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Monday, May 02, 2016, 12:59 a.m.
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Public profile for RBBrittain

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School elections for Pulaski, Helena districts set for November cause glitches April 28, 2016 at 12:47 p.m.

Uh, shouldn't it be handled much like the nonpartisan judicial elections -- or the Rock Region Metro sales tax -- on the same ballot as the party primaries? Technically those are separate "elections" but they use the same ballots, voting equipment, etc. Why not do the school election with the general election the same way?

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New idea on I-30 job earns fans April 27, 2016 at 12:12 p.m.

Oops: 2041 is 25 years out, not 30. Still, that makes my point even more valid: If you're gonna build it, why do it half-heartedly and find yourself in the same hole 25 years from now? I don't subscribe to the "Field of Dreams" philosophy of the boulevard backers; though congestion does have some deterrent effect, for the most part on a road like this even if you DON'T build it they'll STILL come. Why not be prepared for them? It's really better to overbuild than underbuild!

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New idea on I-30 job earns fans April 27, 2016 at 10:44 a.m.

@abb: That’s Big Rock and not 30 Crossing, but that's because the Big Rock project ended just east of Baptist; there wasn't enough room to force roughly 8 lanes of traffic headed east on I-630 into the existing 3 lanes without some abrupt merges. The other CAP project in Pulaski County will widen I-630 to 8 lanes from there to University, and also allow the Big Rock merges to be lengthened (that's what the 100-foot concrete "shoulder" is for).

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New idea on I-30 job earns fans April 27, 2016 at 10:36 a.m.

I have a HUGE problem with the split-diamond alternative because it does NOT adequately provide for Highway 10 (Cantrell/LaHarpe) traffic thru downtown. The current plan has enough problem with that traffic using ONE block of Cumberland; but split-diamond will require Highway 10 traffic to use between 3 and 5 blocks of Cumberland (depending on whether it uses 4th, Capitol or 6th between Cumberland & I-30). I asked engineers and Studio Main people point-blank what would happen to LaHarpe traffic under split-diamond; NONE of them had a credible explanation -- StudioMain (and even one person who claims to drive LaHarpe daily) thinks they'll all turn off at Chester or something. Neither split-diamond nor the prior so-called SPUI proposal for the Cantrell interchange (now retweaked to avoid cutting off the River Rail on 3rd) actually resolves the vehicle-pedestrian conflict at Markham/President Clinton & Cumberland/LaHarpe.
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@RBear: I thought it looked suspicious too, but there's an explanation for that: The 3D simulations are based on traffic projections in 2041. The 8-lane proposal adds *NO* new lanes to the 8-lane I-40 between I-30 & US 67; it only reconfigures the two main I-40 interchanges to eliminate the "weaving" currently required for both thru I-40 traffic *and* traffic going between I-30 & US 67 (and also modifies the North Hills interchange slightly). The "6-lane with C/D" (formerly 10-lane) proposal widens I-40 to 10 lanes, with 6 lanes dedicated to I-30/US 67 traffic (50% more lanes than the 8-lane proposal). Basically, with just 8 lanes NLR rush hour will be back to square one (if not worse) in 30 years; it will take 10 lanes to provide lasting relief.
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@NOTAGAIN: The "four/five projects over a 20 year span" line was simply to illustrate how it would be done *IF* AHTD did *NOT* have Connecting Arkansas Program (aka Issue 1, 1/2% statewide sales tax) money to do it. That money can ONLY be used for new or widened four-lane or wider highways; IIRC around 20% of it was originally budgeted for I-30. Now it's only 64% of the total bill (AHTD originally planned to just widen the river bridge, before the cracked pier and Coast Guard opposition for navigational reasons forced them to replace it), but it still enables the proposed 2018-22 timeframe.

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On I-30's LR redo, 3-D set for public April 26, 2016 at 9:29 a.m.

The roadways are already supposed to be elevated (or in retaining walls) to keep it within the existing right-of-way as much as possible. And I thought THIS was the refined "Square 1/original plan"; AHTD has already declared the boulevard idea DOA.

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UALR tries again for grant April 26, 2016 at 9:22 a.m.

Where is the opposition to this boondoggle? That section of University needs (a) removal of the absurdly low 25-MPH speed limit, (b) UALR moving the fence so only minimal right-of-way is needed on the other side, (c) widening to six lanes (as promised since the late 1980's), and (d) a pedestrian overpass. NO ROUNDABOUTS!!!

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VIDEO: Strahan to exit 'Live' in May; Ripa says all is forgiven April 26, 2016 at 7:59 a.m.

Correction: Two hours later.

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VIDEO: Strahan to exit 'Live' in May; Ripa says all is forgiven April 26, 2016 at 7:56 a.m.

Just cancel the show once Strahan gets his promotion; Ripa's diva act has gone on long enough. It's so weak in LR that Channel 7, unlike most ABC affiliates, instead airs local programming in the hour set aside for the show (technically syndicated but produced by WABC New York); they let Channel 4 carry it an hour later (ironically right after the Today Show hour of her predecessor Kathie Lee Gifford). It should have been cancelled after she ran Regis Philbin off...

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Rail crossing in Ashdown No. 4 in peril April 26, 2016 at 6:22 a.m.

There needs to be some clarification of the name of the street here. Both the article and Google Maps call it South Park Avenue; but it doesn't tie into the actual street of that name on the other side of U.S. 71. Two different streets tie into the crossing across the tracks from 71; one is West Front (its name on the linked list of Arkansas' 10 worst crossings), but the one with right-of-way to the crossing is South Steward. (It's definitely the same one; Google Maps calls the nearby restaurant "Jim's Place but Carol Runs It".)
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Also, there needs to be some explanation as to how the FIFTH worst crossing in Arkansas per the linked list can ALSO be the FOURTH worst crossing in the country per the article. It probably has something to do with differing criteria; the four ahead of it in Arkansas (Forbing & 65th in SWLR, a crossing near a Riceland mill in Stuttgart, and Fairfax in NLR) all have crossing gates but remain dangerous due to the relative volumes of auto vs. rail traffic (all four are on UPRR mainlines; the Stuttgart one obviously has heavy rice-truck traffic while the others are on busy LR/NLR metro thoroughfares), while this one has no gate and lesser volumes of traffic (lesser local streets, KCS mainline in Ashdown isn't as busy as UPRR's in either LR/NLR or Stuttgart).

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Agency to scrap slip ramp, flyover planned at I-430 at Cantrell April 25, 2016 at 8:54 a.m.

When were bridges part of the plan for Cantrell & Rodney Parham? The plans I saw for a "continuous flow intersection" there did it with lights, NOT bridges. And I still don't see how a flyover ramp can ever be cheaper than one with no bridges at all, especially when it touches down in a median with NO space at all. If Johnswood survived all the blasting and other earthwork needed to cut I-430 thru the bluff back in the 1970's, why be so overcautious today?

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