates because I really can't remember the exact numbers. Looking on the density map it does looke like Fayetteville has a little bit around the 5,900 to 8,400 amount. Anyway I'll post more when I have time later or if anyone has any questions feel free to ask. I'm also hoping I managed to talk someone into checking out UP as well.

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Here's a little bit of info about Dover Kohl Urban Design.

Dover, Kohl & Partners is nationally recognized for designing and revitalizing neighborhoods, corridors, cities, and regions. The plans produced by Dover, Kohl & Partners focus on traditional neighborhood design and Smart Growth, emphasizing that there does not have to be a tradeoff between livability and economic prosperity.

Victor Dover and Joseph Kohl are charter members of the Congress for the New Urbanism and have worked for many public agencies, developers, and citizen groups to create appropriate methods of land development and regulation. The firm has produced and facilitated over 80 charrettes during the last decade. In 2004 the firm was hired by the City to work with the Fayetteville community to create the Fayetteville Downtown Master Plan.

And here's a bit of info about what a charrette is that is mentioned above.

What is a Charrette?

Charrette is a French word that translates as “little cart.” At the leading architecture school of the 19th century, the

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Well, the direction their going is better than other cities I'm familiar with IMO. At least they're taking a proactive approach to attempt smarter land-use planning, which I applaud. When cities don't do that, not so good things can result, such as traffic (i.e., motor vehicle) congestion. Land use and transportation are two sides of the same coin.

I guess I shouldn't be worried about what things they come up with-- as an engineer it's my job (and habit) to look at problems practically. Anything less can result in bad stuff. If an engineer screws up, a bridge could collapse or drivers could get in deadly accidents. If a planner screws up... well, people may complain about traffic or some such. That's why becoming a licensed, professional engineer is very difficult and takes a long time (I'm not one yet).

So really they can put any unrealistic element in their plan, but that doesn't mean they will happen. My concern is that people will see these things and then think its great and expect them to happen... then when engineers get involved, it turns out that the plans will not work in real life (or require major modification), then the masses think it's because AHTD are a bunch of mean unprogressive dolts who can't see the big picture. AHTD is obligated by law and by their profession to consider the well-being of the state and the populace.

It seems like often bad traffic patterns due to in large part bad land use planning results in people complaining... not to the planners, or urban designers, but to the state DOT. If this plan results in smarter land use strategies, I'm all for it. Just don't expect all those transportation design elements to happen (the ones involving a state or US hwy). Did they consider function along with their form? It's sort of like the architect coming up with a seemingly great idea for a design element in a building... then later the structural engineer says it can't happen, so it's scrapped or modified.

Not trying to be critical of anyone... just trying to give some perspective...

Appreciate the updates Mith!

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No you do have some points and that's not to say that the city of Fayetteville will necessarily agree with everything that the Dover Kohl Urban Design team decide either. There are still aspects of the Downtown Master Plan that they came up with a little while back that have yet to be implemented. Whether it's still a matter of time or they don't plan on quite going that direction is still to be seen. But I really do like the effort being made by the city. I think with this type of planning Fayetteville won't end up with future problems like ones we are going to have to deal with now like College Ave.

I forgot to mention it earlier but there are still people talking about the light rail. I know it was mentioned in my group and I saw it mentioned in other groups as well. I know it's been discussed already here but I still think it's interesting that the idea still has drawn such positive response from as many people as it has. Even if it's not something that may ever happen. I still think it's great that there are people planning ahead and trying to think of possibilities. But I guess we'll just have to wait and see if there is ever any type of light rail or something along those lines somewhere in the future.

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I absolutely agree. The effort is definitely noble and is the process is in itself good for the community, if nothing else. Open discussions and hearing different points of views are always good. I wish more cities would genuinely pursue smart planning efforts. Light rail is good to talk about and plan for-- I think higher density communities give a stronger case for federal funding of transit projects.

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So Mith, Did you promote Urban Planet?

I'm also hoping I managed to talk someone into checking out UP as well.

