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KJW

Gradually, a pattern emerges in NWA

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A few years ago local businessmen start getting together with plans for a new shopping mall//destination in south Rogers.

They plan on a facility with several hundred thousand square feet.

Then William "Dillard's" Dillard comes in and says, essentially, "You guys aren't thinking BIG enough for what's happening in this market."

Hence, we have the Promenade which now has about 1 million (?) square feet, which looks to be an incredible, fascinating shopping place when all will be said and done this October.

Now today we find out Springdale leaders, apparently 2 years ago, (2 years after a big section in one of the local papers asked "Could NWA support a minor league baseball team?") started looking at the possibility of getting an independent baseball team for their city. An INDEPENDENT team.

Word somehow got out around the Texas League (perhaps from a Springdale person). Suddenly, the Wichita Wranglers are calling Springdale city officials and asking: "WhassUUUUP?"

Now we're about to get a Texas League team in NWA to compete with other teams from obscure places like, well, Tulsa, San Antonio, Little Rock and suburban Dallas/Fort Worth.

There's a pattern emerging here.

Maybe John Q. "51" Hammons is right. (And I'm not talking "new state" here...that will hopefully never happen.)

My next guess as to what's being underestimated: I-49.

But that's just me. ;)

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I have a question though. What if it came down to basically being told that you could either put money towards I-49 or we could use the money for road developments in NWA? I think most people up here are going to want the more immediate impact and want roads worked on in our area. I don't think there's going to be enough money for several major projects. If I-49 was given priority then I think the 412 bypass and any other big road project is going to be put off for years perhaps decades. I'm not trying to say I wouldn't want an I-49. But if it came down to a choice between the two I'd have to pick working on local projects like the 412 bypass and others like the possibility of a western bypass or an eastern parkway or something along those lines.

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I have a question though. What if it came down to basically being told that you could either put money towards I-49 or we could use the money for road developments in NWA? I think most people up here are going to want the more immediate impact and want roads worked on in our area. I don't think there's going to be enough money for several major projects. If I-49 was given priority then I think the 412 bypass and any other big road project is going to be put off for years perhaps decades. I'm not trying to say I wouldn't want an I-49. But if it came down to a choice between the two I'd have to pick working on local projects like the 412 bypass and others like the possibility of a western bypass or an eastern parkway or something along those lines.

Good point, Mith.

In fact, I got the feeling I should have retitled my post to: "Gradually, the pattern spreads in NWA".

Case in point...back in the mid-80s I remember a man describing Fort Smith city government (in regard to infrastructure improvements) as "crisis management". A man who works at a former White Oak Station I frequent says the local city planning committees should be called "reaction committees", because they're always reacting to growth. (And this man seems neither a complainer nor a mean-spirited person.)

I think I should have changed my post title because it seems that the school of thinking that "we need to plan BIGGER" is spreading from local road/highway planning to different aspects of this region's growth.

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I have a question though. What if it came down to basically being told that you could either put money towards I-49 or we could use the money for road developments in NWA? I think most people up here are going to want the more immediate impact and want roads worked on in our area. I don't think there's going to be enough money for several major projects. If I-49 was given priority then I think the 412 bypass and any other big road project is going to be put off for years perhaps decades. I'm not trying to say I wouldn't want an I-49. But if it came down to a choice between the two I'd have to pick working on local projects like the 412 bypass and others like the possibility of a western bypass or an eastern parkway or something along those lines.

I, for one, would like to see the College Ave. parkway project be implemented. Divided, slower traffic, narrow parking lot entrances, and trees, planted on both sides of the street and in the median, at consistent intervals. This will do more for our city and creating a sense of place than anything else. It will also make it more pedestrian-friendly (something we espouse that we want to be in our master plan).

Not to say there aren't many, badly-needed transportation projects around here.

M

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I, for one, would like to see the College Ave. parkway project be implemented. Divided, slower traffic, narrow parking lot entrances, and trees, planted on both sides of the street and in the median, at consistent intervals. This will do more for our city and creating a sense of place than anything else. It will also make it more pedestrian-friendly (something we espouse that we want to be in our master plan).

Not to say there aren't many, badly-needed transportation projects around here.

M

I'd never heard of that proposal but I like it, and I agree.

Mith and I both have talked about how important a rebirth of College is to Fayetteville and NWA and I think that a public investment in the road would be a nice start to it.

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There was a lot of talk about it in the City Plan 2025. I know the mayor has talked about it too. But I haven't heard anything recently about it.

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There was a lot of talk about it in the City Plan 2025. I know the mayor has talked about it too. But I haven't heard anything recently about it.

If they did it burying the utilities would really help transform it.

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It would certainly make things look nicer aesthictically. Although it's going to need a lot more work than just that.

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There was a lot of talk about it in the City Plan 2025. I know the mayor has talked about it too. But I haven't heard anything recently about it.

