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Greenway Receives $1.7 Million Grant

Congressman Marion Berry along with Mayor Harold Perrin and Parks and Recreation Director, Jason Wilkie recently announced that the City of Jonesboro will be receiving a grant for more than $1.7 million that will fully fund Phase 1 of the Jonesboro Greenway. This grant is part of a $35 million grant that is being dispersed among 125 other scenic byways across the US.
The Greenway when complete, will be a 29-mile, 12 ft. wide multi-use trail that will wind around Jonesboro connecting major destinations including parks, Turtle Creek Mall, Arkansas State University, and historic downtown.  The vision for the completed project is that it will be a linear park that provides a safe place for recreation as well as transportation for all of Jonesboro.
Phase 1 begins at the Allen Park Community Center and winds around to the Nettleton Intermediate Center, Nettleton Central Elementary, Turtle Creek Mall, ASU, and will terminate in downtown Jonesboro. 

Update for September 2009

Share the Road Campaign -
Funding was unanimously approved for the purchase of 15 more signs. These will be the 18'x24" signs for inside the city to be bolted to existing sign-posts. Signs will be made by Crenshaw Sign Co. Several ideas for increasing the number of signs purchased were discussed including the possibility of setting up booths at local cycling events (eg. Ride for a Better Life on Oct. 10th) and offering special $25 "day of" pricing. Sally Broadaway is exploring this, and if you have any ideas/thoughts they are welcome.
Downtown Jonesboro Bike Parking -
Jeff Graham has been in contact with Michael Barrett with the JHS Votech program about his classes building racks for downtown bike parking. Initial discussions were positive - we are awaiting further word from him on the cost of materials and completion times.
Grant news -
Our initial application for the Alliance for Biking and Walking Start-Up Grant was denied. There were applications totaling $1.2 million and only $130,000 available. We currently have an application out with Jonesboro Parks and Rec for a grant through Bikes Belong to help fund Phase 1 of the Greenway. We should have word on that in November.
Other News-
Funds were unanimously approved to cover the registration fee for an advocacy training weekend in North Little Rock hosted by the Alliance for Biking and Walking and the Bicycle Advocates of Central Arkansas on Oct. 16-18. The weekend is designed to help advocacy leaders form a plan of action for a specific problem/program. Sally Broadaway will be attending and bringing with me a list of things to work on.
The idea of hosting a bike awareness weekend is currently being explored. The vision for this is to have one day of clinics (safety, skills, mechanics, nutrition, fitness, speakers...) and then have one day of rides and/or race events. If you would be interested in helping out with this in any way conceivable, just let us know through the Contact Us link above! This could be a great legacy event for us that would be beneficial for cycling in NEA and would bring in folks from neighboring areas.
Volunteer Opportunity-
Oct. 8th - The St. Bernard's Center on Aging, AARP, and East Area Planning and Development are hosting a walkability survey of Jonesboro and volunteers are needed. The survey will last from about 9:30 - 2 and lunch will be provided. What does this have to do with cycling? We will be looking closely at the safety/functionality of our intersections and roadways as well as sidewalks. This information will go to the city to help in developing smarter design/construction policies. If you can volunteer or pass the word around please use the Contact Us link so we can get you concrete details about the day.
As always, your participation and financial support is greatly appreciated! Ideas/comments/concerns are always welcome! If you would like to make a monetary contribution, you may do so through the Paypal link on the right or by sending a check to (Please include name, address, and email):
NEABC, PO Box 892,  Jonesboro, AR 72403

Update for August 2009

NEABC is now officially a non-profit organization!  We received word from the IRS on August 17th that they accepted our application for 501(c)(3) status.  This is a big step for us that will open up grant opportunities and will allow donations to be tax deductible*. 
Also, we have applied for a matching-funds start-up grant through the Alliance for Biking and Walking, formerly known as the Thunderhead Alliance.  We should know by Sept. 2nd if our application has made it through round one of the application process.  
Please take note!  The City of Jonesboro will be hosting public meetings about the Master Land Use Plan. Bike and pedestrian issues will be discussed!
Monday, August 24: Huntington Building, 900 W. Monroe - 6:00 to 8:00 PM
Tuesday, August 25: Parker Park CC Community Rm, 1506 N. Church St. (Hwy. 141) - 6:00 to 8:00 PM
Thursday, August 27: Jonesboro Fire Station #3, 2212 Brazos St. - 6:00 to 8:00 PM
Plan Developments will become available for public review on and after August 17, 2009 in the City of Jonesboro Planning Dept. located at 307 Vine Street.
Site update -  For your convenience, you may now add calendar items (there to the right) directly to your calendar in Outlook, Google Calendar, etc.  
 *Of course, you should always check with your tax professional first.

Official Bike Route Adopted in Jonesboro

 On June 21, 2009, the Jonesboro City Council voted to establish the official master bicycle route plan.  This is a big step for Jonesboro as it officially makes bicycle routes part of the city's master street plan.  What does that mean for cyclists?  One, it means that the City of Jonesboro recognizes the importance of and the desire of its citizens to have bicycle related facilities.  Two, by having state roadways designated by the city as "future" bicycle routes, the state highway department will have to take bicycles into consideration when improvements are made to those roads.  
The official bike route map can be downloaded here.  Just click on the file next to "attachments".

Update from July 2009 Meeting

NEABC Minutes 7-21-09
At tonight’s meeting Sally brought along an updated map showing the city routes.  We then proceeded to highlight the routes along county roads within Craighead County.  This will allow the city and state to see where we are riding and to designate them as “Future Bike Routes.”  This map will be displayed at Gearhead over the next few days to allow others to mark their favorite route.  So please go by and see if there’re any other roads that need to be considered.
There have been some recent cycling accidents within NE Arkansas over the last few months.   Let’s all be cognizant of others on the road and to obey the rules of the roads, just as if we were in our car. 
Jeff Owens also informed us that the Bike Route Project was being passed tonight at the City Meeting.  One more step in the right directions. Thanks to everyone who  added this work. 
Thanks to all who came tonight.  We had 5 officers and 4 members out tonight.   
-Brandon Siegel, Secretary