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Mith242

Northwest Arkansas Regional Mobility Authority

Would you support the Northwest Arkansas Regional Mobility Authority?   13 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you support the Northwest Arkansas Regional Mobility Authority?

    • Yes
      8
    • No
      5

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18 posts in this topic

(I posted this elsewhere but thought it deserved it's own topic. I also included a poll to see what kind of response we'd get.)

I read in the paper today about a possible Northwest Arkansas Regional Mobility Authority getting set up. Apparently Benton County has approved it and it's being looked at by Washington County. If there's no problems there then they'd need at least three of the major NWA cities to get on board for it to become a reality. It's basically just a way of getting everyone working together so that road projects are more likely to happen and get constructed. I know this has been discussed on here before and I think it's been tossed around a bit by the local governments. I'm not sure if there would be any problems of getting the NWARMA going. I'm not sure but I'm trying to remember if the city of Fayetteville might be a bit hesitant on it. I think it's a good idea. I just wonder though if we can get everybody on board. Being unbiased I think you'd have to say that Benton County probably needs the most work done on it's roads. So I would think many in Benton County would be for it. Springdale wants the 412 bypass and this could help them. But I don't know if I see any immediate needs for Fayetteville coming up. I just wonder if people in Fayetteville will be a bit hesitant if most of the work in the near future will affect other areas of NWA. I would assume the Bella Vista bypass and 412 bypass will be the two main items addressed. Then after that a possible western beltway or maybe widening I-540. Although if I had to guess it seems overall more people seem to favor the western beltway, even though I don't think that's the case here on UP.

(Okay the poll finally is working now....)

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(I posted this elsewhere but thought it deserved it's own topic. I also included a poll to see what kind of response we'd get.)

I read in the paper today about a possible Northwest Arkansas Regional Mobility Authority getting set up. Apparently Benton County has approved it and it's being looked at by Washington County. If there's no problems there then they'd need at least three of the major NWA cities to get on board for it to become a reality. It's basically just a way of getting everyone working together so that road projects are more likely to happen and get constructed. I know this has been discussed on here before and I think it's been tossed around a bit by the local governments. I'm not sure if there would be any problems of getting the NWARMA going. I'm not sure but I'm trying to remember if the city of Fayetteville might be a bit hesitant on it. I think it's a good idea. I just wonder though if we can get everybody on board. Being unbiased I think you'd have to say that Benton County probably needs the most work done on it's roads. So I would think many in Benton County would be for it. Springdale wants the 412 bypass and this could help them. But I don't know if I see any immediate needs for Fayetteville coming up. I just wonder if people in Fayetteville will be a bit hesitant if most of the work in the near future will affect other areas of NWA. I would assume the Bella Vista bypass and 412 bypass will be the two main items addressed. Then after that a possible western beltway or maybe widening I-540. Although if I had to guess it seems overall more people seem to favor the western beltway, even though I don't think that's the case here on UP.

(Okay the poll finally is working now....)

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Of course. We need better coordination of transportation systems throughout this entire area. I cannot see how this would hurt unless it creates a bureaucracy that ends up slowing things down.

M

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I do not support the RMA. They are a group of self-appointed businessmen who are looking to expand the highways in favor of Wal Mart, JB Hunt, and Tyson trucks going in and out of the area. They want billions for highways and have absolutely no interest in any sort of mass transit, including light rail. Do some research. We are letting conservative good old boys make our decisions for us and are relinquishing an opportunity to create any sort of progressive future transportation networks (i.e. Light Rail). Do we really want to make the same mistakes as almost all other major metros did before us? Do we want to be another Dallas with an unquestionable worship of the interstate highway system?

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I think it is good idea unless one wants economic growth to come to a complete standstill in NWA. Ideally we would have light rail and other methods of public transportation but NWA doesn't have the density to support much at this time. I would like to see future transportation improvements include planning for those types of projects and maybe including rightaway for them when improving the highways, but the priority should be to make the improvements that are needed now.

I see it as a chance for the area to work for the common good instead of the competitve environment that so often arises now.

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I do not support the RMA. They are a group of self-appointed businessmen who are looking to expand the highways in favor of Wal Mart, JB Hunt, and Tyson trucks going in and out of the area. They want billions for highways and have absolutely no interest in any sort of mass transit, including light rail. Do some research. We are letting conservative good old boys make our decisions for us and are relinquishing an opportunity to create any sort of progressive future transportation networks (i.e. Light Rail). Do we really want to make the same mistakes as almost all other major metros did before us? Do we want to be another Dallas with an unquestionable worship of the interstate highway system?

