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Prioritize the Riverfront (Editorial)

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The master plan for downtown Little Rock includes a number of excellent suggestions for revitalizing the area, but even if voters approve Mayor Frank Scott’s $650 million sales tax proposal, resources aren’t unlimited.

That’s why the Little Rock Board of Directors will need to prioritize its wish list, and we have a suggestion: Take a cue from a great city like San Antonio and its hugely successful River Walk and focus on the Arkansas Riverfront.

We are in no way saying that other elements of the plan shouldn’t be implemented — we particularly appreciate the call for an interconnected network of trails that would connect to the riverfront and for the proposed downtown park on land left open by the 30 Crossing highway project.

But we agree with the plan’s finding that the Arkansas River was “a tremendous open space asset that is underutilized.”

Back in 2013, we noted with approval that the downtowns of Little Rock and North Little Rock had bloomed by leveraging the beauty of the Arkansas River, citing the Clinton Library and Dickey-Stephens Park, among other developments. We hope that however Little Rock’s master plan is implemented, it will continue to capitalize on this great natural resource.

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