I did not know Carla Jones but was sorry to hear of her death this last Friday. I heard, anecdotally, that she had been walking up Texas Drive towards the amphitheatre and was hit by a car. And that the person who killed her is distraught, incidentally. The thing is, a lot of people take that route for a walking path. I know of people who have gone to the soccer park behind the Expo Center and then, for some extra exercise, and because there's a great steep hill for a vigorous workout, walk all around Texas Drive, which goes back to Bo Gibbs, etc. I also know of people who bicycle that route. I went to look at the route one day several months ago and decided that I didn't really want to go on it because it has blind corners and little shoulder.
We also need sidewalks, NOT JUST FOR TOURISTS AROUND HOTELS but for people who LIVE here. I have heard, first, that 4b money cannot be used for sidewalks, but then Darrell Best has told me that the money CAN BE. IF it can, then I'd like to see it, starting with a sidewalk running down Barnard Street from Big Rock/Oakdale to the city.
I also regularly see people riding on Hwy 67 on the shoulder. Truly, that worries me. Recently, TxDOT did some work on 67 west of town and added another lane but it took out more of the shoulder- and you know how people in Texas are-they get ON THE SHOULDER to let people pass....... nuff said. . And it isn't that I wouldn't like to bicycle into town. I WOULD but there is no safe way for me to get to town. None. I asked once about whether TxDOT could put a bike path on SH 144; nope, the conditions are so onerous that a simple path in the shoulder can't be done anymore the same way it was done when the one in Meridian was created. I read recently about some place that got some grant money for a bike path from the state, might have been Granbury?
Margaret Drake has talked for several years about making a hiking, biking path that would go all the way from Big Rocks up to Wheeler Branch. I think it's an absolutely wonderful idea. I'm sure the logistics of how to get property for people to get around on will be tricky, but what a boon to the area, and not just for tourists. I think having hiking/biking/walking trails creates an even more friendly and warm community, as well as promotes health.
Hub reminded me the other day that Fossil Rim has a biking trail around it. I'll have to check, but it looks like it's more for mountain biking and I have a regular hybrid bicycle. Actually that might do just fine, but I'm not sure about whether it's, say, open to the public, or a benefit of membership? UPDATE: Only for planned events, like Ride the Rim, and that's only for mountain bikes.. Also reminded that I would like to see a trail that goes all the way FROM Fossil Rim into town. Heck, every year there's that great Paluxy Pedal. The county roads out here have very little shoulder.
I also noticed that Dinosaur Valley State Park has biking and walking paths, and one can get a $60 car pass for a year. If anyone knows about these, please tell about it in the comments. I'd like to know, for example, if this is the roads they're talking about, are they safe, or are they talking about mountain bikes on some rougher terrain? UPDATE: There are trails on the other side of the river that are for mountain bikes but the other roads should be safe enough during the week and people can't speed through the park.
Anyway, people should be able to get around in town and around other scenic places on SIDEWALKS or at least good sized shoulders. I'd love to see some planning for the future, to go along with what Margaret Drake is proposing, to truly make our area even more enjoyable.