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Our Metro is actually better off than others as far as viability for light rail. Look at the U of A's in-depth study on Light Rail in NWA. It is very convincing. For example, the way in which our metro is set up, largely along the I 540 corridor, makes for the most efficient way to line up a rail line. We only need one line running north and south, unlike other metros which are far more spread out than we are, in all directions. There really is no argument against funding light rail than I can think of. Yes, I 540 needs to be improved, but a western bypass is a HORRIBLE idea. It will only make us sprawl further and further out, making mass transit even less viable in the future. We are simply following the same path of so many other sunbelt cities such as Dallas or Atlanta who have never questioned the highway system and are now paying dearly with increased traffic congestion and constant upkeep costs. Ultimately, light rail would be cheaper, more efficient, more sustainable, environmentally friendly, morst conducive to density, etc, than building a bypass... the list goes on. We will pay for our lack of foresight if we let the mobility make our decisions for us!

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Our Metro is actually better off than others as far as viability for light rail. Look at the U of A's in-depth study on Light Rail in NWA. It is very convincing. For example, the way in which our metro is set up, largely along the I 540 corridor, makes for the most efficient way to line up a rail line. We only need one line running north and south, unlike other metros which are far more spread out than we are, in all directions. There really is no argument against funding light rail than I can think of. Yes, I 540 needs to be improved, but a western bypass is a HORRIBLE idea. It will only make us sprawl further and further out, making mass transit even less viable in the future. We are simply following the same path of so many other sunbelt cities such as Dallas or Atlanta who have never questioned the highway system and are now paying dearly with increased traffic congestion and constant upkeep costs. Ultimately, light rail would be cheaper, more efficient, more sustainable, environmentally friendly, morst conducive to density, etc, than building a bypass... the list goes on. We will pay for our lack of foresight if we let the mobility make our decisions for us!

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I'm well aware of the linear layout and how the region is currently a good set-up for light rail, but it wouldn't be cost effective for years to decades, potentially. We're looking at an area that has to cut funding to it's bus system because their budgets can't afford the necessities, and we think a multi-multi-million dollar light rail project will somehow be cost effective? The harsh reality is that most places of employment will not be within close walking distance of a rail station, and without the density (or justifiable funding) to justify more stops (or provide improved walkability), the usefulness of such a transit system is questionable at best. Sure, I'd love to walk three blocks from my house, jump on the train at Dickson Street and take it up to the mall, or Rogers, but I would be in the vast minority.

And, it certainly wouldn't ease traffic congestion at this time, which is a major concern. I have no doubt that light rail is a good idea for the long run and would probably help promote density in the future, but you're going to have a hard time convincing the area to fund a project of this nature, and then there will undoubtedly be some difficult questions to answer when the use figures come out after the first year. I love the idea, but with as little density as this area has (compare it to other areas with a developed rail mass transit system), and as little population that seems even remotely interested in using public transportation (Note that Tulsa's bus system has an annual ridership of 2.3 million, where as the Ozark Regional Transit, WITH it's "27% increase in passengers" had 166,000. The ORT covers a larger population area than the city of Tulsa. I know the density is different as is layout, and that is my point. If our bus system can only get that many riders in a year compared to a city that has similar to less population in it's ridership area, how are we justifying adding rail to the mix?), I think it's relatively low on the priority list right now when we can't even keep our major thoroughfares in respectable condition.

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I do not support the RMA. They are a group of self-appointed businessmen who are looking to expand the highways in favor of Wal Mart, JB Hunt, and Tyson trucks going in and out of the area. They want billions for highways and have absolutely no interest in any sort of mass transit, including light rail. Do some research. We are letting conservative good old boys make our decisions for us and are relinquishing an opportunity to create any sort of progressive future transportation networks (i.e. Light Rail). Do we really want to make the same mistakes as almost all other major metros did before us? Do we want to be another Dallas with an unquestionable worship of the interstate highway system?

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I think the point is, do we want things to continue to get worst or do we want to take a stand and do something right. Yes it would be expensive, but we all know light rail is the right thing to do (environmentally, economically, and by simply looking at precendence). This is ridiculous, we have to quit portraying ourselves as backwards hillbillies! And thats what this mobile authority does. Even if it takes decades to justify light rail, it is known right now that the highways are beyond flawed. Think about the future, don't leave another mess for future generations!!! Your children will thank you!

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I think you are confusing the RMA with the NWA Council, which is made up of your "self-appointed businessmen" who are responsible for getting 540 and XNA built, two pieces of infrastructure that have enabled the rapid growth in the area that I think almost everyone would hate to be without.

