A. Lee Graham
Several area mayors met recently to discuss the possibility of developing a 64-mile trail network between downtown Fort Worth and downtown Dallas.
Meeting with staff members of the North Central Texas Council of Governments were Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, Arlington Mayor Robert Cluck, Grand Prairie Mayor Rob Jensen and Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne.
They discussed a $30 million plan that would use regional and local funding over the next several years to construct about 24 additional miles of trails to create a continuous network, providing easier access to parks, nature areas, schools and neighborhoods in the five cities.
The expansion would build on existing cyclists and pedestrian trails.
“As the nation’s fourth largest metropolitan area, Dallas-Fort Worth is stronger when we work together,” Price said in a news release.
“It’s crucial that all of our communities continue to build bridges — both literally and figuratively. By connecting our cities, this new trail will give our children and their children the opportunity to explore all of North Texas in a healthy and sustainable way,” Price said.
About 30 miles of the trail corridor already is complete, and an additional 10 miles has funding for construction, according to a North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) news release. When the corridor is complete, several north-south connections could be developed, providing access to other communities, the news release said.
The completed trail corridor would provide several connections to Trinity Railway Express commuter rail stations in Fort Worth, Irving and Dallas.
The mayors plan to coordinate efforts among the cities, NCTCOG and the Regional Transportation Council to identify funding and plan for completing critical trail connections. They also pledged to pursue branding and promotional efforts for the corridor, possibly including a naming competition involving the communities.
More information is available at www.nctcog.org/trans.