A committee of the Pine Bluff City Council on Wednesday reviewed several requests for street signs and traffic control devices and the subject of a race track in the city was also mentioned.


Traffic and Aviation Committee Chairman Ivan Whitfield said his committee began the year talking about a race track and will end the year continuing to talk about it.


He said even though the Saracen resort and casino which is currently under construction will draw people to the city, he believed that the existence of a race track can also bring people and dollars to the city.


Arkansas law currently prohibits the c0nstruciton of a race track in the city limits and Whitfield said he wants to bring area legislators to a meeting to discuss either amending or repealing that statute.


On the subject of the casino, Regional Planner Larry Reynolds told the committee that a private drive and entrance to the casino itself will be named Saracen Resort Drive. He said casino officials originally asked for Saracen Drive but that name is taken by an existing street. No action by the council will be necessary.


A request from Maxey Thomas, the Chief of Police for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff to install stop signs on both sides of Oliver Road was also discussed. A previous committee had approved that request but the signs were not installed and Whitfield said since the request was previously approved, the current committee needed to take no action.


Reynolds said council action will be required on a request to place school zone signs on West 40th Avenue from Hickory Street to Hazel Street to accommodate Friendship Aspire Academy, which is located at 40th Avenue and Hazel Street.


Street Department Manager Rick Rhoden showed the committee the bright blue with white lettered street toppers for Bobby Rush Way, which will officially be unveiled Sept. 27 at 5:30 p.m. at the corner of 3rd Avenue and State Street. Earlier this year, the City Council approved a resolution designating a portion of 3rd Avenue in honor of blues singer Rush. Rhoden said the initial signs will go to 3rd and State and 3rd and Alabama.


According to a press release, the unveiling will be followed by a blues and soul celebration with live music from 6p.m. to 9 p.m. at the UAPB Incubator at 615 Main St.


“It’s gonna be a Catfish Blues Friday sponsored by the Delta Rhythm & Bayous Alliance and you can purchase your catfish right there on the spot and crunch those fish tails to some hot buttered blues and soul music,” the press release said.