Yeah. Although I'd like to go to another one and be a little more prepared. As interested as these people were to actually come to these workshops and meetings I believe tat some would be interested enough to come check us out. I think the bigger thing is to get some of them over the hump of just looking as a guest and getting some of them to try participating. As I said before depending on time I might try to attend another workshop, particularly one for the central area of the city since that's where I live. It might be a bit repetitive but I'm wondering if maybe I can get some sort of announcement near the beginning before some of the people leave during the process is completely over.

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I wish I could have found a way to talk to the reporter for the NWA Times and somehow got a mention of UP in the article. They've had a couple of articles in Saturday's and Sunday's papers. You can eve see part of me in one of the pics. :lol: But they don't tend to stick around for the whole thing. I've also wondered about the possibility of mentioning UP at the beginning of a workshop. But I'm not sure if they'd be for it because to be honest there is a forum at the City Plan 2025 site, although it hasn't been used much so far. I think this forum would be more interesting since we've already got a number of discussions and info started here already. But as I said I'm not sure they'd be okay with me trying to promote another site.

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^

Great Job, I'm hoping to go to some Rogers City Planning Commission Meetings to Promote Urban Planet. May'be we can get help from Neo for some fliers and pass them out. It would be great if we could get in the newspaper or on the news.

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^

Great Job, I'm hoping to go to some Rogers City Planning Commission Meetings to Promote Urban Planet. May'be we can get help from Neo for some fliers and pass them out. It would be great if we could get in the newspaper or on the news.

Yeah a mention in the paper would certainly be great. I also need to try to attend some Fayetteville City Planning Meetings. But first I need to find out where and when they are usually held. I'll have to see if I can find out if I can make it to another workshop.

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Just out of curiosity does anyone have any suggestions on things they'd like to see? I might attend another workshop and even if I don't accomplish that Dover Kohl will be setting up temporary offices at the Nadine Baum Studio area of the Walton Arts Center. They welcomed people to stop by and also drop off comments and such there as well. So I'll at least be able to do that. I'm also curious to see what other areas of the city have to say from their workshops.

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Oh yeah there was something I was wanting to clarify. In the first meeting there was talk of having an additional 40,000 citizens by 2025. At the workshop Victor Dover said that they took the conservative number and there are numbers higher than this. I was also impressed by the one workshop that I went to. One of the things we did was to have a map and use stickers that repersented 125 people and showed where people wanted all of the new people to be put into the city. We were required to put 25% in the west part of the city. As I mentioned before this particular workshop was for the west side. I was surprised how many people had no problem having more people put into the west side of the city. Some people even had very few people set in areas like the east side. Prefering more people in the center and west sides to bring up density. I just thought that was interesting because it seems a lot of times peopel tend to have the tendency of lets just have all these new people move in to one of the other areas of the city they don't live in.

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Okay I wanted to post some info that I learned while talking to one of the city planners at the workshop yesterday. I had already heard about widening Rupple Rd and extending it to the south and even a little about extending it to the north. But apparently the city is wanting not only connect over to Hwy 112 in the north part of the city but also allow another roadway to help funnel people wanting to go to the mall area of the city onto other roads. One aspect being talked about apparently is changing the Fulbright Expressway. Changing it from an expressway and establishing a city grid pattern into that area of the city instead of having that area so diconnected from each other.

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I wonder what the consultants would (if not already) say about keeping Fayetteville identity while growing on the west side of town. What I mean by that is that west Fay is somewhat seperated from inner Fay by I-540-- I used to live out there as a kid, and even today it "feels" seperated from town. All the growth on that side of town will make those interchanges more congested, adding on to that IMO. Would they advocate more "crossings" (e.g. overpasses) over I-540, either vehicular (street), pedestrian (ped bridge), shared-use path, or a combination of those.

It's my humble opinion (and many citizens who shared similar comments for the I-540 Improvment Study) that the more connectivity over I-540 to the "core" of these cities like Fay, the better. Helps keep Fay identity together while relieving traffic congestion at key interchanges.

I also wonder how many of the people attending these workshops would say "yes" when asked whether road improvments should be made at those I-540 interchanges... then "yes" when asked whether sprawl is bad... and then say "yes" when asked whether road improvments contribute to sprawl. I bet you everyting it's a lot. I hope those consultants realize that too if they make unreasonable substantiations regarding transportation planning. Not that anyone is immune to criticism, but just giving some perspective.

