Fort Worth's Trinity Trails

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Benbrook Festival May Effect Cyclists' Usual Route

In advance of the 2010 Benbrook Heritage Fest, the City of Benbrook is distributing an e-mail to get the word out to cyclists about the effects the Fest will have on traffic and cyclists this weekend.

Many cyclists continue beyond the southwestern end of the Trinity Trails in Benbrook on surface streets.

Here is the complete e-mail that the City of Benbrook sent out today (Oct. 13, 2010):
The 2010 Benbrook Heritage Fest event takes place this Saturday, October 16. The event location has moved to the park area east of the tennis courts (beside Benbrook Stables), off Creekside Drive in Dutch Branch Park.

Event guests will be directed to enter Beach Road on the north, and Stevens Road on the south. Guests will then access Lakeshore Drive on both ends to the event parking area.

Event planners recognize that cyclists often enjoy traveling along this route on weekends. Cyclists are asked to consider alternate travel routes to avoid heavy event traffic this Saturday. "We encourage cyclists to avoid this area on Saturday, if possible. This will increase safety and convenience for both the cyclists and motorists attending the event," says Patty Bissey, Marketing Coordinator for the City.
City of Benbrook hompage

More info on their 2010 Heritage Fest

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Trinity Trash Bash This Weekend!

This Saturday (September 18. 2010) is your chance to do your part to keeping the Trinity River (and Trails) beautiful during the T.R.E.E.S. (Trinity River Environment Education Society) Trinity Trash Bash!

TREES promotes river clean-ups throughout the Trinity River watershed (see their site for events throughout North Texas) and this weekend's cleanups involve areas near and along the Trinity Trails.

The river and trails could really use some help with litter clean-up after the recent storms.

The Fort Worth event is lead by the TRWD (Tarrant Regional Water District) and there is also an event in Benbrook.

You can register for the Fort Worth/TRWD Trash Bash on TRWD's website.  There are 7 primary clean-up areas and the Trash Bash Party site shown on this TRWD map.

From the TRWD site:
The 19th annual Trinity River Trash Bash will be held September 18, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. at various points along the Trinity River. 
All volunteers are invited to a party immediately following the cleanup at Rockwood Park in Fort Worth from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. with food, prizes and entertainment by Radio Disney 620 AM. 
Cleanup kits will be available to volunteers the day of the event at one of the registration sites. Participants receive free T-shirts and are eligible for numerous prizes donated by sponsors.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Update: Trail Conditions After Storm

In the 24 hours since yesterdays post on Tropical Storm Hermine's effects on the Trinity Trails, 2 major clean-ups have taken place:

  • The large tree blocking the low water crossing at Bellaire and Southwest Blvd. (Hwy. 183) has been chainsawed and removed from the low water crossing:

Tree at low water crossing at Bellaire Dr.

  • And the thick layer of mud and debris at the Beach St (at I-30) near Gateway Park has been removed:

Ramp at low water crossing near Gateway Park.

Water still covers most of the low water crossings, especially those downstream from downtown, but the water will probably recede sometime this weekend.  Gateway Park has reopened.

It will probably take longer to get the Marine Creek section of the trails (near & under the Stockyards) cleaned of mud and debris since heavy equipment (front end loaders) can get onto that section of trail.  They'll be an update on that stretch of trail next week.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Trinity Trails Closures After Hermine Storm

see also:  Update: Trail Conditions After Storm

After over 6 inches of rain Wednesday and Thursday from the remnants of Tropical Storm Hermine, all of the low water crossings of the Trinity Trails are under water. The water will soon go down, but there will some lasting effects to the trails. Mainly:
  • There is a great deal of debris and mud on the ramps to the low water crossing at Beach St. (near I-30) outside Gateway park. These ramps will be treacherous to runners and cyclists until the mud and debris is cleaned up. (As of this morning, all of Gateway Park was closed to the public because of high water and storm damage.)

Low water crossing at Beach St.; damaged FW Rowing Club dock.

Low water crossing at Beach St. (Gateway Park); much debris and thick mud.

  • There is a large tree blocking the low water crossing at Bellaire Drive and Southwest Blvd (Hwy. 183) that makes the trail all but impassable. As you can see in the photo it would be possible to carry a bike over the tree, but not easy. Runners/walkers might also want to avoid climbing over this large tree.

Tree over low water crossing at Bellaire Dr. & Southwest Blvd. (Hwy 183).

Tree over low water crossing at Bellaire Dr. & Southwest Blvd. (Hwy 183).

  • The trail detour near Northside Drive is very muddy in one area (as shown in a photo below) and completely covered by a large puddle in another, undoubtedly with mud underneath (not shown).

Along Northside Dr.

  • The trail along Marine Creek, through the Stockyards was completely under water this morning and, judging from past storms, there will be significant mud and debris that will make the Trail impassable until it is cleaned up. Low areas farther up the Marine Creek section of the Trail have probably suffered a similar fate.

Trail along Marine Creek; Fort Worth Stockyards.

Mud & water covered trail under Exchange St., Fort Worth Stockyards.

Trail underwater along Marine Creek, Fort Worth Stockyards.

  • The low water crossings by La Grave Field (first photo below) and the 4th St. Bridge (second photo below) were still underwater, but did not have any debris blocking the path or significant mud on the ramps; so they might be passable soon. The amount of mud on areas still underwater remains to be seen.

