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The City of Little Rock is hosting a public hearing to discuss the SoMa Safe Streets Plan. The plan converts a stretch of South Main Street from four lanes to three lanes plus bike lanes. The City of Little Rock has received a grant from the Highway Department to resurface and restripe South Main Street from Interstate 630 south to Roosevelt Road. Current parking lanes would not be affected by the road work, according to the City.
The public meeting will be held from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. Thursday at StudioMAIN, 1423 South Main Street, Little Rock, Arkansas.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette online published an article entitled “South Main road plan topic of meeting.” Here’s an excerpt of the article published today, May 3, 2013.
A public hearing has been set on plans to convert a stretch of South Main Street from four lanes to three lanes plus bike lanes, the city of Little Rock has said.
The stretch runs from Interstate 630 south to Roosevelt Road. Current parking lanes wouldn’t be affected by the road work, the city has said.
The public meeting will be held from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Rufus K. Young Christian Church, 2020 S. Main St. in Little Rock.
SOMA organizer discusses the design vision for the neighborhood and community involvement.
James Meyer is a project designer with Witsell Evans Rasco Architects/Planners and associate director of the American Institute of Architects Arkansas Chapter. He is the marketing and public relations chair for studioMAIN.
Q: For those who may have missed the buzz over the last year or so, let me start by asking you to tell me a little about studioMAIN. What is it, in a nutshell, and what does the group do?
A: StudioMAIN is a public outreach and community design center that works toward educating the general public about the role of good design in their daily lives and advocates the positive effects good design provides to cities and communities.
We function as a design collaboration between all parts of the design and construction industries, including architects, landscape architects, urban designers, contractors and artists. Our hope is that studioMAIN will provide a place for people to learn more about some of the great design efforts in our city, and to be an incubator for even better ideas about the future of our city.
A key part of our mission is to foster collaboration and encourage multi-disciplinary partnerships between the design fields and other civic institutions. We feel this is a critical endeavor to help develop the future leaders of our city and institutions, and promote a better built environment.
Q: Part of your mission involves hosting exhibits in your office on South Main, right? And I’m told you have an exhibit schedule for the year already? Can you share details?
A: Yep, for the past year we have been hosting monthly exhibitions on local design and issues as part of the city’s Second Friday Art Nights, and have gotten lots of positive feedback. Thanks to this community input we have been able to craft a full and exciting schedule for this year.
In February we will have our Year-in-Review exhibit, which will be a great way for folks who missed some of last year’s exhibits to get caught up. In March, we will be holding a book fundraiser for the DLRCDC and the Pettaway Park Masterplan manual. In April we will hold a memorial exhibition for Rick Redden, a local architect who passed away last year after making incredible contributions to our downtown. In honor of the Arkansas Arts Center’s Bauhaus exhibit this summer, we will have an exhibit of buildings in Arkansas that were influenced by the Bauhaus style. June will bring us a juried student competition from the Fay Jones School of Architecture, and in July we will be exhibiting furniture by UALR Applied Design students. In August we will have a public showing of the finalists for the Envision Little Rock competition. We will hold another PopUp public planning and input in September. An exhibition about transportation called Bikes, Rails and Trails will be seen in October. We will host the Arkansas Design Awards in November showing works from local architects, landscape architects and interior designers. We will finish the year up with an event celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the Nolen Masterplan for Little Rock.
Outside of our Second Fridays there are several events we hope to contribute to again, such as the Little Rock Film Festival. It’s definitely going to be a busy year.
Q: You mentioned there’s another PopUp event coming in the not too distant future. What can you tell me about that and the plans for it? What may be the same or different this time around?
A: PopUp Main Street gave us a wonderful opportunity to create a full-scale test for a “complete street” design that folks have been talking about in Little Rock for years. The City of Little Rock and Create Little Rock have been great partners for us with this event. We hope to keep this partnership of experimentation and placemaking going, and hold another PopUp event this year as well.
We are just beginning our process for the next PopUp event. Main Street, Seventh Street, Second Street and the Argenta area have all been mentioned as possible locations. We will have a few exploratory and organizing meetings before selecting the final location, and then we will start holding our public input and design sessions again in August of this year. We tentatively plan to hold the actual event in October or November.
- Saturday, November 3, 2012 Early Voting Ends
- Tuesday, November 6, 2012 Election Day
- Saturday, November 3, 2012 Cornbread Festival
11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Between 13th & 16th Streets on South Main
Downtown Little Rock, Arkansas
Arkansans know what’s good, and that is cornbread. Celebrate pure, simple and good food, music and community at the Arkansas Cornbread Festival. Show off your best cornbread and side dish in the tasting competition, sell your Arkansas goods and services on South Main Street, reach out to Arkansans just like you who want to make their community a better place, and get down to the best blues, folk, country and rock bands in the state
- Friday, November 9, 2012 Friday Night Art Night
Downtown Little Rock 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
2nd Friday Art Night: a time once-a-month when galleries, museums and businesses in downtown Little Rock are open from 5-8 p.m. for an after-hours gallery walk.
- November 9-11, 2012 Pop Up Mainstreet
POP UP MAIN STREET
Novemeber 9th – 11th
12th-15th Blocks of South Main
The South Main area has come a long way over the last few years and has become one of the most exciting neighborhoods in our city. On November 9th-11th Create Little Rock and studioMAIN invite you to join in celebrating this great place as part of Pop Up Main Street. The event will include temporary changes and designs to streets and sidewalks and can provide a vision of how things might develop.
