Big Investment Connects Bike and Pedestrian Trails Across the Metroplex
The Regional Transportation Council (RTC) has approved $36.74 million toward significant expansions to the growing network of bicycle/pedestrian trails in Dallas-Fort Worth to improve access to transit, jobs, school and other major destinations. This federal funding will pay for expansion of the Regional Veloweb Trail and for crucial parts of the Cotton Belt Regional Trail. With the addition of local matching funds, the investment in the trails will exceed $40 million. Both trail projects have been in the region’s Metropolitan Transportation Plan since 1996.
Ft. Worth Mayor Betsy Price says, “The regional trail provides connections to numerous major destinations and employment centers in Fort Worth, including downtown, Panther Island, the emerging Trinity Lakes mixed-use development and more.”
New construction will complete a continuous 53-mile trail southern alignment connecting Fort Worth, Arlington, Grand Prairie, Irving and Dallas. The approved section of the Fort Worth-to-Dallas trail will connect the existing Mike Lewis Trail, in Grand Prairie, to the Trinity Railway Express Centreport/DFW Airport Station, in Fort Worth, and the River Legacy Trail in Arlington, near State Highway 360. This will make it easier for area cyclists and employees to access the rail station. Employees at the new American Airlines headquarters will be able to access to the rail station by using the new trail. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings states, “The regional trail will provide a true transportation link to Dallas and surrounding communities.” All sections of the regional trail southern alignment are anticipated to be complete by 2023.
RTC also committed $8.20 million toward the engineering design of a 26-mile Cotton Belt Trail and $19.46 million toward the construction of 8.5 miles of the trail, including trail bridges over major roadways, as part of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Cotton Belt commuter rail line project yjrough Grapevine, Coppell, Carrollton, Addison, Dallas, Richardson and Plano). This regional trail will ultimately connect with the existing Cotton Belt Trail in Grapevine that currently extends westward through several cities in Tarrant County.
The Regional Transportation Council (RTC) of the North Central Texas Council of Governments has served as the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for regional transportation planning in the Dallas-Fort Worth area since 1974. The MPO works in cooperation with the region’s transportation providers to address the complex transportation needs of the rapidly growing metropolitan area. The Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area includes Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Hood, Hunt, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant and Wise counties. The RTC’s 44 members include local elected or appointed officials from the metropolitan area and representatives from each of the area’s transportation providers.
The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) is a voluntary association of local governments established in 1966 to assist local governments in planning for common needs, cooperating for mutual benefit and coordinating for sound regional development.