Saturday, August 18, 2012

Existing Infrastructure - Duck Creek Greenbelt Trail

Garland doesn't have much in the way of bicycle infrastructure at the moment, but there are a few things worth pointing out.  One of those is the Duck Creek Greenbelt Trail.

Click Here for a PDF map with enlarged sections.

This paved trail is a major component of what will become the Mesquite-Garland-Richardson Bikeway.  In June, the city of Garland approved funds to pay for the design.  From the minutes of the City Council meeting of 6-5-2012:

The 2012 approved Capital Improvement  
Program includes funding to design and construct a 
bikeway from the north city limits to the south city limits.  
A contract has been negotiated with a local firm, BW2 
Engineers, Inc., to design the off-road portions of the 
bikeway for an estimated amount of $181,400. The 
improvements will include a  concrete bikeway complete 
with two bridge crossings over Duck Creek.

Interactive map of the existing trail.  Note that the mileage is inaccurate.  It's not 8.15 miles of concrete.  I had to double back a few sections to get the whole thing in MapMyRIDE.  You will need a free MapMyRIDE account to use it fully.

I made this map today because I couldn't find any maps of this trail from end to end online. What it shows is how much ground you can cover in South Garland without having to contend with cars, stop signs, and traffic lights. It can be difficult to get up to speed because of heavy pedestrian traffic at times, however. I marked the water fountains that I saw along the way. Knowing where these are across the city will be very useful and would allow for carrying less water if you can refill a bottle.

 This one actually has a fountain for dogs at the bottom.

There are entrances/exits to the trail from La Prada, Oates, Greenbelt Pkwy, and several from Duck Creek Dr. It also connects through an alley to the neighborhood behind the big softball complex. The end furthest north just almost goes to Centerville, and the point furthest south ends up at the 1-30 service road. At the southern end, the trail passes by the Lake Ray Hubbard Transit Center. With express buses running from this location to Downtown Dallas, the combination of this trail and the transit center could easily allow even the most timid riders to go car free if they were so inclined (and worked Downtown).

It's not enough today as is, but as the Mesquite-Garland-Richardson bikeway becomes a reality, this will be a large part in opening up the city for much easier travel by bicycle.  -Jared


  1. I just realized that you have to have a MapMyRIDE account to fully view the map I made there. For those without one, I took screenshots of enlarged sections of the map. I placed them in a PDF which I have linked to in the post.

  2. So, while you were enjoying the Duck Creek Trail this weekend I was doing a N-S route to pick up a gift card from a local car dealer and was passed 5 times illegally, 3 while standing at a stop sign or red light, and twice by cars driving on the sidewalk because there wasn't enough pavement to get around me on the road.

    And by illegally I mean on the right when I'm already in the outside lane.

    I seem to keep missing the Cracker Jacks boxes with the TX driver's licenses in them, is there some kind of secret code? ;)

  3. Even if you are in a car, they'll try to do the same thing if they think you are far enough left. Sometimes they misjudge and end up on the sidewalk, or sometimes they don't care if they end up on the sidewalk. The good thing is, they actually did try to avoid you (I hope!).

    My take is that my behavior is the only one I can control. So, as long as drivers don't hit me, buzz me, or Shoot me with a paintball gun, I'll just keep on riding with a smile on my face.

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