The city’s trail network was the headliner at last night’s Dallas Parks Foundation event at the House of Blues. CONFAB: A Dallas Parks Foundation Conversation brought together city officials, nonprofit leaders and local residents to talk about the state of parks, recreation and public spaces.
Transportation planning manager Jared White discussed the trail system, which we briefly touched on last week. Here’s the update presented to the city’s Quality of Life Committee on Monday. Right now, 125.5 miles of trails are completed. We have 42.7 miles funded, and 17.7 of those are under construction. There are 25 more miles of proposed routes.
The next big milestone is the Mockingbird pedestrian bridge, which will finally break ground June 18 after much delay. When completed, it will link the Katy Trail to Mockingbird Station.
Speaking of the Katy Trail, the extension, which is being called the Ridgewood Trail as it crosses Central Expressway, won’t be fully completed until 2015. It extends east of Mockingbird to the north side of White Rock Lake, ending at the White Rock DART station.
White says there’s a lot of momentum on the so-called SoPac Trail, running along the old Southern Pacific railroad near White Rock Lake, with city, county and state funding being secured. Construction could start later this year. There’s already a Friends group.
The city also is looking for $6 million in funding to reconstruct the White Rock Creek Trail from Royal to the lake through partnerships or a future bond program.
With all the talk of hike and bike trails, the question of recreation versus transportation came up last night. Councilwoman Angela Hunt told the Dallas Morning News earlier this week that these are not just “recreational projects for hipsters.” White echoed that response, making clear that, while trails are nice public gathering spaces, this is a transportation network, and that’s how it’s being pitched as the city looks for more funding.