North Texas Mayors Hatch Plan to Build Dallas-to-Fort Worth Bike Trail

Categories: Transportation

5mayors.jpg
North Central Texas Council of Governments
Five North Texas mayors walk into a room. After some glad-handing and small talk, Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck launches into a soliloquy.

"In the city of Arlington, we are constantly looking for new ways to encourage the community to sustain an active lifestyle," he begins. Residents should be made aware of the "benefits of getting your heart rate up and increasing blood circulation throughout the body ..."

Here, Cluck is interrupted by Dallas' Mike Rawlings and Grand Prairie's Ron Jensen who are doing a poor job of choking back laughter. Irving's Beth Van Duyne and Fort Worth's Betsy Price shift uncomfortably and glance at the door. They relax only a little when they discover he's referring to bicycling.

The scene probably didn't play out quite like that. Cluck's speech, and these other quotes, were probably just typed up after the fact, and any double entendre, we're sure, was purely unintentional.

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

But the mayors did actually meet, and the came up with a plan: to connect Downtown Dallas and Downtown Fort Worth with an unbroken, 64-mile stretch of bike trail.

Nearly half of that distance -- about 30 miles -- already exists in the form of municipal trails like the Campion Trail in Irving and the trails along the Trinity in Arlington and Fort Worth. Another 10 miles, like Dallas' Trinity Strand Trail, has funding.

Building the remaining 24 miles will take $30 million, according to the North Central Texas of Governments, which is helping coordinate the project. The mayors didn't figure out where the cash will come from -- they're in charge of vision, not details -- but they did promise to look. They also took a group picture.

Karla Weaver, a transportation planner with the NCTCOG, says the agency is opening up a $28 million call for projects in February for its transportation alternatives program. "This will be a great opportunity for cities to apply for funds and I think they will also be working within their own budgets or through other grants in the future from agencies such as TxDOT or the Texas Parks and Wildlife."

There's no timeline at the moment, either, but there is a very wide map:

DFWTrailCorridor.jpg
Click to embiggen.

Send your story tips to the author, Eric Nicholson.


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10 comments
KEVINK8
KEVINK8

Thirty million dollars for a bike trail? A bicycle trail, OK? What are they doing, subsidizing Starbucks stations every three miles along the way? Planting and importing exotic flora and fauna? Hiring Japaneses gardeners? This better not come from any public money, let the cyclists raise their own money if they want this trail so much.

P1Gunter
P1Gunter

This has to be a prelude to an annual bicycle race, right? No sane human would ride a bicycle between Dallas and Ft. Worthless about 10mos out of the year.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

I wish these guys would call me when they have one of those smoke sessions to dream this stuff up.

They probably got good green.

sidewalkastro
sidewalkastro

How about using the I30 right of way instead of the long route using trails.

chasd00
chasd00

that part in Dallas along the levy that's labeled unfunded, does it even need funding? There's a little road on top that would be fine to bike down right now.

CheeryBitch
CheeryBitch

@P1Gunter Most likely. Ever heard of the Hotter'N Hell? It's a 100 hundred mile bike ride in Wichita Falls in AUGUST. And it's immensely popular. Like @ruddski said (sort of), cyclists are nuts. (I'm a runner, train in August, I'm nuts, too.) It brings in decent money to the area.

ruddski
ruddski

No-one ever suggested DFW area cyclists were sane.

ruddski
ruddski

Biking next to a freeway kinda sucks?

dmtrousd
dmtrousd

You can bike along it now. I have. But it's used for all manner of municipal vehicles, but ultimately they need a dedicated hike/bike path. Most of these popular hike/bike trails use pre-existing but un/under utilized corridors.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@chasd00if they don't fund it, how is someone's brother-in-law going to make any slush money off this deal?


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