Council reaffirms support for Garland Ave medians

The Fayetteville City Council unanimously approved a resolution on Tuesday night endorsing medians on Garland Avenue when it is widened. Mayor Lioneld Jordan will take the agreed upon concept to the Arkansas Highway Department in Little Rock today.

The plan proposes four lanes and a continuous median in between, with strategic breaks for a fifth turn lane. And it will feature bike lanes and sidewalks on both sides of the street.

Existing median on Garland Ave.

Garland Avenue doubles as Arkansas Highway 112, so the Arkansas Highway Department must approve the plan before the state chips in $1.5 million to the project. The city will pay $5 million.

“If we’re going to spend the money now,” Ward 2 Alderman Kyle Cook said, “we might as well spend it right.”

A handful of neighbors expressed concerns about the proposal, but Jordan said the plan was “conceptual” and if the state approves the plan, there would continue to be public hearings on the actual designs.

Also, at the beginning of the meeting, the mayor announced that Lindsley Smith would serve as the new communications director for the city.

Smith has served in the Arkansas legislature as a representative for Fayetteville, and she teaches communications at the University of Arkansas.

The meeting initially got off to a slow start, because only four aldermen were present, and a minimum of six council members is needed to move resolutions to the second and final readings.

Aldermen Bobby Ferrell, Sarah Lewis, Breda Theil and Kyle Cook were in attendance when the mayor called the meeting to order.

After leaving the first two agenda items on the first readings, Alderman Theil suggested a recess until other council members were able to arrive. Shortly before 7:00, both Robert Rhoads and Adella Gray showed, and the council meeting proceeded.

Mary Robbins is a guest contributor for the Fayetteville Flyer. Mary declared Fayetteville as her hometown upon moving here for college. She is a Journalism graduate who enjoys live music, the outdoors and attending city council meetings. For more of Mary’s contributions, visit her author page.