Low water crossing near La Grave Field.

Low water crossing at 4th St. bridge.

If you have any reports about Trinity Trail closures, detours, damage, etc; please let us know so we can share it with everyone:

Tropical Storm Hermine Remnants Effects Trinity Trails

With over 6 inches of rain in much of the Fort Worth area, the Trinity River has swollen to cover the low water crossings of the Trinity Trails.

Based on hydrologic data from the National Weather Service, the Trinity peaked at about 5 feet above normal flow levels at downtown Fort Worth.

Past experiences with high river levels indicates that low areas of the trails will be covered with debris.

A great blog post, with many good photos (including the one below), at the Durango Texas Blog, shows the effect of the Trinity River on the Trinity Trails at Gateway Park.

Remember, that the low water crossing icon on our interactive trails map indicates locations that will be impassable until river levels return to normal.

UPDATE:  We now have more complete coverage of the storm's effect on the Trinity Trails.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Crestline Rd. Closed at University

Not a big deal, really... but I'm hoping this is the sort of thing for which will be useful.

I know that quite a few people (I used to be one of them) access Trinity Park and Trinity Trails through Will Rogers Memorial Center since there's a crosswalk from WRMC to Crestline at University Drive on the east side of Will Rogers.

It was reported to me today that Crestline is (and has been for a bit) completely closed at University for construction (burying of some pipes).

Here's a map of the area with routes and construction marked on the map.  The light blue line is the WRMC/Crestline route into Trinity Park.  The green line is one alternate route through the Botanic Gardens (although there is not signal for crossing University).  Click on the Caution Icon for a description; that's where the construction is.

The crosswalk across University from Will Rogers to Crestline now leads to a construction zone and closed road.

Again... not a big deal, but there will be a lot of construction and development in the coming years that will effect the Trinity Trails and I hope this can be a venue to keep everyone aware of the related changes.

We might hopefully even have advance notice sometimes!

If you, in your use of the Trinity Trails, discover a change to the trail network that might effect other users, please, let us know at  Thanks!

UPDATE: Thanks to Tim for pointing out that the City announced this closure in advance in their City News.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Will Benbrook Bridge Effect Trinity Trails Along Bellaire?

Recenty, while riding the section of the Trinity Trails that runs along Bellaire Drive, I saw the following sign where the trail connects with Bellaire Drive at River Bend Rd.:

Basically the sign represented that residents (both Fort Worth and Benbrook citizens) living along Bellaire are concerned that a bridge across the Trinity near I-20 will increase traffic on Bellaire.  The sign, though, was directed at those of us that ride/walk/run the Trinity Trails.  It warned that the increased traffic would make us less safe and eventually would lead to the elimination of the trail along Bellaire because Bellaire would inevitably be made a four lane road because of all the extra traffic.  This caught my attention.  If that were ever to occur, it would cut off a substantial part of the southwest portion of the Trinity Trails (leading into Benbrook.

Last night I attended the meeting mentioned on the sign.  It took place at St. Peter's Orthodox Church on Bellaire Dr.

The meeting was standing room only and attended by at least 200 citizens.

On hand to answer questions was Benbrook Mayor Jerry Dittrich, Benbrook City Manager Andy Wayman, Fort Worth City Councilman Zim Zimmerman and Benbrooks Fire and Police Chiefs.

A show of hands revealed that the vast majority of the citizens in attendance were Fort Worth City residents... the rest live in Benbrook.

The City of Benbrook has not yet hired an engineer to do a study of the impact of the proposed project, so there are no precise plans, but the city prepared some Questions and Answers about the Proposed Clear Fork Bridge [pdf document].

Benbrook's stated main reason for building the bridge is to decrease response time by their Fire, EMS and police to their citizens across the Trinity from their fire and police stations.

Many of the citizens contended that the real reason for the bridge is for a commercial development in Benbrook on the south side of I-20.

The 4 main concerns of the residents (as laid out by a representative of the Meadows West Homeowners Association) were that a bridge connecting the I-20 service road to Bellaire Drive (over the Trinity River) would:

  1. Increase traffic dramatically
  2. Increase crime
  3. Lower property values
  4. Destroy the "isolated, country feel" of the neighborhoods

As it turned out, there wasn't much mention of the Trinity Trails.  But a couple people did bring up the possibility that Bellaire would be expanded to 4 lanes which would eliminate the bike lanes.  One citizen stated that it was a foregone conclusion that this would happen if the bridge was built.

Near the end of the meeting Fort Worth Councilman Zim Zimmerman stated:  "Bike trails are an integral part of Fort Worth's future plans and Bellaire Drive will not be made into 4 lanes and the bike trails eliminated... at least not while I'm in office."

This is what I came to hear.  That the trails will be preserved.

Councilman Zimmerman went on to explain that Benbrook could do what Benbrook wanted with their land, but that Fort Worth would do what it could to control traffic along Bellaire even if that means more traffic signals at intersections.

It is a complicated issue and it is far from being resolved, but there does seem to be a commitment to the Trinity Trails no matter what the outcome of the bridge issue.

Here's a look at the meeting from the back of the room:

The men standing in front (from left to right) are Benbrook Mayor Jerry Dittrich, Benbrook City Manager Andy Wayman, Fort Worth City Manager Dale Fisseler, and Fort Worth City Councilman Zim Zimmerman.