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University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Team to Help Tame University Avenue

A team from the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute will be at UALR on Monday and Tuesday to help neighbors from the University District begin to develop a concept plan to make University Avenue from 19th Street to the Asher Avenue a more livable and walkable environment.
Once a gravel two-lane road known as Hays Street, University Avenue was constructed in 1957. Few improvements to the roadway between 19th Street and Asher Avenue have been made since then. The workshop is sponsored by UALR’s University District.

The two-day workshop at UALR’s Bailey Alumni and Friends Center begins at 8 a.m. Monday, Dec. 3, and includes presentations by Dan Burden, founder of the institute and named one of the Top 100 Urban Thinkers.

Burden, who served 16 years as the country’s first statewide bicycle and pedestrian coordinator for the Florida Department of Transportation, will lead the design team which includes urban planners and engineers.

Sarah Bowman, director of education and co-founder of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute, will discuss the desired outcome of the workshop effort. She has more than 13 years experience in building healthy, sustainable communities with a focus on education. She helps communities understand the impacts of large scale transportation projects on community health and safety.

Another team member, Ian Lockwood, a principal with the multi-disciplinary design firm AECOM, specializes in shaping roadway infrastructure projects to serve pedestrians, bicyclists and transit passengers, as well as vehicles.

The team will lead workshop participants in a walk-about along University Avenue to identify problems and discuss concerns and possible roadway treatments.

A highlight will be an evening open house at 6 p.m. at the Bailey Alumni and Friends Center where neighbors, business owners, and stakeholders can discuss their ideas and recommendations for the area with the planners.

The schedule:
Monday, Dec. 3

  • 8 a.m. –  Welcome, Introductions;Desired Outcomes; Sarah Bowman, WALC Institute
  • 8:30 a.m. – Overview, Goals and Process; Harrison Rue, ICF International
  • 8:45 a.m. – Operational Challenges: University Avenue; Ian Lockwood, AECO
  • 9:30 a.m. – Emerging Best Practices and Tools; Dan Burden, WALC Institute
  • 10 a.m. – Walkabout: University Avenue Assessment
  • 11 a.m. – Discussion: University Avenue Key Concerns and Treatments to Consider
  • 12:30 p.m. – Lunch on your own
  • 2 p.m. – Design Open House and Stakeholder Meetings
  • 4:30 p.m. – Day One: What We Learned; Core Team debrief
  • 5 p.m. – Prepare for Evening Presentation
  • 6 p.m. – Evening Presentation: Steps to Take When Transitioning To a University Village; Dan Burden, Ian Lockwood, and Harrison Rue

Tuesday, Dec. 4

  • 8 a.m. – Presentation of Day One activities; Sarah Bowman, WALC Institute
  • 8.30 a.m. – Presentation of Design Options for University Avenue; Ian Lockwood
  • 9 a.m. – Technical Drill-Down, Design Refinement and Question/ Answer Session
  • 2 p.m. – Core Team Debrief