Bike Friendly Richardson

Richardson City Council Awards Bid for Central Trail Construction

Posted in Bike Change, Bike Trails and Routes, City Stuff by dickdavid on March 2, 2013

End Bike Route - Red Line

 

From the City of Richardson weekly newsletter:

The City Council on Monday awarded a bid of $3.4 million to Ed Bell Construction Company to extend the Central Trail 1.9 miles from the Arapaho Road DART Station to the southern city limit. Construction of the 10-foot wide concrete multiuse trail is expected to begin in April and last for about one year. 

The $4 million project is funded through Dallas County and the City of Richardson’s 2010 Bond Program. The lowest bid to construct the trail came in about $400,000 over budget, so the City removed some amenities such as irrigation systems, landscaping, and benches to be constructed in a possible second phase at a future date. The City also hopes to use $600,000 in Regional Tollway Revenue funds awarded for the Central Trail to help enhance the project. 

The Central Trail currently runs from the Spring Creek Trail in north Richardson and ends at the Arapaho Road DART Station. The extension will run alongside the DART rail line and is planned to eventually connect with the Richardson city limit to the south and a future connection to the Dallas’ White Rock Creek Trail

Watch the City Council presentation at http://bit.ly/V6oiYQ.

We are extremely excited that this is happening and we’d still like to see the small gap in the plan addressed.

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Richardson City Council Receives Update on Central Trail

Posted in Bike Trails and Routes, City Stuff by dickdavid on October 19, 2012

Trail

From the City of Richardson‘s weekly newsletter:

The City Council received an update Monday on the extension of the Central Trail, which runs from the Spring Creek Trail in north Richardson and currently ends at the Arapaho Road DART Station. Plans call for the trail to extend to Richardson’s southern city limit and eventually connect with Dallas’ White Rock Creek Trail. 

The City expects to begin construction on the trail in January and complete the project in early 2014. The 1.9-mile extension will cost $4 million and is funded through Richardson’s 2010 Bond Program and Dallas County. 

Watch the work session presentation at http://bit.ly/P8H54b.

We’re pretty excited about this extension and what it would mean for connecting the east side of Richardson to the White Rock Creek Trail (although the current plan doesn’t extend that far, just yet). This would make commuting into Dallas – via multi-purpose trails – pretty easy.

We still have our reservations of how the trail is planned just north of Arapaho, connecting to the Arapaho DART station and the existing portion of the trail to the north. So far, it’s just a narrow sidewalk and there are no plans to re-route or widen it. Click here to see our post on this.

Trail Under Central Progress – West Side Ramp

Posted in Bike Change, Bike Trails and Routes, City Stuff by dickdavid on March 6, 2011
Sidewalk Ends - Ready For Forms

View of the underpass from the west side

It’s been a few weeks since we’ve checked the progress on the trail passages under Central Expressway. The north underpass looks about the same, but I believe there has been progress on the actual west side trail heading to Alama (along the PGB Tollway). We’ll investigate that in a couple of weeks.

The south of Renner Road underpass has made some great progress. All of the heavy construction equipment is gone indicating that most of the structural work is complete. All that remains is actually building the path. The ramp on the west side of Central Expressway (next to the QMACS building) is mostly complete as well. Check out some pics that we took:

Ramp To The Under Central Trail - West Side

Start of the west side ramp

Down The Ramp

West side ramp leading to the underpass trail

Going Back Up The Ramp

View of the west side ramp - from the underpass

Follow our coverage of this trail construction:

November 28, 2010
September 26, 2010
August 28, 2010
August 21, 2010
July 25, 2010
June 13, 2010
May 8, 2010
April 3, 2010
March 11, 2010
December 5, 2010
February 13, 2011

We’d Like To Address A Small Gap In The Central Trail Plan

Posted in Bike Trails and Routes, City Stuff by dickdavid on December 30, 2010
Trail End

Here's Where The Good Trail Ends

We are very fortunate to have such an aggressive Bike and Pedestrian Plan in Richardson. The city planners are doing a great job retrofitting some new trails and bike lanes into an older, built-out infrastructure.

In that plan is the Central Trail, which will provide passage through Richardson. When completed, it will run through the central part of town, along the DART Rail Red Line, giving us, and all of our northern neighbors, a nice connection to the Dallas trail network.

Earlier this month, the City of Richardson presented the first draft of their plan to continue the Central Trail further south. Right now, the only existing part runs from Renner Road (patched through the Spring Creek Trail until it connects at Glenville Drive) to Arapaho Road. The new plan shows how the trail will continue from Arapaho Road, south towards Buckingham Road.

Although it’s a great plan, we feel that there are usability gaps within the existing part of the Central Trail that should be addressed as well. The following is our evaluation of the the part just south of Campbell Road and how we think it can be improved.

THE CURRENT TRAIL:
If you’ve walked or biked this part of the trail, you’ll be familiar with our references. Technically, the trail is complete from Campbell Road to Arapaho Road, which is why this section is not in the current extension plan. The concerns we have are with some minor aesthetics as well as some issues with usability that hinder the trail from being a complete success.

