Heated opposition surrounds new gas station proposal in WLR

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - "It's creating a public hazard," Ken Harrison explained. The debate surrounding yet another gas station in Little Rock continues. Harrison continued, "It will come in and its best day will be its first day and then after that it's all downhill."

City officials from the planning commission and the Little Rock City Board have failed to reach a mutual agreement on three separate occasions when contractors were considering building gas stations at the Breckenridge Shopping Center, the intersection of 3rd and Broadway and 12th and University.

Now a Murphy Oil Station has been proposed for one of the busiest intersections in west Little Rock. "It's the 14th most accident prone intersection in the whole city," Harrison says.

The vacant corner of Taylor Loop Road and Highway 10 is where the 20-pump gas station could be built. Those living in the area that are against having the gas station built there say their main concern is the traffic. As a parent of a teenage driver Earnestine Johnson says, "I honestly would tell my son not to use that gas station because it will be difficult to get in and out of."

City director Ken Richardson proposed a comprehensive study be conducted before making a decision. In a telephone conversation Director Joan Adcock tells THV, "I think it gives us a broader look on things. If it doesn't fit at any of these, where does it fit? We all have to have gas. We just need to have a study to see how other cities are handling this and to see how much of this is really perception and what is really real."

While the debate continues, a group of neighborhood association leaders meets to develop a presentation for Thursday's planning commission meeting where a vote will determine their recommendation to the board. Johnson says, "I think that they really need to see that to consider more than just yes it's heavy traffic and we want a lot of cars because we want that business but what is that going to do to people's lives and safety trying to get in and out of there?"


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