Well, it’s been over a month since the Ribbon Cutting on June 2, and now it looks like the Central Trail (southern extension) is almost complete. It seem like we went weeks with no progress on the few remaining gaps. Now, all that’s left are a few curb finishes, where it crosses Polk Street.
There is also some great news with the trail extension, just north of Arapaho Road. The ‘bonus’ connection to the DART Arapaho station is really taking shape. The forms are up and you can see the full length of that section.
For those of you wondering how they intend to connect the trail to the train platform, that mystery has been answered. They are installing a small bridge that goes over the sub-Greenville Avenue tunnel ramp. Now you can connect directly from the trail to the Aprapho Station platform without having to cross to the entrance on the other side of Greenville.
Although not entirely complete, this trail will eventually provide a much needed extension to the existing Central Trail North. Scheduled to be finished within the next few weeks, the Central Trail will be a complete route that reaches from the northern end of the city limits to the southern end. Eventually, it will connect to other trails which will provide access into downtown Dallas.
Along with the many city officials, government partners and city staff, Bike Friendly Richardson, was there to participate in the ceremony.
Here are a few pics. Click here to see the entire set.
There are two big bike events happening on Monday, June 2. Please try to attend either one, or both.
The first is the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony of the new Central Trail extension in Richardson. It’s a much needed extension of an existing trail, providing some great connections between our local DART rail train stations and neighborhoods. The City of Richardson and Dallas County are hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the trail on June 2.
Here are the details:
Date: Monday, June 2. 2014
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Location: Spring Valley DART Station/Central Trail – Spring Valley Road at Lingco Drive
The next is the Bike Friendly Richardson, Bike Parking Initiative presentation to the Richardson City Council, that evening.
We were asked by City Council member, Scott Dunn, to present information about creating a functional and comprehensive bike parking plan that would benefit, not only cyclists, but local business owners as well as the city. Our new Bike Parking Initiative’s lead, Mark Adams, will present a brief introduction to a bigger plan that will, hopefully, pave the way to a system of well designed and well placed bike racks that will encourage more cycling around town.
Date: Monday, June 2. 2014
Time: 6:00 p.m. – During the City Council Work Session
Location: Richardson City Hall – 411 W Arapaho Rd, Richardson, TX 75083
WE NEED TO SHOW OUR SUPPORT FOR THESE EVENTS! Let’s try to get as many cyclists as possible to the ceremony and council meeting, and show our appreciation and support.
According to last week’s city newsletter “Week In Review”, the Central Trail extension is nearing completion:
The expansion of the Central Trail is about 90 percent complete, and the City plans to celebrate its grand opening with a ribbon cutting June 2. The 1.9-mile southern expansion connects the 10-foot wide multiuse trail from the Arapaho Road DART Station to Richardson’s southern city limit. A future connection in the City of Dallas is expected to eventually tie it into the White Rock Creek Trail. The $4.5 million project is funded through Dallas County, $1.4 million from the City of Richardson’s 2010 Bond Program and Regional Tollway Revenue funds.
The City is also working to expand the Central Trail half a mile to the north to Richardson’s northern city limit. The existing trail ends at Renner Road, but the expansion will tie in to the CityLine development and eventually connect to the Plano trail system. The $1.8 million northern expansion is funded through Regional Tollway Revenue and the City’s Tax Increment Finance Zone #2. It is expected to be complete in the summer of 2015 and will allow the trail to run from city limit to city limit.
Watch a City Council work session presentation about progress on the Central Trail at bit.ly/1lDwyxu.
We can’t wait to ride this. It’ll be fantastic once cyclists are able to ride from the north end of town, eventually to the White Rock Creek Trail and into Dallas.
We’ve been following the progress on the Central Trail South (what we are calling the DART Trail section between Arapaho Road and 635 LBJ) and we are seeing some great progress. The last time we checked, the biggest barrier – which was building the trail over some creeks and drainage systems (between Belt Line Road and Spring Valley Road) – was requiring some major, time consuming construction.
From our latest inspection over the past weekend, we discovered that most of that construction is complete. All that remains, of the full trail extension, are just a few small pockets of missing trail, as well as the final, finishing touches. We’re hoping these are finished soon.
