"Medical Mile" becomes narrower with new walking trail - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

"Medical Mile" becomes narrower with new walking trail

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JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- Construction on Matthews, also known as the "Medical Mile", has people worried about even narrower roads due to a new walking trail along side it.

Mayor Harold Perrin said the project began after the community showed interest in building a trail. Construction began after the city received grant money to fund the project.

"Basically the walk ability, the bike trail and jogging was something that people really wanted," Perrin said.

However, not everyone is happy with the new trail. Parts of Matthew Avenue will become narrower to accommodate it.

"We've had complaints but we've had more good reactions than we've had complaints," said Director or Parks and Recreation Wixson Huffstetler. "With any project you do you're going to have complaints, but we just try to explain to citizens what we're doing and why we're doing it."

Although, the trail runs in front of St. Bernards, Mayor Perrin said they made sure to avoid safety hazards.

"We made the decision to go to Matthews because most of our emergency vehicles use Washington," said Perrin. "Our local ambulance services will go down Washington and take a left into the ER."

Narrowing the road still seems to be unsettling for some, but officials have made sure drivers do have room to drive.

"Our engineers were very careful that it wasn't too tight," said Perrin. "Once they re-stripe it I don't think you'll have a problem at all."

Huffstetler said he anticipates narrowing the road will help make that area safer.

"The thing about this coming through the city is it's going to so slow traffic down because we are narrowing the lanes," said Huffstetler. "Drivers are driving way too fast for it to be a medical community."

Mayor Perrin said they plan to use leftover grant money to hopefully make a trail around Craighead Forest Lake for both jogger and cyclists.

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