Special July 18 parks board meeting canceled

For more detail on the three options being considered, see our June 8 story.

Graphic: Todd Gill, Flyer staff

A special meeting of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board planned for Wednesday, July 18 has been canceled.

The meeting was scheduled to take place at 12 p.m. on the front porch meeting area of the Lake Fayetteville marina. The group was set to discuss the Frisco Trail southern extension project and provide a recommendation to city staff on how the planned trail should cross Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Don Marr, the city’s chief of staff, said the mayor’s office received several emails complaining about the time and location of the meeting which prompted today’s cancellation.

The group will instead take up the issue during its next regularly scheduled meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 6 inside City Hall room 111.

City staff is considering three options for how trail users will get from one side of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to the other. The trail be either be built in a lighted tunnel, on a bridge, or directly on the street using a fully-signalized crosswalk.

Members of the city’s Active Transportation Advisory Committee last week voted in support of a tunnel. Matt Mihalevich, city trails coordinator, said surveys collected last month showed that most residents also prefer a tunnel.

Jeremy Pate, the city’s development services director, said the City Council’s Street Committee was set to make a final decision on the issue on July 31, but with the cancellation of the parks board meeting, the committee’s final vote will likely be delayed another month.

The half-mile trail will extend the 7.6-mile stretch which includes Frisco, Scull Creek and Mud Creek trails and will create tie-ins with two planned trails in south Fayetteville: the Tsa La Gi Trail and the Town Branch Trail.

City staff have said grants from The Home Depot Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation will cover the design of the project, and construction costs would be paid using grant money from the NWA Regional Planning Commission for use on the planned Razorback Regional Greenway, a 36-mile trail that will connect south Fayetteville to north Bentonville.