Dallas Wants to Build a $20-Million Trail From White Rock to I-20 (Video)

TrinityForestSpineMap.jpg
Click to enlarge
Right now, Dallas has right around 100 miles of hike and bike trails and counting. That's impressive. Less so is their arrangement. They are, with a few notable exceptions, disconnected, less a cohesive network than a collection of self-contained pathways from nowhere to nowhere.

The city of Dallas and the Trinity Trust want to change that, and they want to do it in a big way. On Monday, the City Council's transportation committee will be briefed on the Trinity Forest Spine Trail, a massive, $20-million effort stretching 17.5 miles from White Rock Lake to Interstate 20 and hooking up with several existing and planned trails along the way.

We have a call into the city for more details on a timeline and where exactly the money's coming from. In the meantime, check out the video fly-through HALFF Associates posted on YouTube.

As the clip shows, the Trinity Forest Spine Trail is birthed just south of White Rock, splitting off from the Santa Fe Trail at the Tenison golf course to follow White Rock Creek. It crosses under I-30 near Dolphin Heights, hits the DART Green Line at Lawnview Station, then enters the Great Trinity Forest proper. There, trail users will find a pond

TrinityForestSpinePond.jpg

where they can rest in a shaded pavilion:

TrinityForestSpinePavilion.jpg

Moving on, they will cross C.F. Hawn Freeway and encounter another marshy pond, this one with egrets:

TrinityForestSpineBirds.jpg

The trail then skirts the under-construction Texas Horse Park, hooks past the new Trinity Forest Golf Course (this segment, the AT&T Trail, has already been funded), then parallels an equestrian trail the rest of the way to I-20, which explains the horses:

TrinityForestSpineHorses.jpg

All the while, trail users can contemplate the poetry of Langston Hughes, Pablo Neruda, and Maya Angelou while soothing themselves with the gentle pulse of new age music. Watch the video. You'll understand.

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25 comments
MikeDunlap
MikeDunlap

Nice but $20 million for on-street infrastructure would be a much more useful investment.

bink
bink

How many of you have ever been to a Dallas City Council meeting or City Council Briefing; a Planning and Zoning session or a DART Board Meeting?   All of these are open to the public and the schedule for each is easily obtained on-line, by mail or by phone from each entity.  If you do attend you will be amazed at the complete lack of civic engagement in this community (unfortunately rather common these days everywhere) and as a result, since only one-tenth of 1% of citizens every bother to show up for most meetings to become informed, well, the powers-that-be know they can push just about anything through without a peep from anyone.  Like it or not, that is how things work.  Show up and change it for a change. 

Obummer
Obummer

Yo first fix da city streets. Duh.

Lorlee
Lorlee

Another Halff and Associates deal --- They are the ones who gave us the Trinity Toll Road.  Those guys must just sit around dreaming up boondoggles to fund their retirement.


oilman
oilman

Forget the 20 million dollar trail.  I wish I could find the details of the money trail of this 20 million dollar trail.  Who got paid?  How much did they get paid?  Who did they pay to get paid?  What do they claim to have done?  How are they related to who - on the city council or whoever approved the use of the 20 million?  This project follows the fabled "Dallas model"...like too many other Dallas construction projects.

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

Bears repeating "Is there a particular reason it costs over a million a mile to build this?"

BenS
BenS

This the the wettest, water logged land in all of the city. Here, the flash floods are fast, the water level high and the duration of flooding far exceeds that of other parts of town. Those familiar with the White Rock Creek Trail(north end of White Rock) and the flood debris cleanups know the amount of manpower needed to get the flooded areas safe again. This proposed concrete trail will be 10x the damage, 10x the cleanup manpower and many more miles inundated by floodwater. If built, the resources to clean the concrete down here will quickly exceed the cost of building the trail itself. No way to get around this. Don't let the city tell you different.

The bottomland down there is prone to heaving and will buckle the trail, just like the White Rock Creek Trail has done. But worse. The floodwater here frequently exceeds 8-10 feet and given the tributaries and proposed concrete trail alignment, a visitor can quickly find themselves trapped. The alignment lends itself to a perfect storm of a problem where the plans cross small unnamed tributaries that drain slopes that rise 100 feet or more above the floodplain. With even the smallest of storms the creeks become raging torrents. Don't let the city tell you different.