Pop Up Main Street will focus its visioning efforts on the three blocks nearest to Interstate 630, otherwise known as the 12th-15st Corridor. Two of the key principles of the plan are to increase multi-modal traffic and fill the remaining gaps in the urban fabric. Our intent is to create a great street environment and to test intelligent design solutions that will invite community discussion about the current reality of our Main Street is, and what it can become in the future.
What does the Cornbread Festival, Better Block Project and StudioMAIN have in common…community resurgence
What do you imagine to fill the empty lots and stores along Main St.? would you like your favorite store to open in our area? It may – for a weekend of festival.
Led by StudioMain and an offshoot of the LR Chamber of Commerce called Create LR, our community will make our visions real – for that weekend of Nov. 3, as we celebrate at the Cornbread Festival, and visit new retail outlets, cafes and service outlets on display on Main from 12th to 16th St. DNA voted to occupy a booth at the event, and we encourage all subscribers to drop by and say Hello.
Taking over vacant blocks and installing storefront cafes with tables on the sidewalk, opening a children’s art studio in a vacant garage, chalking bicycle lanes on the pavement, and adding a water fountain at an intersection, making it a roundabout, are among ideas suggested Wednesday at a workshop for activists seeking to revitalize Main St.
The sheets of plans were put on display Friday evening at StudioMain at 1423 S. Main St.
We want to know:
What do you want? For examples of what has been done elsewhere, check out:
- · THE BETTER BLOCK PROJECT
The “Better Block” project is a demonstration tool that revisions an area to show the potential to create a great walkable, vibrant neighborhood center. The project acts as a living charrette so that communities can actively engage in the “complete streets” buildout process and develop pop-up businesses to show the potential for revitalized economic activity in an area. Better Blocks are now being performed throughout the country, and have helped cities rapidly implement infrastructure and policy changes.
Submit your ideas to Ask a Question at StudioMain at:
speak to managers of your favorite stores, and invite them to participate.
CELEBRATE THE 4th OF JULY !!!
4th of July Parade
Meet at the corner of 22nd and Spring…
Decorate your bikes, trikes, wagons, pets,
and of course, yourselves!
Prizes for most Independence Day Spirit will be awarded!
One of the best ways to discover what is happening in our neighborhood is to attend community meetings and forums devoted to the health and progress of our community. Here’s a short list of some standing neighborhood meetings whose focus is downtown Little Rock. These groups play a large role in shaping and sustaining our community. Come. Bring your family. Listen. Participate. All are welcome and needed.
Pettaway Neighborhood Association: Meets Monthly (3rd Thursday, 6:00 p.m.) at East Broadway Alert Center, 500 E. 21st Street www.pettawayneighborhoodassociation.com (Officer: Carol Tabron, President; Kwadjo Boaitey, Secretary) For more information call 501.376.3406 Next Meeting: January 19, 2012
Downtown Neighborhood Association: Meets Monthly (2nd Thursday, 6:00 p.m.) at East Broadway Alert Center, 500 E. 21st Street http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lr-dna/ (Officers: Tony Curtis, President; Chuck Heinbockel, Vice President; Kathy Wells, Secretary; Jim Wierdsma, Treasurer) For more information call 501.375.1701 Next Meeting: January 12, 2012 (note: U.S. Congressman Tim Griffin will be in attendance)
Downtown Little Rock Community Development Corporation: Meets Monthly (1st Tuesdsay, 6:00 pm) at 1923 South Main Street (Mahlon Martin Apartments) www.dlrcdc.org (Executive Director: Scott Grummer. Officer: Stacy Williams, President; Kathy Wells, Secretary) For more information call 501.372.0148 Next Meeting: February 7, 2012
SoMa: Southside Main Street: Meets Monthly (2nd Tuesday, 12pm) at 1423 S. Main Street (Village Commons) www.southsidemain.org For more information call 501.412.3768 Next Meeting: January 10, 2012
Quapaw Quarter Association: Meets Monthly (2nd Wednesday, 5:30pm) at 615 E. Capitol Avenue (Curran Hall) www.quapaw.com (Executive Director: Rhea Roberts; Officers: Lynn Hamilton, President; Lakresha Diaz, VP of Ed; Cheri Nichols, VP of Advocacy; Tom Wittenberg, VP of Development; Amanda Sobel Driver, Secretary, Lia Lent, Treasury) For more information call 501.371.0075 Next Meeting: January 11, 2012
Little Rock Mayor’s Meeting-Public Safety: Meets Bi-Monthly (1st Wednesday, 4pm) at 615 E. Capitol Avenue (Curran Hall) For more information call 501.375.6987 Next Meeting: March 7, 2012
City of Little Rock Board of Director’s Meeting: Regular Board Meetings are held on the 1st & 3rd Tuesday of each month at 6:00 PM, unless otherwise noted.
Agenda Board Meetings are held on the 2nd & 4th Tuesday of each month at 4:00 PM, unless otherwise noted. During the months with five (5) Tuesdays, the Agenda Board Meeting will be held on the fifth Tuesday.
All Meetings are held at Little Rock City Hall, 500 West Markham, Board of Directors Chambers, 2nd Floor. http://www.littlerock.org/boardofdirectors/calendarofmeetings/