The evolution of Capital Metro’s commitment to a walkable, bicycle-friendly, connected region continued Friday, August 02, 2013 as the urban trail connecting Crestview and Highland stations officially opened. The nearly one-mile long trail, created in conjunction with the City of Austin, connects transit hubs, businesses and the forthcoming Austin Community College (ACC) Highland Campus.
“The Crestview/Highland trail is really about connections and Capital Metro has been working hard to develop a comprehensive regional system, through efforts like Project Connect, to address the needs of a growing region,” said President/CEO Linda S. Watson. “Providing sustainable, safer transportation options like this trail extend the reach of the transit system and encourage healthy habits that will improve the quality of our communities. It also means we can offer more choices for people to get out of traffic and navigate the community in other ways.”
Joined by partners including the City of Austin, who displayed a demo of the forthcoming bike share program, Bike Austin, Bike Texas and CAMPO, the event showcased the best of what collaboration can do to create meaningful, useful solutions for everyone.
Also attending the trail opening were the Texas Rollergirls (who have their season-ending bout on August 10th. If you take Cap Metro to the Austin Convention Center for the finale, you can still receive $5 off at the door), Movability Austin, and Commute Solutions. Additionally, the Mexic-Arte Museum and Creative Action contributed with “art bikes” to help celebrate.
Attendees were treated to live music by Bradley Jaye Williams and frozen organic popsicles by Mom & Pops.
The trail features a shaded, 10-foot wide concrete path designed for use by both bicyclists and pedestrians. The trail is located within the City of Austin’s right-of-way along Airport Boulevard, adjacent to the MetroRail Red Line.
“This project represents an important step toward realizing the community’s vision for a revitalized Airport Blvd.,” Austin City Councilman Chris Riley said. “By providing appealing connections like this one, Capital Metro is fulfilling its mission of providing high quality and sustainable transportation choices, and helping demonstrate how our corridors can contribute to the quality of life in our city.”
The urban trail is landscaped with drought-resistant plants, including 144 understory trees donated by Austin Energy through its Heat Radiation Abatement Program. Once established, the trees will provide shade and also serve as a physical barrier between the trail and the vehicular traffic on busy Airport Blvd.
The urban trail connects to the city’s existing on-street bicycle route network, and additional bike amenities are on the way at Highland Station. A MetroBike Shelter, a secure bicycle parking facility, will be built at Highland Station next to the trail later in 2013.
Per agreement with the City of Austin, Capital Metro will maintain the trail for the first year, at which time maintenance of the trail will be turned over to the city.
Smith Construction completed the trail on time and on budget after being awarded a $787,386 construction contract by the Capital Metro board of directors last December. A federal American Recovery & Reinvestment Act grant funded construction of the trail.
The trail is just one part of Cap Metro’s plan to create a comprehensive regional transportation plan. Bikes will play an important role going forward and keep in mind…