Fayetteville to close some streets on Sundays to encourage outdoor activities during pandemic

Photo courtesy of BikeNWA

Several streets in Fayetteville will have “soft closures” each Sunday through August to provide more space for biking and walking during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The “Sunday Slow Streets” program will occur on a designated route (see map above) that links the Wilson Park Slow Streets pilot project to Dickson Street and other areas around downtown Fayetteville.

Signage and barricades will discourage cut-through traffic along the route, but the streets will remain open with a 5 mph speed limit for local traffic such as residents, business traffic, emergency vehicles, and service or delivery vehicles.

The route and rules will be in place Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. beginning June 14 and lasting through Aug. 30.

Officials said the goal is to make neighborhood streets safer to walk or bike by creating wider spaces than current sidewalks and trails allow for safe physical distancing. The hope is that residents will make trips to local businesses and explore the community on foot, by bicycle or using scooters or other mobility devices on the roadway.

Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan said he’s enthusiastic about the idea.

“This program offers more ways for people to get outside and enjoy themselves, and it will bring a welcome boost to our downtown businesses at the same time,” he said. “I hope our residents will take advantage of this opportunity to enjoy Fayetteville.”

Jordan also urged people to remember to take COVID-19 safety precautions even when outside, such as practicing social distancing, wearing a face covering and staying home if you are not feeling well.

The program is a collaboration between the city and BikeNWA.

“We’re excited to work with the City of Fayetteville and bring a multi-mile route on Sundays, in addition to the Wilson Park section,” said Lauren Hildreth, Event Manager with BikeNWA. “These Slow Streets are a great opportunity for residents and visitors to travel between the major downtown hubs and support local businesses. We hope to see the community out exploring the community in a new way!”

Slow Streets Map

Source: BikeNWA

Slow Streets FAQ from BikeNWA

Can I drive down a Slow Street?
Yes; however, we ask that you reconsider your route unless your destination (such as your home or business) is on a designated Slow Street. Please drive slowly and expect to see adults and children walking, biking, jogging, and more.

Will I get a ticket for driving on a Slow Street?
No. Slow Streets are not legally enforced and drivers will not be ticketed for using a Slow Street. Drivers must obey all regular traffic laws, which can be enforced and should be overly cautious of pedestrians using the streets.

What activities can you do on Slow Streets?
Anything active. Residents can walk, bike, jog, scoot, and use wheelchairs or strollers while maintaining a physical distance of six feet.

Can anyone use the street or only residents?
Slow Streets are available to any pedestrian who wishes to use the space for safe social distance activities outside their home. Remember, these streets are not closed and will continue to have vehicle and pedestrian traffic.

Is this a block party?
No. Slow Streets is not a block party. It does not endorse gathering with others outside of your household and actively reminds residents to follow CDC guidelines.

What if there is an emergency?
All streets remain accessible to emergency vehicles. If you need to report an emergency on a Slow Street, please call 911.

What if I’m expecting a delivery?
All streets remain accessible to essential services such as waste collection, street sweeping, postal and parcel delivery, etc.

Source: BikeNWA.org