Hunt, Griggs Announce $6 Million Network of Hike and Bike Trails Between the Trinity Levees

Trinity Press Conference Map.jpg
Last June, Angela Hunt and Scott Griggs went to the Trinity River Overlook and gazed down at the empty floodplain below. Wouldn't it be nice, they thought, if there was a network of trails down there that came up and over the levee and connected with all of Dallas' other trails.

It was a thought, but not much more than that. The original Trinity River Project had nothing about trails crisscrossing the flood plain, and given the miserly city budget there was zero chance that funding for something extra would suddenly materialize. There seemed little room, too, in the austere 2012 bond package, which City Manager Mary Suhm promised would be focused exclusively on the most basic of infrastructure projects.

But then the city discovered it had room for another $42 million in the bond program, $2.8 million for each council member and the mayor. Hunt and Griggs knew what they wanted to put it toward building trails along the Trinity and opening the floodplain, the closest thing Dallas has to a wilderness, for public enjoyment. They detailed their plan to Mayor Mike Rawlings, who agreed to chip in $500,000. Hence, the press conference this morning announcing a $6.1 million concrete trail running between the levees. You can see the map above.

"The dream here is to really connect our entire city and the river with a great system of hike and bike trails," Griggs said.

The trail won't actually be a trail but a paved levee maintenance roads accessible to bike and foot traffic. City vehicles will be given priority, but there won't be many of them. Encountering them, Hunt said, is like finding an endangered species.

It was a bit odd to see Hunt and Griggs standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Rawlings for an announcement about the Trinity. They famously disagree on a certain flood-prone hunk of concrete planned by the river, but there they were, with Trinity River Corridor Project committee chair Voincel Jones Hill as well. You could almost hear them humming kumbaya.

"Regardless of the our position on the toll road, what you see today is all of us coming together for the greater vision of the Trinity River," Hunt said.

And, in case you were wondering, Rawlings does support the non-toll road portions of the Trinity River project. Like those lakes wonderful Trinity Lakes, and the Elm Fork Soccer Complex which will prompt "people from all over the world will come to play here." The gun range down there is really nice, by the way.

And what's Mayor Mike's position on the Texas Horse Park? "I have studied that closely, and I am behind that as well."

Hill closed out the press conference. She talked about the basic human connection to rivers, referencing Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn and her native Mississippi. For too long, the Trinity has been ignored and forgotten. No longer.

"It's not just Tom and Huckleberry" who have access to the river now, Hill said. Now, it's open to "all the Bubbas and Berthas in Dallas."


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24 comments
NWGLP
NWGLP

Get ready for assaults on white joggers (women mostly) to go way up once these get constructed, naive white-guilt libtard "progressives".

joseph
joseph

Trails are nice, but is a $6 million trail for yuppy recreation what we should be spending money on with the budget crisis and cuts throughout city departments? 

BenS.
BenS.

I admire the tenacity of Scott and Angela in their pursuit of getting something down in the floodway. It was only a year ago they tried a soft surface project with Team Better Block and the local mountain bike group DORBA. The result was a meandering grass trail from Sylvan to I-35. I rode it. It really existed. It was really cool and forward thinking.

 

I wonder though if a paved maintenance road whose primary use is for motorized vehicles is really what Dallas wants to use as a centerpiece of an urban core trail. One that can be seen from every southern facing office in the CBD. Citizens deserve better than a compromise, especially in this area. Do it right or don't do it at all. Classic example is the Buckeye Trail, which now draws fewer visitors as a paved concrete trail than it ever did as a classic nature trail. Really a mistake to pave that and I hope it will not be repeated.

 

The levee roads are really ideal as is. Most runners would prefer running on the crushed brick dust and light pea gravel instead of concrete. Other than the most profane road cyclist, many like the option of riding gravel from time to time. The reason so few use the existing roads is that there is not a great way to get there. Or people don't know about them. Or that they open to the public. Or that it's actually pretty safe.

 

There have been some shrug your shoulder moments with the less than stellar results of the Dallas Wave Project and the seemingly never to be opened Santa Fe Trestle Trail. I can only hope these were teachable moments for the city and ones that will never ever be repeated. There are many places on the river that serve as permanent follies to mankind's effort to tame the river. Don't let this concrete trail be the next one.

icowrich
icowrich

Those trails already exist.  They just aren't concrete.  What's wrong with dirt trails?  Nature, people!

kergo1spaceship
kergo1spaceship

Awesome, now commission a 6 million dollar survey that will delay proceedings for 8 years-then drop the plan......or let it sit idle, like the Dallas wave. Or, let the two sides bicker over it, and build another stupid bridge. 