The trail alignment cuts across some true wilderness inside Loop 12. Most cities would value such a place, Dallas wants to pave it. Here the deer still roam, beaver and otter alike have large populations. The trees host rare birds. You can go these places now, without a concrete trail. Why you need to wait years for the city to bulldoze a path through the place is beyond me. If you like hip deep swamp, you'll enjoy it very much. See it before they ruin it. Don't let the city tell you different.

The Dallas Observer reported that in the past year, 6 pedestrians along Great Trinity Forest Way were killed by motor vehicles. The shoulder there is a mad max highway death zone for foot traffic.  The trail alignments do nothing for mobility in the neighborhoods or serve a transportation purpose. They are vanity trails. The residents of these neighborhoods will not be able to use these trails. The AT&T trail should have been built to subsidize those who walk along Loop 12, Great Trinity Forest Way. Instead the alignment goes no-name places that few will ever care to visit. The newly proposed trail is in the same boat. Don't let the city tell you different.

I have yet to find any user group of the Great Trinity Forest that is excited about more concrete. Why the push for concrete? Why the push for more trails at all? Why not leave some of these vast unbuilt spaces, unbuilt and untouched? Don't let the city tell you different.

I have been caught in the flash floods down there. Crawled through the swamps. Seen the epic amounts of wildlife. A concrete trail and the wide swath of clearcut that comes with it is a bad fit. Build a concrete trail that benefits the people of the neighborhoods. That takes them to DART Stations and the grocery store, not a swamp. Don't let the city tell you different.

sidewalkastro
sidewalkastro

20 Million would build miles of protected bike lanes for commuting to work. Bikes are for more than just recreational use.

brad.mason.dallas
brad.mason.dallas

Better be wearing body armor down there with all the illegal firearms being shot off.  Also, why doesn't the city put in workout stations like chinup bars, inclined situps, parallel bars etc. in the event one removes their body armor for a short workout as they cycle through the riff raff who are taking over the Great Trinity Forest with their cheap Wal-Mart gun and four wheelers?


Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

Where's the moving sidewalk?

17 and a half miles?

Make that a monorail.

NotReallyThanks
NotReallyThanks

Is there a particular reason it costs over a million a mile to build this?

lakewoodhobo
lakewoodhobo

I'm more excited about Trinity Strand Trail opening next year. Even more so, the 2nd phase going from Oak Lawn to Inwood.

ozonelarryb
ozonelarryb

Too bad one can't paddle the creeks over that stretch.

kduble
kduble

@Obummer Getting people out of their cars could make them hold up longer. Duh.

BetterTrailsForAll
BetterTrailsForAll

@Sotiredofitall 1 million per mile is pretty standard for trail building and includes bridges and boardwalk which drive the costs up. For comparison, the average cost to build a mile of highway is 3 million per lane.

2DollaHolla
2DollaHolla

you can't do any chin-ups as it is....

BushwoodSmithie
BushwoodSmithie

@NotReallyThanks 

In the 1960's the free gas station maps (remember those?) had a little blurb on them about the Interstate Highway System. Included was how these superhighways cost the astronomical sum of $1,000,000 a mile to construct.

Now that $1,000,000 gets you a mile of sidewalk.

msbcez
msbcez

@NotReallyThanks absolutely..... city projects get handed off to friends and relatives, who then charge as much as possible, without it being too obvious they are milking the system,  then they give their friend/brother or whatever a nice kickback for Okaying their contract for the job......
LOL hell even my HOAs are crooked and do this, the annual report reads the costs are exactly what they take in, with nothing being put aside, meaning they did not negotiate the best deal, and payout every possible cent they get. That's only possible to do if all the vendors have adjusted prices, knowing how much they can get ahead of time.


TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@kduble @Obummer 

Not really.

Car traffic on properly engineered and built roadways shouldn't significantly lessen the life of that road. Weather has a far more immediate and deleterious effect on roads and will wear them out long before auto traffic ever could.

Large trucks are a very different story, though.

NotReallyThanks
NotReallyThanks

@msbcez I kind of figured. I guess I am just an idealist at heart and keep hoping for some actual reporting in this town rather than just regurgitation of press releases by the media.

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