Central Arkansas Regional Greenways

Central Arkansas Regional Greenways: A Pathway Forward

Central Arkansas currently enjoys an impressive collection of trails in all corners of our region. But, Metroplan aspires to a pathways system much more ambitious and connected. Metroplan enlisted its member communities to help craft the Central Arkansas Regional Greenways Plan, adopted by the Board on May, 24th 2023, that will guide investment towards a world-class, multi-use pathway network spanning Faulkner, Lonoke, Pulaski, and Saline counties. Six new routes, and the existing Arkansas River Trail, make up the planned pathway system. The plan is truly region-defining! 

Regionally connected greenways provide a new option to travel Central Arkansas, both between cities and within each community. The greenway network will integrate into local trail systems and transit routes to provide a cohesive active transportation network. Eventually, each corridor will connect into the region’s core.

 Residents will benefit significantly from the new greenways. Users will have access to essential destinations and amenities while increasing their physical activity and enjoying our region’s natural beauty. Ditching the keys for a peaceful walk or bike ride can alleviate traffic and reduce harmful emissions to improve our air quality. Additionally, national trends of development around trails will help Central Arkansas realize similar economic opportunities that enhance our quality of life. Eight guiding principles steered the greenways’ development:

  • Transportation-Focused – A viable transportation option.
  • Physically Separated – Separated from traffic. 
  • Inclusive – All ages and abilities can use it.
  •  Consistent – Easily recognized systemwide.
  • Safe – Accommodates user visibility and access to emergency service. 
  • Context Sensitive – Adjusted to challenges of the landscape. 
  •  High Quality – Designed to the highest standards.
  • Well-Connected – Population centers and major destinations linked.

Where is the Regional Greenway?

Multi-use paths are a significant asset, providing better connected, more accessible communities. Expanding these greenways benefits individuals because it creates additional transportation choices for everyone.  To view the routes please go to https://www.centralarkgreenways.com/interactive-map

How was this path established?

In 2020 Metroplan announced a strategic commitment to developing a regional multi-use path network over the next ten years. From Fiscal Year 2021 through Fiscal Year 2030, Metroplan will target approximately half its Surface Transportation Program Block Grant (STPBG) funding toward building a regional trail system. This amounts to at least fifty-five million ($55,000,000.00) dollars over the next ten fiscal years.  The City of Cabot will become a major trailhead on the proposed 145 mile system.

What is Metroplan?

Metroplan, the region’s planning organization, dedicated substantial funding to construct greenways that increase local and regional connectivity and mobility, while fostering economic development, quality of life, and recreation opportunities. It is a voluntary association of local governments that has operated since 1955. For more information go to metroplan.org.

Mayors, county judges, engineering and planning professionals and other community leaders across the four-county region have spent countless hours in meetings determining the most alluring and viable routes that you see on the webmap.

What is a Greenway?

A greenway is a large, paved path, measuring between 12 and 14 feet wide, that is physically separated from a street. Think of it as a mini road only for walkers and bicyclists or other non-motorized vehicles.

Greenways will often follow waterways and other natural environments not accessible to cars, but sometimes follow alongside roadways. The system will be separated paths, except for a few constrained locations where on-street bicycle facilities may be necessary.