As foot and bicycle traffic continues to increase in downtown Little Rock, officials are working to make pedestrians safer as they traverse some of the state’s busiest roadways.
Officials gathered at one of the busiest intersections in Little Rock, LaHarpe and President Clinton Avenue in the Rivermarket, to promote pedestrian safety for their month-long “Heads Up Downtown!” campaign.
Sharon Priest with the Downtown Little Rock Partnership said more activity downtown is making pedestrian safety concerns a growing priority.
“As we’ve seen more housing come in we see more people in the street. We’re close to the convention center and we’re seeing visitors here walking, families walking, so it’s very important that not only pedestrians be aware of what’s going on but drivers as well,” said Priest.
Hundreds of high school students were walking through the intersection, in town for a Future Business Leaders of America convention. Mallory Martin from Murfreesboro High School in southwest Arkansas says walking in downtown Little Rock is a bit of a departure from her daily experience.
“We don’t have to wait to walk across streets, it seems more safe in Murfreesboro because it’s smaller. But here, I’m not really worried about it because they have the things that you press and the countdown. As long as you pay attention I think you’re okay," said Martin.
Slower speed limits and additional, larger signs are some of the steps officials are taking at problem intersections. Members of City Year noted improvements to infrastructure like sidewalks and crosswalks are needed in all parts of the city, not just downtown. Officials said more people navigate downtown on foot and bicycle than anywhere else in the city, crossing some of the busiest intersections in the state.