See The Rough Parts Of The Existing Trail

First, the minor aesthetics. About a third of a mile south from Campbell Road, you’ll note that the nicely paved trail ends. From there it becomes rough, narrow and overgrown with grass. This rough patch continues across and down the east side of Greenville Avenue until it reaches the Tecktronics parking lot at Collins Boulevard.

Rough Trail

Rough Part Of The Trail

We realize that this is nitpicking, but if the City is spending the money to continue the trail, they should look into completing the trail experience by matching the rest of the trail.

Next is trail usability. Because of limited real estate next to the DART tracks, you can see why the trail jumps to the other side of Greenville Avenue. Since this trail leads to the DART Arapaho Station entrance, which is on the east side of Greenville Avenue, we’re okay with that. Considering the limitations in the existing infrastructure, we also understand how the trail runs narrow in some parts.

East Side Greenville at Woodall Facing South

Trail - a.k.a. Sidewalk Just South Of Woodall Drive

Our bigger concern is when the trail passes just south of the Arapaho DART Rail station. After the trail crosses Woodall Drive, it becomes a glorified sidewalk all the way to Arapaho Road. Here it’s too narrow for multi-use traffic. To make this worse, the shrubs along this part of the trail are overgrown and blocking even more space. In our opinion, this becomes a gap in the trail plan.

WE PROPOSE THIS SOLUTION:
Since the current plan to continue the Central Trail south from Arapaho Road starts on the WEST side of Greenville Avenue, perhaps we should look at crossing Greenville at Woodall Drive instead of Arapaho Road. This makes sense for a few reasons.

Click To See Our Suggested Solution

Let’s talk space. As mentioned, the limitations of real estate made sense to pull the trail to the east side of Greenville Avenue. This becomes less true at Woodall Drive. There is actually more space on the west side of Greenville Avenue at this point — plenty of space for a wider trail.

West Side Greenville Facing South

Wider West Side Of Greenville

Let’s talk convenience. If you put a crossing at Woodall Drive and continue the trail from there, connecting the new new addition of the Central Trail (which is planned to start on the west side of Greenville Avenue) becomes more seamless.

Let’s talk safety. The current plan is to get trail traffic to cross the intersection at Greenville Avenue on the north side of Arapaho Road, and then cross Arapaho Road on the west side of Greenville Avenue. From experience, we know this to be an extremely busy intersection with lots of auto traffic coming from multiple directions. We feel that reducing the crossings at this intersections to just one would help with safety.

We realize that putting a crossing on Greenville Avenue, at Woodall Drive – an intersection not protected by traffic lights – might seem less safe. However,  the trail already crosses Greenville Avenue – further north at Alma Road – under the same traffic conditions. If it’s safe enough at Alma Road, why not at Woodall Drive. In fact, we feel it’s easier for crossers to watch for auto traffic in just two directions instead of the many at Arapaho Road.

Greenville Crossing West Side Greenville

Trail Crossing Greenville Avenue at Alma Road

WHAT DO YOU THINK?:
Of course, this is all based on seat-of-our-pants, traveled experience on this trail and we haven’t pulled any statistical data that supports this as a better solution. We’d love to hear what you think about this. IF you’ve been on this part of the Central Trail, we’d like to hear your opinion on our solution and/or what you would do differently.

Click here to see a map.

Click here to see more shots.

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Notes From The Richardson – Central Trail South Meeting

Posted in Bike Trails and Routes, City Stuff by dickdavid on December 15, 2010

Central Trail South Plans

Last night, the City of Richardson had a public input meeting over the planned southern extension of the Central Trail which runs along the DART Rail Red Line. Representatives from the city as well as consultants from Newman Jackson Bieberstein and Freese and Nichols were there to explain the first public draft of this plan. Here are some brief notes from that meeting.

First let’s talk location. The extension of the trail will run along the DART Rail from Arapaho Road at Greenville, all the way to Buckingham Road (approximately 1.9 miles). This will be a continuation of the Central Trail that already runs from Arapaho Road to Renner Road and will eventually be part of the larger, Dallas plan to have a connecting network of trails within several neighboring cities. The city already has an existing agreement with DART to run the trail from Arapaho to Main Street and is now negotiating the remaining distance.

We won’t give you much information about the trail itself, since they are still in the preliminary planning stages. An updated, more detailed version will be available early next year. Currently, the plan is to have a 10 foot wide multi-use trail that continues the same aesthetic of the existing portion of the trail. Beyond the hurtles of having to negotiate these trails cross major cross streets, the city is also having to deal with drainage and other infrastructure issues. When completed, the plan is to have multiple access points for users as well as emergency vehicles.

Here is the tentative schedule of this project:
– Now- April 2011: Continued studies and design
– May 2011: Second public meeting to discuss the updates to the design
– Summer 2011: Bidding
– Fall 2011 – Spring 2012: Construction
– Summer 2012: Completion

As a side note, the city will eventually extend this trail further south, beyond Buckingham, and connect with the Cottonwood and White Rock Trails.