Someday residents of the booming Spring Branch District of Houston may be able to ride a bike from their home to downtown Houston and back without having to navigate traffic on any major streets. Sounds dreamy, especially with some fall biking weather coming up (hopefully) soon, right?
That vision is becoming a reality. The Spring Branch District is poised to soon take the first steps in an exciting walking and biking trail project—just one of many forward-thinking projects in the works in one of Houston’s fastest-growing areas.
Spring Branch Executive Director David Hawes said the Spring Branch Trail is part of a bigger plan involving numerous agencies and government groups hoping to connect the entire city through hike-and-bike trails. “The goal is to increase the number of cyclists on trails and decrease the number of cars on Houston roadways,” he said.
More and more families and individuals are choosing Spring Branch as their home. One of the major factors that draws so many to the area is its proximity to other parts of Houston. A walking and biking trail to nearby areas would be an even more attractive amenity.
Chelsea Young of TEI, the engineering firm working on the Spring Branch Trail project in conjunction with the Spring Branch Management District and the Houston-Galveston Area Council, said the project presents opportunities for a continuous regional trail. It would connect the Addicks Reservoir through Spring Branch to the White Oak Bayou along off-street CenterPoint easements and some on-street protected biking and walking locations. These connections will reach beyond the Addicks Reservoir and White Oak Bayou into the Energy Corridor and into downtown via the White Oak Bayou trail.
The first phase of the Spring Branch Trail Project will be under construction by the end of this year or in early 2020 and will connect Blalock Road to Wirt Road within a CenterPoint easement, connecting three community schools (Buffalo Creek Elementary, Edgewood Elementary, and Landrum Middle School) with safe crossings and neighborhood access points.
At a recent community meeting, TEI unveiled the draft trail alignment, connecting Phase 1 of the Spring Branch Trail with the existing Emnora Lane Hike and Bike trail to area schools, neighborhoods, and other Spring Branch destinations.
The Spring Branch Trail is an extension of the Bayou Greenways 2020 project, which will provide access to more than 3,000 acres of greenspace along Houston’s area bayous and connect a 150-mile network of hike-and-bike trails. The Spring Branch Trail is a Beyond the Bayous project, creating connections to areas that are not along bayous.
The Spring Branch Trail Phase 1 and the Trail Study are among the seven projects to follow in the growing Spring Branch District. Read more about the seven projects at sbmd.org/7projectstofollow.