Bike Friendly Richardson

They’re Closing The Gap Between Preston Ridge Trail and Cottonwood Trail

Posted in Bike Trails and Routes, City Stuff by dickdavid on September 11, 2011

Blue Is The Preston Ridge Trail. Green Is The Cottonwood Trail.

If you’ve ever tried to ride the Preston Ridge Trail from Richardson, Plano or even north Dallas into downtown Dallas, you might of found it a bit difficult. Sure it’s a good trail that leads towards downtown, but it falls short on Coit Road, between Belt Line Road and Spring Valley Road. The closest connections into town would be either the White Rock Creek Trail which begins at LBJ Freeway, just east of Hillcrest Road – or the Cottonwood Trail, which doesn’t begin until you go east on Spring Valley and south on Maham Road. Both routes would require you to leave the multi-purpose Preston Ridge Trail and navigate either streets or sidewalks to reconnect with the other trails. Easy for some, but not for less experienced riders.

It looks like that’s about to change. We got a tip from a BFR friend that there is a new multi-purpose trail (which is part of the Cottonwood Trail) being constructed that will run along the east side of Coit Road, then along the north side of Spring Valley Road which will make the connection between the Preston Ridge Trail and the Cottonwood Trail. Great news for folks who don’t want to ride on the busy streets of Coit Road or Spring Valley Road.

It’s not a perfect solution. What qualifies this as a multi-purpose trail instead of a sidewalk? In this case, not much. Unlike other multi-purpose trails that run along the utility right-of-ways (like the Preston Ridge Trail), there isn’t much real estate to work with. Some would even think that this is no more than just a really wide sidewalk. They did the best they could with the limitations at hand. For that, we’re grateful.

We feel the best way to help differentiate this as a multi-purpose trail is to put a divider stripe down the center. This will indicate that it’s used for more than just a sidewalk. Also, put up signage to let people know what the intent for this trail is.

Click here or on the map above to get a closer look at the new connection. Below are some pics of how it looks so far.

View Up Coit Road

Multi-Purpose Trail Heading North On Coit Road

Narrow Trail

Narrow Section At The Corner Of Spring Valley and Coit

View Heading Down Spring Valley

Multi-Purpose Trail Heading West On Spring Valley Road

Narrow Trail

Narrow Section Heading West On Spring Valley Road

Spring Valley Crossing At Maham Road

Spring Valley Crossing At Maham Road (facing south)

View Heading Down Maham Road

Multi-Purpose Trail Heading South On Maham Road

Construction Gap

Construction Gap Where It Connects With The Existing Cottonwood Trail

12 Responses

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  1. Jenny R said, on September 11, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Is there just the one gap left to close?

    • dickdavid said, on September 11, 2011 at 3:39 pm

      From what I can tell. I was heading into Dallas, so I didn’t have a chance to run the length of Coit Road so I didn’t get to see how it connects at that end.

      There are a couple of other things that I would love to see addressed:

      1) The crossing at Maham from west to east side. It seems to be incomplete and the entrance to the Central underpass part requires a curb jump.
      2) I’d LOVE to see a MPT connection between the Cottonwood Trail and the bike lane on Waterview.

      • Jenny R said, on September 11, 2011 at 4:13 pm

        Totally agree on # 2. It’s really hard to get down Spring Valley to Waterview right there because there aren’t any curb ramps and traffic is really fast. Not to mention all kinds of telephone poles and other obstructions right in the middle of the sidewalk.

        I don’t remember a curb jump by the underpass but agree that should be addressed too.

        • dickdavid said, on September 11, 2011 at 4:17 pm

          Sorry. The curb jump is actually at Maham Road – at the trail entrance – not at the underpass.

          IF you navigate down the sidewalk on the east side, there’s no jump, but if you cut across from the trail on the west side, you’ve got to jump.

