71B Corridor Plan

In 2018, Fayetteville launched a community planning process to rethink the 71B corridor. A critical goal was to engage the community to help develop strategies to improve the corridor’s economic vitality, address congestion issues, increase affordable housing, make it safe and convenient for all modes of travel, encourage active and healthy living, and create an attractive front door to Fayetteville’s downtown and adjacent neighborhoods. 

During the year of this planning process, several important events and initiatives took place. In April 2019, the citizens of Fayetteville approved a major public improvement bond issue that included significant funding for the 71B corridor. A few months later, the City of Fayetteville and the Arkansas Department of Transportation successfully negotiated a transfer of jurisdiction of the existing 71B corridor between the north and south Fulbright Expressway interchanges. This gave the City complete authority to modify South School, Archibald Yell, and College Avenue segments of the corridor. In December 2019, City Council passed a resolution to approve the 71B work program. 

The 71B Corridor Master Plan Document, Illustrative Plan and Transportation Framework represent the project’s major work products. These documents and illustrations are the result of an extensive citizen participation process which involved a detailed citizen survey, focus group discussions, five highly interactive public workshops/design studios, monthly 71B Steering Committee meetings and input from our Planning Commission and Members of our City Council. The consultant team completed a detailed parcel-by-parcel analysis of the entire corridor, which is summarized in the Master Plan Document and depicted on the Illustrative plan.

Initial projects identified for possible bond funding included

  • Alleviating congestion on the northern end by constructing parallel north/south connections
  • Reconstructing the section between Township and North Streets as shown on the Illustrative Plan by adding medians for better traffic control
  • Reconstructing sidewalks to make it safer for pedestrians
  • Adding bus shelters and transit lanes at key intersections

The corridor carries less traffic south of downtown and this section has been identified for “rightsizing” as shown on the illustrative plan to gain more space for pedestrian and bicycle amenities and to make it more livable and attractive for residential development.

Implementing the Plan

The 71B corridor will inevitably change substantially during the next 20 years and Tomorrow’s Corridor is designed to help provide unity and order to the large and small decisions that will accomplish that change. Most of those decisions will be private. But initiatives taken by city and state government, public agencies, existing and proposed community organizations, and the citizens of Fayetteville can both address important corridor issues and catalyze desirable private development.

Looking ahead, the public and community implementation program of initiatives for 71B resolves into six specific categories: 

  • Street Transportation
  • Trails and Pathways
  • Regulating Environment
  • Development Focus
  • Attainable Housing
  • Organizational Infrastructure

The City is in the process of implementing the 71B Corridor Plan, including design and construction of public improvements shown in the plan and rezoning the associated regulating plan to be initiated by the Planning Commission. Plan components are segmented into Short-Term (0-5 years), Medium-Term (5-10 years) and Long-Term (10+ years). This breakdown is advisory only and should be viewed as flexible and able to accommodate and substitute other opportunities as they arise, including private development projects.

Current Status and Next Steps

Design and construction of the Phase 1 improvement program for 71B:

Phase 1 is primarily funded by proceeds of the 2019 bond issue and funds from the negotiated transfer of the corridor to city responsibility.

  • Redesign of South School Street to three lanes with cycle/mobility track and continuous sidewalk/sidepath between Cato Springs and the Mill District. An upgraded pedestrian crossing with pedestrian refuge median at or near 11th Street is anticipated for inclusion.
  • The College Avenue segment from North Street to Township Street. This includes the proposed street channel, sidewalks, the upgraded Township intersection node, the Memorial Drive pedestrian crossing, new lighting and streetscape features and redesign of the Green Acres intersection with the Green Acres common on vacated right-of-way. This project will demonstrate the quality of the street design and set the stage for future phases.
  • Reconfiguration of Archibald Yell with better pedestrian accommodation and a signal at the South Street intersection.
  • Redesign of the Archibald Yell/South College/Rock Street intersection and Archibald Yell lane reconfiguration.
  • Completion of the Appleby-Plainview collector between Fiesta Square and Millsap.

More information about work taking place within the 71B corridor plan, including current project status, is available at the Highway 71B Corridor project page.