Updated: Feb 15, 2018
We are pleased to announce the success of the two public meetings last week! We heard from a lot participants about their vision for a future trail, as well as what amenities it should include, and destinations it should connect to. The following are some of the key points from the meetings.
The Rio Grande:
“Embrace it and celebrate it”
Would like the trail to stick as closely to the river as possible
Touch on historical crossing points and modern day border crossings
Emphasize cultural landscapes of route
The levees and canals represent the cultural identity and history of the area (farming, the flow of the Rio Grande, etc.)
Highlight neighborhoods on both sides of the border to “re-personalize” them and bring out community stories
Support for businesses along both sides of route
Local artist opportunities to make it truly local
Tie to historical events/markers/periods
San Elizario area
Paso del Norte Crossing point (Oñate’s crossing point)
Whole valley’s history
Rio Bosque connection
Weave multiple themes together
Social/environmental justice of trail routes
Create safe routes to schools and have trails that can be used for day-to-day activities, not just recreation
Amenities & Trail Design Features
Plan for wide accessibility for multiple user groups, especially those with disabilities.
Signage could indicate difficulty levels and distance/walk/bike times
Mile markers to identify where you are…
Make sure to consider all modes of transportation as complementary (take a multi-modal approach to design)
Sustainability and environmental concerns
Look into the use of sustainable materials
Use recycle materials along trail – specifically for trail surface (there may be a way to use recycled tires)
Use local materials where possible, not just recycled materials
Surfacing materials are important to consider
Concrete is hard on runners – the Katy Trail in Dallas has a good paved surface
Wayside exhibits and interpretive signage.
Interpretative design features highlighting each neighborhood
Markers for historical areas/sites
Make interactive and use new technologies to appeal to multiple age groups.
Scavenger hunt, QR codes, learning opportunities and prizes)
Sponsorships from businesses
Need for shade: create shade “oases” along route.
Make pet friendly and provide access to water
Community gardens along route
Rio Bosque Wetland in Socorro is an important asset to connect to. The wetlands are a draw for bird watching, internal trails, and other outdoor amenities.
Possibility to connect to Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park in Mesilla, NM
Old Asarco Plan is the “keystone” to this project as it is a barrier as well as close to the original “Paso del Norte”
Highway 621/180/Montana are another possible connection/corridor to consider
Tigua Indian land/areas are important (they own sites along the river)
EPCO Historic District
Historical Missions and Mission Trail
Tie to Transit Orientated Design/Development (TOD) areas
How do we plan to work with Railroad, the Water District and other entities that own right-of-way along trail route? There are areas along existing railroad tracks that are hard/impossible to cross. Will the various railroad companies allow the use of their right-of-way? Are there liability concerns near tracks or ditches?
Railroad is a major obstacle in Downtown – can be 30-minute wait for train switching
Need over/underpass connections
There may be challenges as well as opportunities in following ditch/irrigation channels due to service roads.
Border fence creates “militarized” area along downtown – how do we deal with that?
Coordinate with IBWC regarding access to and near the river.
It’s really hard to bike on the west side due to traffic/connection issues
EP Bike Club, Velo El Paso are aware of routes through Downtown/UTEP
Upper Valley to Downtown Gap:
Paisano Bike Corridor – a clear connection opportunity that TxDOT has not supported
There may be a way to use EP Electric Company easements
Problems and opportunities in this area to creating connections and safe routes to school
There are issues with the existing County Club Trail that “just ends”
El Paso Marathon Routes
Could be a national draw
It’s hard to find places to run in El Paso
Ft Bliss used to allow access for the route, but no longer
I-10 is a major impediment to finding a route.
Fabens and Mesilla are the closest opportunities for riverside bike and running routes.
General safety concerns of biking in El Paso
Maintenance along entire route may be difficult to coordinate
Mosquitos are a concern along the river and similar rural areas
How will this project be phased and built?
Questions about how and when environmental assessments/issues will be addressed in this project.
Who will operate and manage trail in the future?
How will maintenance be handled?
Notes from each meeting can also be viewed here (Title: PDN Trail Public Meeting Notes August)