  2. howardmaher said, on September 11, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    This is great news! I’ve often led groups of riders down that way with many concerns around the Maham & Spring Valley intersection… The piece along Maham is greatly appreciated… I believe that I’ve been told that the MPT from Waterview to Maham is in the master plan along Spring Valley… that connector is really important for bicyclists coming south on Waterview… Agree with you on the curb cut where the Cottonwood leaves Maham to go under Central… like Dallas wanted to keep the trail a secret with no curb cut/ramp and no signage…
    Thanks for the welcome news!
    Howard Maher

  3. […] They’re Closing The Gap Between Preston Ridge Trail and Cottonwood Trail by dickdavid        Bike Friendly Richardson Blue Is The Preston Ridge Trail. Green Is The Cottonwood Trail. […]

  4. RonM said, on September 12, 2011 at 11:45 am

    I can see the significance of the gap closure, but I still prefer White Rock Trail. To get to area around Preston Ridge requires using some quiet backstreets (Peyton Dr, Edgecrest, and so on) but if you’re using the trails for anything other than a recreational ride, you’ll have to use the roads to get to the bike trail or to your destination on the other end.

    It does provide pedestrian and bike trail access to the Forest Lane Dart Station, which, like trail access to all DART stations, is one of the goals of recently passed Dallas Bike Plan. So, although the Spring Valley station (and LBJ) are closer, access is much better at Forest Lane.

    Actually, instead of the Preston Ridge Trail, I prefer Spring Creek Road. Unlike the bike trail, it’s shaded by trees and quite nice. Sigh, maybe I’ll go over there later today…

    I’ve heard complaints about all the stop signs along the Preston Ridge Trail, and I agree. Only a few along Spring Creek. And the twisty-ness is designed to slow bikes down. Stop signs along the Cottonwood at Maham, too. Also, a tricky crossing at Coit (although there’s likely a traffic signal there).

    I will add at this time that during the construction on LBJ, the piece of White Rock Trail under LBJ at Park Central will maintained and improved. The construction will miss the Cottonwood Trail (they were wise enough to put it there during construction of the overpass, saving money) and have only recently hooked it up to the rest of the trail system.

    • dickdavid said, on September 12, 2011 at 11:57 am

      It’s all about options. I also can’t wait until they finish the DART trail along the Red Line – from Arapaho – south. Although not in the current plan, it will be nice to be able to ride it down to WRC. Also, the East Dallas Veloway will be completely awesome connecting with the Katy Trail.

      I agree with you about Spring Creek Road. It’s really nice.

      I just find it amazing that soon, you can take a Multi-Purpose trail from (almost) Frisco to downtown Dallas. With the Plano Preston Ridge Trail, the upcoming connection with the Dallas Preston Ridge Trail, now the Cottonwood Trail, the White Rock Creek Trail and the Santa Fe Trail, the route will be complete.

  5. Adam said, on September 13, 2011 at 7:37 am

    Yeah, that’s definitely a sidewalk. There are several issues there that don’t meet AASHTO’s standards for trails/sidepaths/MUPs/whateveryouwanttocallthem. It’s also definitely not wide enough for 2-way bike traffic and peds. Without a significant amount of signage/traffic control (if absolutely nothing else), I’m affraid people will get hurt riding along that.

  6. RonM said, on September 13, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Oh, I just realized that this connection is on the City of Richardson side of the street! whereas, the Cottonwood Trail and Preston Ridge Trail are in the City of Dallas. Not sure what to make of this. Different funding and priorities, certainly. But it is good to see Richardson and Dallas cooperating and working-the-plan.

    Just looked at The City of Richardson Bicycle Pedestrian Plan, a map which Richard posted awhile back. It shows this Cottonwood-Preston Ridge Connection identified as “Future Multiuse Trail” It also shows that an entity identified as “Other Multiuse Trail” will go from Markham, along Spring Valley, toward the Spring Valley DART station. Curious to see how they’ll manage the intersection at Central Expressway and Spring Valley (that’s a real stinker from the pedestrian-bike point of view)

    Anyway, it’s gonna take some creativity. I am sympathetic to the compromises in width and so on. Hope that the Powers-That-Be are considering safety (which is why those stop signs are there….)

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