"Medical Mile" becomes narrower with new walking trail

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

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

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

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

"We've had complaints but we've had more goodreactions than we've had complaints," said Director or Parks and RecreationWixson 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 Matthewsbecause most of our emergency vehicles use Washington," said Perrin. "Our localambulance services will go down Washington and take a left into the ER."

Narrowing the road still seems to beunsettling for some, but officials have made sure drivers do have room todrive.

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

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

"The thing about this coming through the cityis it's going to so slow traffic down because we are narrowing the lanes," saidHuffstetler. "Drivers are driving way too fast for it to be a medicalcommunity."

Mayor Perrin said they plan to use leftovergrant money to hopefully make a trail around Craighead Forest Lake for bothjogger and cyclists.

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