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I wonder what the consultants would (if not already) say about keeping Fayetteville identity while growing on the west side of town. What I mean by that is that west Fay is somewhat seperated from inner Fay by I-540-- I used to live out there as a kid, and even today it "feels" seperated from town. All the growth on that side of town will make those interchanges more congested, adding on to that IMO. Would they advocate more "crossings" (e.g. overpasses) over I-540, either vehicular (street), pedestrian (ped bridge), shared-use path, or a combination of those.

It's my humble opinion (and many citizens who shared similar comments for the I-540 Improvment Study) that the more connectivity over I-540 to the "core" of these cities like Fay, the better. Helps keep Fay identity together while relieving traffic congestion at key interchanges.

I also wonder how many of the people attending these workshops would say "yes" when asked whether road improvments should be made at those I-540 interchanges... then "yes" when asked whether sprawl is bad... and then say "yes" when asked whether road improvments contribute to sprawl. I bet you everyting it's a lot. I hope those consultants realize that too if they make unreasonable substantiations regarding transportation planning. Not that anyone is immune to criticism, but just giving some perspective.

It wasn't mentioned particularly just for the west side of the city but issues concerning linking together larger areas of the city by pedestrian/bike trials was something that needed to be addressed. People liked some of the plans the city has but wanted them to be addressed more in the immediate future not further out as some of them seem to be. Of course I'm sure funding has a lot to do with it. But I'd have to say I like what I'm hearing from wthe urban designing team and from a number of citizens. Granted these workshops aren't exactly representing all viewpoints of the people of Fayetteville. But then again if other people want other things then they might also might want to participate more in these types of events to make sure their opinions are noted as well.

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Okay I wanted to post some info that I learned while talking to one of the city planners at the workshop yesterday. I had already heard about widening Rupple Rd and extending it to the south and even a little about extending it to the north. But apparently the city is wanting not only connect over to Hwy 112 in the north part of the city but also allow another roadway to help funnel people wanting to go to the mall area of the city onto other roads. One aspect being talked about apparently is changing the Fulbright Expressway. Changing it from an expressway and establishing a city grid pattern into that area of the city instead of having that area so diconnected from each other.

Do you remember the name of the city planner you talked to? Was it the guy with curly hair and a goutee? I forget his name.

As far as Fulbright is concerned, they've been talking about that for awhile... if I remember correctly, they met with AHTD a few years ago and AHTD shot that idea down. Not that that would ever stop Fay of course...

If they (Fay engineers/planners) really, truly, I mean REALLY want to implement some of these far-fetched ideas, they're going to need to convince those who have authority over these hwys that what they're proposing is based on sound logic, reasoning, good planning practice and good engineering practice. I haven't seen that out of them yet (they sure do a lot of talking though).

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Do you remember the name of the city planner you talked to? Was it the guy with curly hair and a goutee? I forget his name.

As far as Fulbright is concerned, they've been talking about that for awhile... if I remember correctly, they met with AHTD a few years ago and AHTD shot that idea down. Not that that would ever stop Fay of course...

If they (Fay engineers/planners) really, truly, I mean REALLY want to implement some of these far-fetched ideas, they're going to need to convince those who have authority over these hwys that what they're proposing is based on sound logic, reasoning, good planning practice and good engineering practice. I haven't seen that out of them yet (they sure do a lot of talking though).

I seem to remember him having a goatee but he had a hat on so I don't really recall anything about his hair. Maybe I should have also mentioned that not all the things I mentioned are necessarily going to happen. But they are ideas being talked about. It sounds like some of the city officials really like some of these ideas but that's not to say that they are all doable. If they do want to change Fulbright Expressway then I'm assuming this would also change plans for a northern flyover so that people going north on College Ave have easier access to the Fulbright Expressway and I-540. Right now you have to make a u-turn at the College-Joyce intersection then head back south to get onto it.

