Addresses to put Burns Park on GPS maps

story.lead_photo.captionFILE — Craig Batek (left) on Pistol and Kim Batek on Polly ride across the covered bridge on Nov. 15 in North Little Rock’s Burns Park. –
Photo by Staton Breidenthal

Anyone who has ever had trouble finding a certain pavilion or attraction in North Little Rock’s vast Burns Park will soon have a resource for getting directions.

Through a collaboration among North Little Rock’s Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Planning Department, and the Parks and Recreation Department, everything in the 1,700-acre park is to be identified with a physical address.

The addition will make possible the ability to locate a specific spot within the park through GPS systems in vehicles or through Google Maps on smartphones. The addresses are expected to be GPS-accessible by the end of January.

“This addition is the next step to the park being tourist-friendly,” said Bob Major, chief executive officer for the Convention and Visitors Bureau. “GPS is so common now in cars and on smartphones, I thought we should be proactive and establish addresses for the park.”

The ability to call up directions to a particular location using an address will aid first responders in emergencies, as well as help park visitors find their way around, Major said.

“No. 1, in the event of an emergency, Emergency Services could quickly locate the emergency, and visitors who are out here reporting an emergency would be able to assist Emergency Services by being able to pinpoint a specific address when they call,” Major said. “Two, with all the people coming to Burns Park, they’ll be able to put into their GPS or smartphone a specific address that can take them directly to a ball field or a pavilion.

“If somebody rents a pavilion for a party and sends out invitations, now they can put an address with it,” he said of being able to better distinguish the location for any of the park’s 10 pavilions.

Adding the addresses fell to John Hale, the city Planning Department’s geographic information system specialist. Some sites in the park already had an address assigned when platted, but those weren’t made public. Electric meters in the park also already had addresses.

“Pretty much everything that has a structure has an address,” Hale said.

Addresses are assigned in North Little Rock using the intersection of Main Street and Washington Avenue downtown by the Arkansas River as a base line point, with the numerical order going up in sequence from that point, Hale said.

“We added every place that didn’t have an address assigned and corrected a handful that didn’t make sense on the street ranges,” Hale said. “For the most part, if it already had an address, we tried to keep it if at all possible. They should be more comprehensive now.

“There were some cases where on Funland Drive, it started off with the number 25 and up the street it was 4900,” Hale said. “That didn’t really make sense, so we corrected those.”

The data go to the city’s Emergency Services Department, the Metropolitan Emergency Medical Services ambulance service, and to the police and fire departments, as well as to the Pulaski Area Geographic Information System (PAGIS).

“I will distribute it to pretty much everybody, and PAGIS will distribute those to everybody and add them on their maps,” Hale said. “PAGIS adds them to their system, and every month everything is pushed out to other places, Google included. Most of it should be added by the end of January, but a lot will be sooner. The majority shouldn’t be any later than that.”

Major had received a printed park map by mid-December that listed all of the new addresses. Some examples: the Tennis Center is 4000 Joe K. Poch Drive, the Dog Park is 501 Tournament Drive, the popular Rocket Slide is 14 Funland Drive, and the Soccer Complex is 200 Tournament Drive.

“If someone wants to know where disc golf starts, now there’s an address [22 Funland Drive] for the first tee,” Major said. “There’s not a structure there, but someone can find the disc golf starting point.”

Metro on 12/30/2018

Print Headline: Addresses to put Burns Park on GPS maps

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