How traffic moves on Rogers Avenue in Fort Smith, a main artery for the city, is being studied by several local organizations to improve access to jobs, health care and education in the city.

The Frontier Metropolitan Planning Organization in Fort Smith is one of six agencies to receive technical assistance from the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Authority for the Rogers Corridor Multimodal Community Connections Planning Framework project.

The yearlong project will encompass Rogers Avenue from Garrison Avenue in Fort Smith to Strozier Lane in Barling.

Reese Brewer, Frontier MPO director, said a kickoff team webinar for the selected agencies will be held Monday. Additional details regarding the technical assistance and program will be presented then.

“The purpose of the effort is to understand the link between the density of multimodal facilities (transit, sidewalks, bicycle facilities) on Rogers Avenue in Fort Smith as it relates to missed medical appointments, access to health care, education and jobs,” Brewer adds in an email.

Key partners in the effort include Fort Smith Transit, Mercy Fort Smith, the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority, the Western Arkansas Planning and Development District and the Fort Smith Public School District. As part of the study, the Frontier MPO will identify key stakeholders, partners and databases.

A report will be developed by the Frontier MPO in late fall of 2019.

“As part of this effort, Frontier MPO will conduct public surveys regarding sidewalk condition, multimodal options (transit, walk, bicycle) and level of comfort on Rogers Avenue,” Brewer explained. “Access to medical facilities, employment, retail, and schools will also be examined in this study. A strategic multimodal corridor framework and plan for Rogers Avenue focused on leveraging multimodal assets can empower city government officials and decision makers to budget scarce funds for these fundamental projects.”

Other agencies selected for technical assistance from the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Authority include Caltrans and San Luis Obispo Council of Governments, McLean County Regional Planning Commission, Prince George's County Department of Public Works and Transportation, Summit County Department of Regional Transportation Planning and the Texas Department of Transportation Houston District Office.