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I should have mentioned this earlier but the focus on these workshops is mainly just to get ideas out there. We weren't supposed to worry about wether it's economically possible and so on. Although my conversation with the city planner wasn't exactly what I would consider a part of the workshop. Still that is one thing I do like about Fayetteville. Maybe not everything is possible but I like the fact of people thinking of these things. After living in Pine Bluff years ago there just seemed to almost be a defeatist attitude among so many people. Why worry about those trypes of things because they weren't ever going to happen type mentality. But Fayetteville seems to have more of a it's possible type attitude. But as I said before maybe some of these ideas won't happen or be possible but I do still like looking into other possibilities. :D

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I seem to remember him having a goatee but he had a hat on so I don't really recall anything about his hair. Maybe I should have also mentioned that not all the things I mentioned are necessarily going to happen. But they are ideas being talked about. It sounds like some of the city officials really like some of these ideas but that's not to say that they are all doable. If they do want to change Fulbright Expressway then I'm assuming this would also change plans for a northern flyover so that people going north on College Ave have easier access to the Fulbright Expressway and I-540. Right now you have to make a u-turn at the College-Joyce intersection then head back south to get onto it.

The fly-over ramp is a great idea-- very straight-forward and reasonably simple. Probably very do-able as well. Unfortunately, Fayetteville has been talking about doing that since I was a little kid I remember, yet they've never had a serious proposal/submission to the NWA MPO or AHTD. So nothing has happened. But I bet you're on to something there-- they probably really don't want the flyover because they don't want Fulbright as a freeway anymore. They want to turn it into a street (or you might say an expressway) with an at-grade connection with North Hills Blvd (near Washington Regional). Or that was my understanding from what I've heard (and read) from them. If only they would communicate more with NWARPC and AHTD, we might be able to get something done. An ambitious idea requires an ambitious person to really push it and champion it.

I don't mean to come off as negative, I really don't if that's how I sound. But as someone who is squarely involved in NWA transportation planning and decision-making sometimes I scratch my head and wonder what people are thinking sometimes. Because, you see, planning for a metro area is not exactly easy (as you might have guessed). A large part of that reason is how planning decisions are made (or not made). Transportation planning decisions for a metro area are based on many different factors, and many different organizations and agencies are involved and have input (including the public). Consequently, there is no "boss" to answer to-- if there is bad (i.e., lack of) planning, no one is necessarily fired, no one is held responsible, no one has to answer to someone else for the most part. It just happens, then people wonder who the heck screwed up.

The closest forum a metro area has to conduct transportation planning efforts is the MPO (in NWA, it's NWARPC). In theory, they are under the "umbrella" of USDOT, and are held to certain requirements. However, the feds are rather flexible in this regard, and don't strictly hold the MPO to "not-so-easy-to-do" tasks. Such as getting different agencies/jurisdictions to cooperate in planning efforts. Also, some planning efforts aren't directly mandated by US DOT (such as smart land use planning), but instead 'strongly encouraged' through cooperation and dialogue with the MPO, FHWA, state DOT, etc.

I'm not sure it would be appropriate of me to tell everybody who reads this how a majority of transportation planning decisions are made in NWA. I always worry that someone from like the media will read what I post (if I were to post "insider information") and take it out of context and make grief for people. Plus, I might get in trouble. I just like to come one here to hear different viewpoints and express my own without trying to put my "face" on or reveiling my identity or who I work for. That being said, city planners aren't going to decide when/if I-540 improvements are made, or when/if this "western bypass" gets built. Instead, some of them sit on NWARPC committees and discuss and recommend and vote and so forth on transportation projects they would like to see done with federal funds. Of course, cities can get local funds to build improvements to local roads any time. With the exception of earmarked federal funds, if one could say who has the ultimate authority in Arkansas to make decisions on where funds should be spent, its the Highway Commission.

Now, a big part of deciding which projects in local areas of the state will get funded or studied or whatever is the *public* involvement process. If the public really is clamoring for a western bypass, for example, a study will probably be conducted sooner rather than later. If a city really wants to make a proposed highway improvement have a landscaped median (and is willing to help pay for it), and the public is behind it, it will most likely get done if its reasonable. If a city really wants a particular project done right away, but it wasn't a priority to the Commission, but are willing to dish out lots of money to help pay for it, then it might get done much, much quicker.

Long schpeel, didn't mean to do it. I'll say more later

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