FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A popular section along Trinity Trail in Fort Worth is set to expand for safety reasons.
The roughly 100-plus yard stretch, already demarcated with fencing, behind the Westbend development, which is home to restaurants HG SPLY CO and bartaco and more, is set to widen from 7.5- to 12 feet.
“Right now on the trail, there is enough room for, you know, two bikes to pass each other safely,” said Tom Mcintyre, a cyclist who uses the trail.
This stretch of trail, however, is used by more than bikers, or even joggers. It’s common to see restaurant patrons, shoppers, and kids wondering about, potentially unaware of speeding cyclists whizzing by.
“I believe the child did get hit [by a cyclist]. He was coming out of…bartaco,” said Eric Huse, the general manager at HG SPLY CO, a restaurant that sits juxtapose to the trail.
“Fortunately, he was okay,” he added.
The time to make the change is now, according to Chad Lorance, communications director at the Tarrant Regional Water District, the agency responsible for managing the trail, and the price is right for taxpayers.
“This is being privately funded, so there is no cost to the public on this,” Lorance said. “It’s really a benefit to them.”
Trademark, the company that owns the neighboring properties, is paying for the project, according to Chris Herman, the vice president of development. He said it will take three or four weeks to complete. In the meantime, trail users will be able to walk outside and around the fence before hopping back on the path.
The move was universally praised.
Mcintyre, a cyclist who believes only two cyclists can safely pass at a time, said, “Anything to give riders, joggers and walkers more safe access is a good idea.”
Huse, the general manager of the restaurant HG SPLY CO, said, “Everybody is safer. So I think that’s the key. People getting hit by bikes is not good for anybody’s business.”
And Laura Piwetz, a woman walking her baby in a pram, said, “It will benefit everybody to have the trail a little wider, so the cyclists can get through, and we don’t have to be as alert.”