J.F.K. Blvd. improvement plan draws controversy

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) – A plan to make John F. Kennedy Blvd. in North Little Rock more walkable and community-oriented is drawing some mixed reviews.

The project was authorized by the city three months ago and now there are plans to plant trees, shrubs and small community shops along the street.

"A lot of study went into this," said NLR spokesman Nathan Hamilton. "About two years of professionals looking into this- engineers, architects."

The city funded those studies through a $200,000 grant that was awarded to eight cities in central Arkansas after neighbors and businesses in the Park Hill neighborhood said they wanted improvements.

"It's supposed to reinvigorate or revitalize the area, but it's going to do just the opposite," said Michael Tierney, owner of Collector's Edition comic books.

His store is right along J.F.K. Blvd. and he thinks the trees and bushes are going to decrease visibility for his customers.

"You need to be able to see if traffic's coming, because this is a fast-moving street," he said.

The Park Hill neighborhood and merchant associations both approved the Jump Start plan, overwhelmingly, according to the city.

"We disagree, respectfully," Hamilton continued. "This is going to make the street more safe and walkable."

Construction plans for the improvements have not been made yet. The city says they will begin once they free up some money.

For more infromation on Jump Start and the upcoming plan, click here.


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