If, say, during your lunch break this afternoon you were to dip between the Trinity River levees, you would see the trail Jason Roberts first promised back in June -- the one that, when completed, will link Bishop Arts on one side of the river to the Katy Trail on the other side. It's nothing particularly flash -- just a simple dirt trail that's been mowed and leveled for easy riding, and extends from Trammel Crow Park to the under-construction Santa Fe Trestle back to the Jefferson Street bridge.
It will formally open on October 23, when the Dallas Off-Road Bicycle Association hosts a mountain bike ride -- one of many Roberts, DORBA and city officials hope to get moving in order to flatten out the trail. "We need to get as much traffic as we can to flatten it out," Roberts says this afternoon. "So we're going to program a series of events."
Turns out, Roberts and his myriad partners (the city, the Trinity Trust, DORBA, Groundwork Dallas and the Trinity Strand) also need money -- $75,000, to be exact. Not for the trail, mind you, but the on-street component to and from the path. Which is to say: the one-and-a-half miles of street from Bishop Arts to the levees, and the one-and-a-half miles from the levees to the Katy Trail connector near the design district.
"This is for the paint on the ground and the signage," Roberts says. "They have to use thermoplastic materials for the street striping -- that reflective, raised plastic that, when it heats up, bonds to the asphalt. That's what we're having to raise the money for. And if we get the funds raised, these will be the first new bike lanes in the city. Two or three other projects could happen right around the same time, but this one actually has the best chance of being in place."
Roberts and the Dallas Parks Foundation are trying to raise the money in 20 days, so they can complete the project within the 90-day time line Roberts originally proposed. "And if we don't have the on-street component done," he reminds, "we'll still have the trail." It'd just be nice, he says, to finish out the entire project by October 23. If you wanna kick in, do so here: The Dallas Foundation is taking the donations, just remember to tell 'em it's for "Trinity Trail Project."
"Fortunately, we got the sign-off from the city to do the project," says Roberts, who'd hoped to get the money privately. "The hard part was to see if we could raise the money on our own, but it's quite the process to get folks to donate to street projects. It's not a simple undertaking, so it has to go through the city" and the Dallas Parks Foundation. Says the Better Block-er: "It's not easy." It never is.