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Shouldn't they be called canoe or kayak lanes?

MattL11
MattL11

I don't know, this doesn't seem like such a bad idea. 

 

Well, aside from the Tom/Huck/Bubba/Bertha deal. That was just fucking stupid. 

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

Let me translate this for everyone !

And it says so in capital  letters Diagonally across the page....so the true meaning might be hidden.

 

THIS IS ALL PIE IN THE SKY BULL SHIT SERVED UP TO FOOL SOME SLOW WITTED COUNCIL  PERSONS .

 

See ?

jason008
jason008

Wow, this is misleading. Building maintenance roads and labeling them biking and hiking trails is a big stretch. I don't know of one single hiking trail that is paved.

concerned
concerned

Don't forget that Mary Suhm leased away a lot of the Trinity River floodplain to Trinity River East in 2008. The map showing that lease covers the same territory, so it would be nice if you would post it again as you did in the past. The city council is going to have to make some serious decisions ASAP: drilling in the floodplain or recreational uses. You cannot have both and it's not 'world class'.

Tim.Covington
Tim.Covington

Hmmm... I wonder how many more miles of trails could have been built with that money if they decided to make them dirt and/or gravel?

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @BenS. I would say that the paved portion gives access to the rest of the park.  From there, people can make their own trails.  I don't know about Hannibal, but I hate running on concrete, that's really tough on the body.  Natural surfaces are much better, if they're flat, holes and other pitfalls can twist an ankle, but I for one much prefer the naturally softer dirt/grass over concrete anyday.  Never got shin splints running on grass. 

Hannibal_Lecter
Hannibal_Lecter

@BenS. "Most runners would prefer running on the crushed brick dust and light pea gravel instead of concrete."

 

You're not a runner, are you?

 

"Other than the most profane road cyclist, many like the option of riding gravel from time to time."

 

Or a cyclist, apparently.

 

 

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @jasonblalock the KATY trail is paved, as is the White Rock Trail.  If you want to go off on "single tracks" or true hiking trails, the floodway is your oyster.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @concerned Those utility pad sites might well appreciate a concrete road to access the pads.  No conflict.  Basically every trail in the National Forests are precisely for dual use. 

pennywhistle
pennywhistle

 @concerned There are bike trails and wells all over Fort Worth.  A drill pad site is much more permeable than would be the bike path.  There are also electrical substations and cell phone towers and equipment in the floodplain.  There's plenty of room for all of these.

notconcerned
notconcerned

 @concerned

Floodplain does not equal floodway.  The trails are in the floodway.  Drillsites might be in the floodplain, but not in the floodway.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

 @Tim.Covington I don't think concrete trails is so terrible, but it does seem like a big chunk of change.  Road base compacted (crushed concrete) is very cheap, impermeable to water, and can be made pretty darned flat.  Covering the road base with a bit more than a cosmetic layer of decomposed granite, makes for an even smoother trail.  I think I'd like a concrete skeleton of trails, with a compacted road base network.  Cities don't like gravel, or alternative surfaces. 

BenS.
BenS.

 @Hannibal_Lecter 

 

Running on concrete vs asphalt adds 5-10 pounds of impact force depending on the runners weight. It has been studied many times. Natural surfaces or softer surfaces like the ped only portion of the Katy Trail reduce the impact force 5-10 pounds the other way. The levee trail/road in a soft surface state is a near ideal running surface.

DARRD
DARRD

@scottindallas they are not utility sites, but instead heavy industry spewing contaminants. They will build their own access roads to the sites. This is all going to be really interesting to see how this is going to work out. I'm sure that the City of Dallas is thrilled beyond words to read some of uneducated comments about gas sites along side recreational trails. It's really kind of sad.

DARRD
DARRD

@pennywhistle a drill site is heavy industry. Equating a shale gas drilling site with cell phone towers or electrical substations is ignorant on your behalf.

DARRD
DARRD

@notconcerned obviously, you did not read the headline: 'between the levees'. The gas leases with Trinity East are BETWEEN THE LEVEES. You must be from City Hall. I'm not that stupid.

OUTSPOKEN
OUTSPOKEN

Right world class is a fuckin new million dollar bridge to west fuckin nothing dallas. Let them pedal their bikes on the new bridge, and FIX THE DAMN ROADS

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