Check out Fayetteville's transportation improvement plan (the one going before the voters soon), on the front page of their website. There you can see what they are thinking-- mostly aesthetic improvements such as trees. There isn't much room for a divided median near downtown... though I think they may try in spots.

As far as KJW's initial post, it reads like you are inductively comparing apples to oranges, so the point becomes diluted-- developers are in the private industry, intent on making money. The federal and state government is a totally different matter altogether, so they can't compare.

If I-49 was so obviously a money-making idea (i.e., it was obvious it would draw a lot of traffic), then why doesn't a large investment firm make a proposal to build it, or enter a lease agreement like in other states? I would bet the farm that the government would seriously listen to any private company seriously willing to pay, maintain, and operate a toll facility if they were approached. They haven't. Because it's expensive. If Hammons wants to pay for it, well I sure won't stand in his way. The Highway Commission is only a phone call away.

I would like to see it built too, but I'm a realist.

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Check out Fayetteville's transportation improvement plan (the one going before the voters soon), on the front page of their website. There you can see what they are thinking-- mostly aesthetic improvements such as trees. There isn't much room for a divided median near downtown... though I think they may try in spots.

The Dover Kohl group mentioned having three lanes in the center for faster moving traffic and then medians and a side lane on each side for slower traffic. I think you could possibly make room but something like that is going to take a lot of work and is going to be really expensive to do. I'm also not sure how well an idea would go over either. I could see a lot of people being somewhat resistant to it.

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Check out Fayetteville's transportation improvement plan (the one going before the voters soon), on the front page of their website. There you can see what they are thinking-- mostly aesthetic improvements such as trees. There isn't much room for a divided median near downtown... though I think they may try in spots.

As far as KJW's initial post, it reads like you are inductively comparing apples to oranges, so the point becomes diluted-- developers are in the private industry, intent on making money. The federal and state government is a totally different matter altogether, so they can't compare.

If I-49 was so obviously a money-making idea (i.e., it was obvious it would draw a lot of traffic), then why doesn't a large investment firm make a proposal to build it, or enter a lease agreement like in other states? I would bet the farm that the government would seriously listen to any private company seriously willing to pay, maintain, and operate a toll facility if they were approached. They haven't. Because it's expensive. If Hammons wants to pay for it, well I sure won't stand in his way. The Highway Commission is only a phone call away.

I would like to see it built too, but I'm a realist.

itk, even though I've talked positively about I-49 in the past, there's a reason I put a winky-face at the end of my last sentence. Though, frankly, I do think there may be some underestimation going on...as for Hammons, who knows what he's going to do? However, I remember the "Neal Boortz rule" from the radio show host of the same name...rich people generally don't get that way by investing their own money, but rather by investing someone else's.

FWIW, I doubt William Dillard, even when coaxing the Promenade investors to significantly broaden their vision, said: "Here, just to show how much I think of this idea, here's a blank check." As for Springdale, even if (as the article said) the Wranglers did indeed come a-callin', they knew when talking with the city gummint that "o.p.m." would be involved.

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The "pattern" strikes again!

Here on this board we've been debating an ABA team coming to the area (and I'm not meaning this as a putdown to our community on this forum whatsoever) while, quietly, the private arena group in Bentonville/Highfill is working diligently to get a WNBA team in here to compete against, oh, Chicago and places like that.

IMO, there's a second pattern developing as well.

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The "pattern" strikes again!

Here on this board we've been debating an ABA team coming to the area (and I'm not meaning this as a putdown to our community on this forum whatsoever) while, quietly, the private arena group in Bentonville/Highfill is working diligently to get a WNBA team in here to compete against, oh, Chicago and places like that.

IMO, there's a second pattern developing as well.

Did you hear that an NBDL team is also in talks as well. It says so in that article you provided.

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The Dover Kohl group mentioned having three lanes in the center for faster moving traffic and then medians and a side lane on each side for slower traffic. I think you could possibly make room but something like that is going to take a lot of work and is going to be really expensive to do. I'm also not sure how well an idea would go over either. I could see a lot of people being somewhat resistant to it.

I'm not sure what their proposal was, but you know having seperate truck lanes and passenger car lanes for freeways are more and more a popular idea I think. New Jersey Turnpike is the only one currently I know of that does that in the US, but that's the plan for the Texas I-35 and I-69 TTC, and Missouri's I-70.

Unless Dover-Kohl was talking about a boulevard/European type facility. In a way, I-30 in SWLR-Benton is like that (not European though)-- 6 lanes for freeway traffic, and 2/4 lanes on either side for uninterrupted local frontage traffic.

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I'm not sure what their proposal was, but you know having seperate truck lanes and passenger car lanes for freeways are more and more a popular idea I think. New Jersey Turnpike is the only one currently I know of that does that in the US, but that's the plan for the Texas I-35 and I-69 TTC, and Missouri's I-70.