The RMA is a structure set up by the state legislature to allow municipalities to work together to plan and set up funding mechanisms to pay for road improvements through tolls or even some sort of joint administration/collection of a dedicated sales tax. I would agree that BV Bypass and 412 Bypass would be high priority, and would add further clarification that the western half of 412 would go first so they can link up with the planned XNA bypass, another project for the RMA and one most would agree is highly necessary.

The Western Beltway would cost upwards of $400M in today's dollars, so don't worry about that anytime soon. Improvements to exits along 540 in 2009 and improved N/S routes in Rogers/Bentonville will hopefully take some "local" traffic off the highway and ease congestion. The Fayetteville angle is an interesting question, and one reason I could see why it wouldn't feel the need to participate would be because pretty much every main road in Fayetteville (College, Crossover, Sixth, Wedington, Gregg, Garland, Mission, etc.) are also state highways and the city is eligible for federal and state matching funds on almost any major improvement project.

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I think this topic has raised bigger questions that what I had originally intended. All in all I do believe it's a good idea for the region to work together on our road system. It's more likely to get road projects completed. Perhaps a good example would be the Bella Vista bypass that's still on hold. But as it's been pointed out, then this potentially leads to other issues. One of the issues being a western beltway. But as Andrew pointed out it's not going to be happening anytime soon. I also doubt it would get started before the Bella Vista bypass and 412 bypass are completed. Even if they suddenly got it going right now is still going to take years to complete. I'm not crazy about the idea of a western beltway and I also believe it will only promote more sprawl. I'd much rather have work done on I-540. I still like the idea of light rail. But I admit as time has gone by I do question whether it will ever happen or if enough people would support it. There's still time of course, but I really think we're going to have to see the NWA cities get a serious bus public transportation system going to ever support a light rail. I admit I have some doubts because so far there hasn't been a whole lot of support for public transportation. I think it's going to be hard to get people out of their vehicles. I'm not saying we should just give up. I still am a big supporter of the Fayetteville Trail System. But as things stand right now I just have a hard time imagining our region spending hundreds of millions on light rail when there may not be enough public support for it. But I'm still hoping for changes that may help that in the future. As roads become more clogged with traffic and as gas prices will keep going up in the future. There might be enough people to reconsider their usual traveling habits in the metro. I'd still support the idea of buying up land for a future possibility. Even if light rail never comes about I still think land would be a good investment and it can either be sold at some latter date in the future or used for other purposes assuming the light rail idea never comes to fruition.

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Yes, the RMA is wanting to be Pavement and Asphalt Happy and I don't like that. But if they are able to get some of the bypasses built (except for the western one) it will help increase density and economic activity. Yes, It will also increase urban sprawl, sad I know. But in order to have mass transit (bus), we have to have roads for the bus to run on. In order for it to be economically viable to have a light rail, we have to have a large enough population, high enough density, expansive bus network, and a better thought-out Regional plan and layout to encompass all the different types of transportation modes. This is something that will be able to be accomplished by an RMA. So I don't like the Pave it attitude but then again pavement is what we move from one place to another and it is what mass transit is based on. Even if that mass transit is on a rail.

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Yes, the RMA is wanting to be Pavement and Asphalt Happy and I don't like that. But if they are able to get some of the bypasses built (except for the western one) it will help increase density and economic activity. Yes, It will also increase urban sprawl, sad I know. But in order to have mass transit (bus), we have to have roads for the bus to run on. In order for it to be economically viable to have a light rail, we have to have a large enough population, high enough density, expansive bus network, and a better thought-out Regional plan and layout to encompass all the different types of transportation modes. This is something that will be able to be accomplished by an RMA. So I don't like the Pave it attitude but then again pavement is what we move from one place to another and it is what mass transit is based on. Even if that mass transit is on a rail.

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The most interesting thing about this thread is that in LR many of us are often frustrated with Metroplan because it often has "pie in the sky" ideas about light rail, etc and lets our road problems such as the I630/430 interchange sit tabled while they pay for studies for a transportation medium that clearly won't get public funding. I found it a little bit interesting that the problem most of us complain about is the exact opposite of yours.

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The most interesting thing about this thread is that in LR many of us are often frustrated with Metroplan because it often has "pie in the sky" ideas about light rail, etc and lets our road problems such as the I630/430 interchange sit tabled while they pay for studies for a transportation medium that clearly won't get public funding. I found it a little bit interesting that the problem most of us complain about is the exact opposite of yours.

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The most interesting thing about this thread is that in LR many of us are often frustrated with Metroplan because it often has "pie in the sky" ideas about light rail, etc and lets our road problems such as the I630/430 interchange sit tabled while they pay for studies for a transportation medium that clearly won't get public funding. I found it a little bit interesting that the problem most of us complain about is the exact opposite of yours.

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