Here’s some news just in from the CTC. No, not the Cyclists Touring Club, now wanting to be known as “We are cycling UK”, but the Circuit Trail Conservancy in Dallas, Texas, which will be joining the club of cycling cities after having raised $25 Million for “The Loop” a 50-Mile Dedicated Bike Trail System
The really useful thing is that their fund raising will link miles of existing trails into one large network. The Circuit Trail Conservancy announced that it has raised $23 million in private and non-city funds for The Loop, which once completed, will provide a contiguous 50-mile premier urban trail network encircling the core of Dallas. The Loop will serve as an alternative transportation system connecting existing and planned hike and bike trails, transportation nodes, economic centres and neighbourhoods.
Jeff Ellerman, CTC chairman, said, “Dallas has a plan for the Dallas Integrated Trail Circuit, which comprises nearly 130 miles of wonderful trails. What’s missing are some key connectors to link these fragmented trail systems. When we studied it, by adding four key connectors, we’ll be able to form a 50 mile loop around Dallas.” The four proposed connectors total more than 10 miles.
The total cost of the project is $43 million, of which CTC has secured more than half. CTC is now asking city officials to contribute the remaining cost by earmarking $20 million in the 2017 bond campaign for The Loop. To ensure the sustainability of The Loop, CTC will continue efforts to raise at least another $13 million for amenities, landscaping and maintenance.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said, “Dallas is home to beautiful natural open spaces and destination spots, which draw residents and visitors to our active and vibrant city. We must connect these city jewels with our neighbourhoods and most importantly, our neighbourhoods to one another, through a truly contiguous trail system.”
CTC Board Member Larry Dale added, ” The Loop will spur all kinds of economic development, especially in Southern Dallas as two-thirds of the project is located there. Just look at the Katy Trail and the businesses, restaurants and residences that have grown up along its busy path. The Urban Land Institute estimates that the economic impact of the Katy Trail is $1 BILLION, and that’s just one trail.”
Circuit Trail Conservancy is a non-for-profit that serves as an umbrella organisation to lead fundraising and outreach efforts for The Dallas Integrated Trail Circuit. Founding board members include Larry Dale, Jeff Ellerman (chairman), Philip Henderson (president), Linda Owen, Rick Perdue, Joseph Pitchford and Mike Terry.
This is one more piece in the cycle infrastructure jigsaw: it’s a long way from the UK, but if countries that are as car-centric as the USA can make this sort of cycling commitment, then there is hope for towns and cities, even villages, here.
More information is available online about The Loop.
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