Shoal Creek Trail expansion could connect north Austin to downtown

Shoal Creek Trail in Pease Park (Julie Karam, KXAN).

AUSTIN (KXAN) — There’s a new idea to get commuters to ditch their cars and opt for bikes and walking to get to some popular destinations between North Austin and downtown. The Shoal Creek Conservancy is proposing to expand the Shoal Creek Trail from 38th St. where it currently ends to the Walnut Creek Greenbelt. In total, it would run 13 miles, connecting Lady Bird Lake with North Austin.

“It’s really about making connections along the Shoal Creek Trail and connecting to the Domain is one part of it,” says Joanna Wolaver, Ex. Dir. Shoal Creek Conservancy. “But also connecting to ACC, UT, to all of the neighborhoods along the way, to the schools along the way — so it’s really about finding all of these connections.”

At least once per week Heather Darden brings her two young children to Pease Park to play. She says having more signage along the trail would be a simple start to get more people to use it.

“A map to the trail over here like they have at Town Lake where they have it all mapped out and tell you this is the three mile course, this is the five mile course, that would be useful,” Darden says.

The Shoal Creek Conservancy does not have a projected cost for the proposed expansion of the trail, but hopes it will be funded through a public/private partnership with the City of Austin. Wednesday night they will hold their second of three public feedback meetings at the Congregation Beth Israel at 3901 Shoal Creek Blvd. from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The organization hopes to have a plan finalized by February so it can go through the city council approval process.

“It’s really part of a movement in Austin to expand our urban trail network,” Wolaver says. “So that’s trails for biking, walking, running for everybody to enjoy.”

Kate Weidaw is LIVE on the trail on KXAN News Today with details of past construction and what the area could look like in the future.

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