Bicycle and Pedestrian
Bicycle Facilities/Tactical Urbanism
A report on a series of month-long bicycle infrastructure pilot projects that took place in Bella Vista, Bentonville, and Rogers has been released outlining successes, lessons learned, and next steps for making Northwest Arkansas a better place for bikes. Funded by the Walton Family Foundation, the initiative was spearheaded by the national urban planning firm Street Plans and overseen by the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission, with BikeNWA providing planning and implementation assistance. These temporary pilot projects brought principles of Tactical Urbanism—a process committed to low-budget, site-specific, rapid-turnaround, community-guided “test before you invest” solutions—to bear on unique challenges faced by each city. In all three instances, the primary goal was to create low-stress, high-comfort, and efficient connections between important destinations for people riding bikes.
The goal of the 30-day demonstration projects was to show how protected bike lanes and Neighborhood Greenways could be implemented in NW Arkansas. A budget of $30,000 for all three cities was allocated for materials purchases, and the timeline for installation was set for the final week of October 2016. The heart of this project was a “test before you invest” approach, creating renderings in real time of what possible future permanent infrastructure could look like, and what the impact may be. All three cities’ pilot projects were intended to better connect existing bicycle infrastructure, and retrofit existing roadways, to better serve those who bike for both recreation and transportation.