Unless Dover-Kohl was talking about a boulevard/European type facility. In a way, I-30 in SWLR-Benton is like that (not European though)-- 6 lanes for freeway traffic, and 2/4 lanes on either side for uninterrupted local frontage traffic.

I think their design was something more like you'd see in Europe. The medians were treelined and such.

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I'm not sure what their proposal was, but you know having seperate truck lanes and passenger car lanes for freeways are more and more a popular idea I think. New Jersey Turnpike is the only one currently I know of that does that in the US, but that's the plan for the Texas I-35 and I-69 TTC, and Missouri's I-70.

Unless Dover-Kohl was talking about a boulevard/European type facility. In a way, I-30 in SWLR-Benton is like that (not European though)-- 6 lanes for freeway traffic, and 2/4 lanes on either side for uninterrupted local frontage traffic.

Along I-35 through the Austin-San Antonio corridor no trucks are allowed in the left lane. It is 6 lanes, though. I wouldn't mind seeing similar rules apply on I-30 through Saline and southern Pulaski Co. I-40 and I-30 are just packed with trucks.

As for NWA, I just want to see a long-term plan for a 6-lane I-540 starting to be evaluated for funding. I wouldn't even consider I-49 until we get NWA's infrastructure up to par a bit.

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Along I-35 through the Austin-San Antonio corridor no trucks are allowed in the left lane. It is 6 lanes, though. I wouldn't mind seeing similar rules apply on I-30 through Saline and southern Pulaski Co. I-40 and I-30 are just packed with trucks.

As for NWA, I just want to see a long-term plan for a 6-lane I-540 starting to be evaluated for funding. I wouldn't even consider I-49 until we get NWA's infrastructure up to par a bit.

I agree with you there.

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As for NWA, I just want to see a long-term plan for a 6-lane I-540 starting to be evaluated for funding. I wouldn't even consider I-49 until we get NWA's infrastructure up to par a bit.

It is (mostly)... check out www.arkansashighways.com, 2006 Highway Plan link and check toward the back for the map and list of proposed projects for the next 10 to 20 years. Within the next 20 years, with the current funding expected, perhaps only small sections of I-540 may be widened. (small sections of I-49 may also be completed in smaller chunks) Weak.

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It is (mostly)... check out www.arkansashighways.com, 2006 Highway Plan link and check toward the back for the map and list of proposed projects for the next 10 to 20 years. Within the next 20 years, with the current funding expected, perhaps only small sections of I-540 may be widened. (small sections of I-49 may also be completed in smaller chunks) Weak.

Yeah I seem to remember some areas of I-540 in Benton County widened in the next 20 years. But I don't think they'll be anywhere close to all the suggestions that the studies suggested.

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Yeah I seem to remember some areas of I-540 in Benton County widened in the next 20 years. But I don't think they'll be anywhere close to all the suggestions that the studies suggested.

Either it should be six lanes from Bella Vista to Fayetteville or 4 the whole way. Creating bottlenecks by going back and forth from four to six will just make it worse.

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Either it should be six lanes from Bella Vista to Fayetteville or 4 the whole way. Creating bottlenecks by going back and forth from four to six will just make it worse.

4 is the best solution. Like you said, bottlenecking will result from the switch of 6 to 8 lanes. Plus, 6 lanes isn't going to be what's needed for say 10+ years down the road. Heavens knows how much Interstate construction will cost then.

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Either it should be six lanes from Bella Vista to Fayetteville or 4 the whole way. Creating bottlenecks by going back and forth from four to six will just make it worse.

I think they may do all one section but it's all going to be in Benton County. I don't think they're going to try doing any 6 lane on the Washington County stretch.

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I think they may do all one section but it's all going to be in Benton County. I don't think they're going to try doing any 6 lane on the Washington County stretch.

Except for maybe some in Fayetteville, but your right mostly in Benton Co. The Fayetteville stretch will be more complicated and, I suspect, more expensive.

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Except for maybe some in Fayetteville, but your right mostly in Benton Co. The Fayetteville stretch will be more complicated and, I suspect, more expensive.

From the info I've seen, which who knows might not be very accurate, I got the impression most of the emphasis would be on Benton County and they didn't think there would be any money left to widen any sections of I-540 in Washington County. As it is a lot of things that were recommended won't be done because there just won't be enough funds.

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From the info I've seen, which who knows might not be very accurate, I got the impression most of the emphasis would be on Benton County and they didn't think there would be any money left to widen any sections of I-540 in Washington County. As it is a lot of things that were recommended won't be done because there just won't be enough funds.

If some of the largest employers in NWA would start a carpool program where people who carpool are rewarded either cash incentives or maybe a gas card that would help. I can imagine that a certain large employer would laugh at that idea. Having only 4 lanes on I-540 makes having a carpool lane useless.

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