Fort Worth toll road paves the way for cyclists

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by CASEY NORTON

WFAA

Posted on January 11, 2012 at 9:21 PM

FORT WORTH — The North Texas Tollway Authority isn't just about cars.  Bicycle riders and joggers are about to get some new lanes thanks to the Chisholm Trail Parkway.

The $1.4-billion project includes connections and access ramps for bike paths to cross the Trinity River and the new toll road.  The most obvious improvements will be near Hulen Street and Vickery Boulevard.

NTTA spokesman Michael Rey says the rebuilt Hulen Street bridge will include a 10-foot wide pedestrian and bicycle sidewalk crossing the Union Pacific railyard. 

Just south of Trinity Park, the rebuilt Vickery Boulevard bridge will also provide dedicated bike lanes.  That will connect the east side of the river on the near Southside with the Trinity Park Trails close to the Botanic Gardens.

Cyclists believe just a few of these access improvements will link Southwest Fort Worth to downtown, and open up the trails for more bicycle commuters.

Bryan McKendry has been touting cycling as a commuting option for years. He says the Bike Fort Worth initiative earned respect for the cycling movement with regular appeals to City Hall for improved access.

"We're actually seeing changes on the street finally instead of just hearing good ideas," McKendry said.

The Chisholm Trail Parkway is a 27.6-mile tollway that will link Fort Worth with Cleburne.  It is expected to open for full traffic in 2014, but these bike path connections could be complete much sooner than that.

E-mail cnorton@wfaa.com

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