We’ve also discovered a new addition to the Central Trail south – trail construction NORTH of Arapaho. You may remember us pointing out the ‘gap’ in the original plans for the trail extension, back in 2010. We were concerned that the connection to the south extension was nothing more than a narrow sidewalk. We are glad that this issue was addressed and they are now continuing the wider trail from Arapaho Road, all the way to Arapaho Station. We would love to see that gap eventually connect to the north part of the Central Trail.
The Central Trail, southern extension – from Buckingham to Arapaho – is coming along nicely. The Central Trail goes north and south along the DART rail line which runs through Richardson. It will eventually connect Richardson, Plano and other suburban communities to the various parts of Dallas.
We’ve already posted pics of the ‘northern’ end of this extension that runs from Arapaho to Belt Line. Now, we’re seeing some great progress on the southern end, between Buckingham and Spring Valley. The trail isn’t officially open, so don’t head that way yet.
We’re not there yet. Even when complete, there is still a huge gap between Buckingham and the White Rock Creek Trail. Although more trail is needed to complete the connection, this Central Trail extension takes bicycle trail commuters one step closer. This is something DFW cyclists can get excited about. Here are some pics and observations.
Here is the path along Spring Valley, heading to the signal crossing at Business Parkway. When we saw the plans for this, it originally seemed to be pretty narrow. It actually appears to be wider than a standard sidewalk. Without proper marking it may be confused as one.
The City of Richardson is starting to realize that they need to really promote their bicycling friendliness. Over the past few years, they’ve made great efforts to improve awareness, expand the trail network and add traffic-calming bike lanes. However, aside from us at BFR and our cycling neighbors, folks in Texas rarely get to hear about it.
They are also talking about the expansion on the front page of the city’s monthly newsletter, Richardson Today. Here is a digital copy of that issue, featuring BFR friend and local cyclist, Marshall Hallberg.
ATTENTION RICHARDSON CYCLISTS!!
Ann Marie Shambaugh works for the City of Richardson’s Communications Department, and she is putting together a video package about the Central Trail. They need somebody in the local bicycling community who is eager to use the trail once it is complete. She’d like to do an on-camera interview with a Richardson resident or two who use the Central Trail and plan to use the extension once it is complete. She’d needs to do the interview before August 17.
We’ve been keeping an eye on the construction of the southern extension of the Central Trail.
Central Trail is the trail that runs parallel to Central Expressway, along the DART Rail Red Line tracks. Currently, it starts at Renner Road at Routh Creek Parkway (where it connects to the Spring Creek Trail), and runs south to DART’s Arapaho Center Station – well, sort of. In our opinion, it really stops at about Alma Road, and becomes a sidewalk, along Greenville, until it reaches Arapaho Center Station. Read more about that here.
This new addition is designed to extend Central Trail south, from Arapaho Road to Buckingham Road – at the city limit. Future extensions will eventually connect it to the White Rock Creek Trail. We were also given some information that lead us to believe that the trail extension will connect to the Arapaho Center Station train platform, instead of the bus transfer station on the east side of Greenville Road. That would be fantastic if it actually happens.
Once this extension is complete, people will be able to walk or ride their bikes to three of the four DART train stations in Richardson (Spring Valley, Arapaho Center and Galatyn Park). The Bush Turnpike Station will have to wait for a future extension.
Here are some pics and descriptions of the current progress:
This shot was taken at the southwest corner of Arapaho Road And Greenville Avenue. You can see the DART tracks to the right and Greenville Avenue to the left.
This shot was taken a bit further south along Greenville Avenue. As you can see, they’re making every effort to save the trees.
This shot was taken even further south along Greenville Avenue. Here you can see how the trail will coexist with the DART Red Line.
This pic was taken just south of the Jackson Street crossing.
As you can see, the trail isn’t ready to ride.
As the trail approaches Belt Line Road, it actually crosses under the DART Rail track overpass.
This is where the trail will cross Belt Line Road. The city has decided that the light at Interurban will be the best place to cross.
Once across Belt Line Road, the trail is lost at this parking lot entrance. It eventually begins again at the rail underpass.
The trail construction seems to end at Polk Street.
I rode a bit further south to find this bridge being built at Phillips Street. Not seeing a current plan, I can only guess that this will have a roll in the extension of Central Trail.
I didn’t get a chance to ride down to Spring Valley Station. I’ll try to get down there next weekend to check on any progress down there.