The Campión Trail in Irving, Texas has been extended by 2.4 miles to connect with Grand Prairie’s Lone Star Trail.
City and county officials met in early September at the Mountain Creek Reserve, northwest of Loop 12 and Interstate 30, to celebrate the completion of the Lone Star-Campión Connection Trail, KERA News reported.
The extension, finished earlier this month and funded by a Dallas County grant, marks the completion of a 9.6-mile trail connecting the two cities, according to the Dallas Morning News.
The Campión Trail is a 22-mile trail along the Elm Fork and the West Fork of the Trinity River, according to the City of Irving Parks and Recreation website.
The Lone Star trail consists of 3.2 miles running south along Belt Line Rd.
Both the Campión and the Lone Star Trails belong to the 64-mile Trinity Trail System of cycling and walking trails spread throughout the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. Cities included in the trail system are Ft. Worth, Arlington, Grand Prairie, Irving and Dallas.
The Dallas Morning News reported that the extension of the Campión Trail marks the first connection between two cities in the metroplex. Cyclists previously had to ride along the poorly paved street to travel between Irving and Grand Prairie.
Construction on the two trails has not yet finished, as city planners still have hopes of future connections and extensions.
For instance, Dallas County Commissioner Elba Garcia announced at the Lone Star-Campión Trail Connection dedication that she had reallocated funds to extend the Elm Fork part of the Campión Trail, allowing the new section to open as soon as next year.
52 of the 64 miles of the Trinity Trail System are either completed or underway, according to KERA News.
The remaining 12 miles will cost $20 million to complete, but the cost is not the only obstacle facing the metroplex. The League of American Bicyclists ranked cities in North Texas among the lowest for bike commuting in 70 of the biggest U.S. cities.
Dallas has moved up to No. 58 from No. 65 on the list, but local city council members are pushing for further improvement.
“We need more opportunities, especially for our kids growing up to be able to do things like I was able to do when I was a kid,” Grand Prairie Mayor Ron Jensen said, according to KERA News. “Just get on a bicycle and ride … and get back to nature, outside, exercise, slower pace, all of those.”
A $5.5 million grant from the Regional Transportation Council of the North Central Texas Council of Governments will help provide funding for over 30 new pedestrian and biking paths throughout the area, as will the $20 million grant from Dallas County.
The county funds, however, cannot be spent all at once: they must be spread out over the next few years, the Dallas Morning News said.
Still, the Dallas Parks and Recreation Department remains hopeful that additional private and public contributions will help add 90 miles of additional trails for a Dallas Integrated Trail Circuit, which would connect trails to each other and to Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) stations throughout the metroplex, according to the Dallas Morning News.
In an interview with KERA News, Garcia emphasized the importance of collaboration to future developments.
“When you’re talking about connectivity, when you’re talking about economic development, when you’re talking about how to bring people together, trails are the way to do it,” Garcia said.