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Natural Awakenings Dallas -Fort Worth Metroplex Edition

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DFW Cyclists and Pedestrians Benefit from New Trail

Jan 02, 2016 08:49AM

The Ft. Worth-to-Dallas regional trail involves coordination between five cities in the Metroplex to create a continuous off-street bicycle and pedestrian path linking downtown Dallas to downtown Ft. Worth with important connections in Arlington, Grand Prairie and Irving. The completed trail will be approximately 60 miles in length; there are about 12 miles left to be constructed with an estimated cost of $20 million.

New momentum was instigated by Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, a long-distance road biker, when she got the five cities involved to agree to work together to speed up work on construction of the master planned trail. This is the most significant segment of a larger network of trails that regional planners call the Regional Veloweb, which already measures more than 300 miles from the Sante Fe Trail, in Dallas, to the Trinity Trails in Fort Worth and Fish Creek Trail through Arlington and Grand Prairie. With plans for another 1,400 miles, it is the trail between Ft. Worth and Dallas has cyclists most excited.

It is expected to create connections for North Texans to jobs, schools, retail, transit and recreational and natural spaces for use by bicyclists, pedestrians and other non-motorized forms of active transportation in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metropolitan area. The Regional Veloweb has planned connections in 10 counties and 117 cities in North Texas—the Interstate for bicyclists and pedestrians.

In September, Irving and Grand Prairie celebrated the opening of the Campión Trail/Lone Star Trail connection, a critical piece of the puzzle. Other sections, such as River Legacy Parks in Arlington, have been around for a decade or more, but people may not have realized there was a bigger master plan in place. The 60-mile Dallas to Fort Worth trail system could be completed in the next decade or even sooner, depending on when funding can be secured. When all trails are completed, it will be a straight trip to downtown Dallas, Victory Park, Uptown and the Katy Trail from Ft. Worth.

For Dallas, the final piece of the puzzle will be a 4.5-mile section from Sylvan Avenue west to the Irving city limits at Trinity View Park. It will follow the West Fork of the Trinity River and connect to Campión Trail, in Irving. Dallas bicycle transportation manager, says, “This is something I’ve been involved in for probably close to 15 years. All of a sudden, it seems we’re almost there.

For more information, visit nctcog.org/trans.

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