City to celebrate Old Wire Road improvements and cycle track to Gulley Park

Old Wire Road Cycle Track / Flyer staff photo

Another round of improvements to Old Wire Road is now complete.

Fayetteville officials have scheduled a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the work at 3 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 4 in the west parking lot at Gulley Park, located at 2566 Old Wire Road.

The multi-phased project is funded through a mix of voter-approved transportation bond projects, grants, and state funds, and includes a cycle track that is the first of its kind in Northwest Arkansas.

Instead of a building a standard bike path, officials with the Walton Family Foundation requested a protected cycle track be built that could serve as a model for other improvements across the region. The foundation donated $1.36 million for the project, which also helped pay for bicycle signals and safety markings at intersections.

The initial phase of the cycle track runs along the east side of Old Wire Road, measuring 0.9 miles in length from Ash Street to Gulley Park. The design includes an elevated five-foot-wide pedestrian sidewalk, north- and southbound bicycle lanes with a dedicated traffic signal for crossing at Township Street, and a curbed concrete buffer with lighting. The four-foot-wide buffer creates safer travel conditions for bicyclists and pedestrians by separating them from vehicle traffic. It also makes space for residential trash carts and mailboxes which are obstacles in older developments. A signalized crosswalk was added at Stanton Avenue, creating a safe crossing to Gulley Park. The city used drainage ditches and purchased adjacent right-of-way land to accommodate the project without narrowing vehicle travel lanes.

City staff recently placed a counter on the cycle track and sidewalk for 10 days. The total number of trips was 915 with a daily average of 83 trips. The number of trips is expected to increase in 2020, upon completion of the Niokaska Creek Trail and second phase of the cycle track which will include connections to Mud Creek Trail and the Razorback Greenway.

The next phase of the project will extend north from Gulley Park to Old Missouri Road.