FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM)—Highway 71B in Fayetteville may soon be getting a makeover.
The city is exploring options for transportation on 71B and Tuesday (Dec. 11) they held a public concept design meeting to discuss the future of 71B.
They are looking at plans for all of College Ave. from Cato Springs Rd. all the way to the north end of the city, except for the downtown area that has already received a facelift.
City of Fayetteville planning director Andrew Garner said they are looking for ways to make the corridor better. He said 71B has outlived some of its function.
“It was primarily just the highway getting through the cities here, and over the years it really hasn`t been functioning as well for economic development and ascetics, and it`s not particularly the gateway we want it to be in Fayetteville,” he said.
So that`s why they are asking residents how they think it could be more business and citizen friendly. Cliff Hughes owns a business along 71B.
“Some of the businesses are not as accessible, it`s a lot harder to navigate, to get turned around going in one direction and things like that. So I think there is room for improvement and trying to make it a little more unique,” he said.
Garner says 71B has primarily been for cars, but they want that to change and also make it a place for people to walk and bike.
“Right now if you picture someone walking along highway 71B it`s pretty unsafe. So that is one of the things we are talking to business owners and citizens and the bicycle community about. How can we improve this and make it to the point where it would invite you to come out and actually enjoy it,” he said.
The Principle of Planning at RDG Planning and Design, Martin Shukert, said they are helping develop the vision to bring a more positive image that not just beautifies the street but treats it as a community corridor.
“That people are proud of and that in many ways reflects Fayetteville`s image. Instead of in reality being a commercial strip,” he said.
The city will have meets at different spots along 71B in hopes that people who live in work in those areas will attend.
There is another meeting Wednesday, December 12th at Arkansas Research and Technology Park from 5p.m. to 7p.m.
If you can`t make it to the meetings, there is a website where anyone can fill out a survey. They encourage anyone who lives in Fayetteville, or that drives along the corridor to fill it out.