Austin’s Trail Network Needs Your Vision

AustinParksFoundation APF News, Park Advocacy 1 Comment

For the past twelve years there’s been a small but growing effort to increase the number and variety of hike and bike trails in Austin.

While Town Lake Trail is the most famous, Barton Creek Greenbelt the most ridden and floated, and Shoal Creek the oldest, there is a growing movement to link these and other portions of our community together with longer distance trails that more people in greater numbers can use daily.

So, if you haven’t yet heard about the Northern and Southern Walnut Creek Trails, the Town Lake Boardwalk, the Walk for a Day trail, the Cap Metro Rails with Trails study and the Austin to Bastrop River Corridor, you are about to.

We think its time to take the effort up a notch and support those few individuals representing city, county, non-profit, and advocacy groups as well as many, many volunteers who have been working to make these bigger visions happen.

We want to build a map and provide information as well as updates on these and many other projects. We’d like to provide this information on our web site as well as in print. We want to market the vision, support the efforts that need our help and raise funds for signage, seating, shade and other amenities that will improve this planned network.

Can you help us? We’re initially looking for folks who have expertise in mapping and design to help us create the first version of our web pages and printed materials. We’re also looking for help in brainstorming marketing concepts. Please email or call, we’d be happy to have your help.

Comments 1

  1. I agree that it’s time to take the trails effort up a notch. The last effort at a Vision Map has been gathering dust for way too long.

    I’d like to see a concerted, coordinated effort toward filling the main gaps in the existing network, especially in the central area. Specifically:

    –Current interest in the Town Lake waterfront (now the Lady Bird Lake waterfront) could be channeled into a revival of support for fixing the gap on the south shore. The solution would involve some combination of a boardwalk, easement purchases, and condemnation if necessary. Portland’s new Eastbank Esplanade provides a great model for a project like this; it’s 1.5 miles long, 1,200 feet of which is the longest floating walkway in the U.S. There are a lot of pages with photos, facts etc. about it; e.g.:

    http://www.portlandonline.com/parks/finder/index.cfm?PropertyID=105&action=ViewPark
    http://www.newcolonist.com/esplanade.html
    http://www.pdc.us/ura/central_eastside/eastbank.asp
    http://www.asla.org/awards/2004/04winners/entry208.html

    –If there is movement toward extending the trail on the south shore, there should also be some movement toward connecting it with the Blunn Creek Trail by improving that creek’s underpass at Riverside.

    –Efforts to fix the gap on Shoal Creek below 5th Street should be renewed now that the property on the west bank has changed hands.

    –If the Austin Clean Water Project gets the Johnson Creek Trail fixed, there ought to be all kinds of events & PR to get the word out about that link to the waterfront.

    What an amazing network we could have, if we could just link up the main pieces we already have in place.

Leave a Reply