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Northwest Arkansas leaders study ways for cars, bikes to safely share roads

Northwest Arkansas leaders study ways for cars, bikes to safely share roads

Karen Mowry (left), crosses W. North Street with other cyclists Friday, June 11, 2021, after the light change in Fayetteville. Cyclists and pedestrians are at…

Monday, Jun 14

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Karen Mowry (left), crosses W. North Street with other cyclists Friday, June 11, 2021, after the light change in Fayetteville. Cyclists and pedestrians are at an obvious disadvantage versus cars, so engineers and planners are designing streets that make things safer by decreasing the chances of them coming into direct contact. Check out nwadg.com/photos for a photo gallery. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/David Gottschalk) Northwest Arkansas’ explosive growth in cycling combined with the increasing number of cars as the population climbs means more incidents of cars hitting bikes, sometimes with tragic results.

Engineers and planners are designing streets to reduce the chances of cyclists and pedestrians coming into contact with cars. The initiative is called complete streets.

“It’s real important to think about all the users,” said Matt Crafton, president of Crafton Tull Engineering. “Complete streets is just a term for incorporating people who are walking, people in wheelchairs, people on bikes as well as cars into that street.” Crafton spoke on a panel last month at the Safe Roads Summit, hosted by the Arkansas Good Roads Foundation in Bentonville. The summit focused on cycling safety and integrating cycling into everyday travel.

“We’re working to create a world-class network of recreation and active transportation infrastructure,” said Paxton Roberts, executive director at Bike NWA. “The most important thing is that we create safe ways for people to leave the front door of their house or their school or their work and get to where they want to go.” Bike NWA is a nonprofit cycling advocacy group […]

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