Bikeway History

The Fort Smith Bikeway Committee was established in 1999.

This citizen advisory committee was instrumental in the development of the city’s new bike route system, which opened in November of 2002.

The Fort Smith Board of Directors adopted the bikeway plan in 2000 through City Ordinance #1-00. The Arkansas State Highway Commission made available 80% federal funds to be matched with 20% of city monies for the implementation of the project.

Northeast Bike Map

104.95 KB 2 downloads

Northwest Bike Map

192.21 KB 2 downloads

Southeast Bike Map

130.61 KB 2 downloads

Southwest Bike Map

159.68 KB 3 downloads

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Classification I

A bike path separate from the road.

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Classification II

A bike path marked by painted lines on the road and signs.
*Class II bikeways do not appear on the bikeway map because they are still in the development stage.

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Classification III

This map includes the class III bikeways, the first phase of the bikeway plan. “Bike Route” signs in neighborhoods and secondary streets mark the routes designed to take riders to schools, parks, libraries and other destinations. Some bike routes provide access to the Fort Smith Transit System.

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Classification IV

All other public streets.

The Fort Smith Bikeway connects you to:

parks, libraries, schools and universities, and to transit system bus stops.

Ultimately, bicyclists will be able to pedal to their favorite Fort Smith destinations. Initial bicycle routes, based on safety and compatibility with the city’s streets, are now open.

The bikeway plan has been developed to ensure that long-term objectives are met. While class III bikeways are open and clearly marked on neighborhood streets, the plan calls for future expansion. In the future, the bikeway will include striped lanes on selected streets and bike paths that are separate from the road.

The new bikeway in Fort Smith is a transportation alternative that enhances our quality of life. It provides citizens an opportunity to utilize shared use bike routes for transportation, recreation, and community services. By replacing even a few motor vehicles on the road with bicyclists, we can reduce pollution, traffic, and potentially stress. The result is a healthier environment.

Share the Road

Use Your Head: A properly fitted and approved helmet is a must. A rack or basket, rain gear, gloves, glasses or goggles, rear view mirror, bell, tire pump and a small tool kit can make your ride safer and more pleasant. Check your bicycle and equipment before riding.

Ride Like You Drive: When sharing a travel lane with other traffic, take your place in line with the stopped cars as you approach an intersection. Do not pass on the right. Watch for motorists turning across your path.

Go With the Flow: Ride your bike in the same direction, on the same side of the road, as motor vehicle traffic. A bicyclist traveling against traffic is no safer than a motorist is; besides it is the law.

Ride Right: Ride with the flow of traffic on the right side, but far enough from the curb to avoid hazards. Ride in a straight line and far enough from parked cars to avoid an opening door. It’s safer not to weave in and out of parked cars.

Ride Defensively: Be alert, scan the road and expect the unexpected; never wear headphones while you ride. Follow traffic laws, signsand signals. Be on the lookout for animals.

Turning Left: There are two ways to make a safe left turn. Like a motorist, you can signal, merge into the middle of the left lane and turn left. You may also use the crosswalk and walk your bike across the street.

Take a Lane: Occupy a full lane whenever the lane is too narrow to share with other traffic.

Use The Lane: Use appropriate lanes for turning right, left or going through intersections. Avoid using a turn lane when going straight. Use appropriate hand signals before turning or merging.

Be Kind To Walkers: Yield to pedestrians, give a warning before passing them, and ride at walking speeds when crossing driveways, alleys or intersections.

Lock It Up: Use a bike rack if available. Otherwise, use something solid that is not in the way of pedestrians. Choose a well-lit, well-traveled area.

Light Up The Road: Be visible at all times but especially at night. Making eye contact with motorists is one way you can be certain you are seen. At night the law requires a white headlight and red rear reflector. Spoke and pedal reflectors add even more protection at night. Reflective clothing and bright colors can also help you to be seen at all times.

Common Causes of Accidents

Midblock Rideout:
Stop and look left, right and then left again for traffic before entering the road.

Wrong Way Riding:
Go with the flow! Ride right – with traffic, just like cars do.

 

Motorist Overtaking Cyclist:
Avoid riding at night on narrow roads and where highway speeds are over 35 mph. Use lights and reflectors if you must ride at night.

Stop Sign Rideout:
When driving your vehicle, obey all traffic signs and signals – at busy intersections get off of your bike and walk across the road as you do when you are a pedestrian.

Bicyclist Left Turn Or Sudden Swerve:
Be predictable- always ride in a straight line. When preparing to change your lane position, look behind you and yield to overtaking traffic. For making a left turn, give the left hand signal and when it’s safe, move left to the left lane. Give the left hand signal again and then make your turn when it is safe to do so.

Resources

Fort Smith Parks and Recreation

479-784-2368

Fort Smith Transit

479-783-6464

Arkansas State Highway & Transportation Department

479-646-5501

Fort Smith Police

479-709-5000

Western Arkansas Planning & Development District

479-785-2651

Rules and Regulations

Providing safe & enjoyable recreation for all.
Fort Smith Parks & Recreation exists to provide engaging experiences to the community through its parks, trails, and community events. In order to keep these areas safe and enjoyable, all parks follow the same rules and regulations.