City seeking members for new Active Transportation Advisory Board

The City of Bella Vista is looking for those interested in serving on a newly created Active Transportation Advisory Board.

The board was created by a vote of the City Council Monday, Nov. 13. Members will be appointed by the mayor after a review of their resume, and then approved by City Council members at the regular meeting on Monday, February 26, 2024.

There are seven positions for regular members, who must be residents or property owners in Bella Vista city limits. Youth members, for which there are two non-voting positions, must be between the ages of 10 and 18 years and live in Bella Vista. Terms will be three years, following initial staggered terms, with youth members serving terms of one year.

The ordinance creating this advisory board was at the recommendation of the Bella Vista Action Plan portion of the Northwest Arkansas Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan, adopted by the city in 2015.

“As the demographics of Bella Vista continue to diversify, so must our approach to active transportation and ensuring that the needs of our residents are met,” said Justin Culpepper, City of Bella Vista Trails and Active Transportation Coordinator.

The primary purpose of the board will be to advocate for trails and bicycle/pedestrian infrastructure in Bella Vista, advise on grant applications and trail projects, and strive for equitable access to active transportation for diverse trail user groups. The board will be comprised of a diverse array of trail users with an interest in trails, active transportation, accessibility and civics. The city is looking for those that use trails for multiple purposes, including recreation, exercise, and commuting.

“With the spotlight currently shining on how many of our young people ride the school bus for multiple hours each day, and the fact that they are a major user group of our trails, it seems fitting to give this group a voice when we are discussing issues that directly impact them,” Culpepper said of the youth positions, adding that their input may prove invaluable as the city attempts to tackle active transportation concerns that impact all generations of residents.

Those interested should submit their resume and letter of interest by email to Culpepper, jculpepper@bellavistaar.gov, or apply online at https://bellavistaar.gov/submit_an_application_here_/index.php. Deadline to apply is Monday, February 5, 2024.