NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Improvements to make the Pike Avenue Corridor in North Little Rock safer for pedestrians are on the horizon. The stretch has long been known as a safety hazard for pedestrians.
Jullian Shackleford and his friend Zachery Mckinney walk this stretch of roadway every single day. On this trip Thursday, the two were on their way back from grabbing groceries.
They claim the four-lane roadway is a dangerous place for pedestrians, as they have seen multiple near-collisions.
"[We want] to turn it into more of a Boulevard and make it more walkable,” said John Owens, the CEO of the North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce. “Hopefully, help revitalize the area quicker.”
Owen said the city plans to use grant money to install medians, pedestrian refuges, and improved landscaping along the avenue. The chamber is also working aggressively to bring more businesses into the area, as two major employers are on their way out.
“We really want to focus on getting another employer in here quick, because at the same time Ben E. Keith is moving to a new facility out in the eastern part of North Little Rock. It's going to leave a void here in the Pike Avenue Corridor.” For Jullian and Zachery, they say making the area safer can't come soon enough. They say if the people in this area see that city is taking care of the area, they will want to do more too.”
The city also just recently sold the property at Smarthouse Way along the Arkansas River. Plans are to develop that space into an entertainment district.