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Council to begin talks on new bike trail

Trail would connect Upper Valley to Downtown

Good Morning El Paso: Council agrees...

EL PASO, Texas - Last year, El Paso City Council approved its Comprehensive Bike Plan, which is expected to bring a network of bike infrastructure to the city over the next decade.

During Tuesday's council meeting, representatives approved to begin talks about one project that could connect Doniphan Drive in the Upper Valley to Downtown.

The project would include a hike and bike trail with amenities along the route.

The city streets and maintenance director, Ted Marquez, told council that the Texas Department of Transportation has agreed to work with the city to reserve a pathway for the trail.

Due to the ongoing construction between Paisano Drive and Interstate 10, TX-DoT will be able to leave the land graded and ready for development, at no cost to the city.

Marquez said the exact pathway is currently unknown because ownership of some properties is changing.

Funding for additional material like concrete and other amenities along the trail is still needed.

While city representative Peter Svarzbein wanted to start looking into planning, design and funding, another councilor suggested holding off on that because designing a trail requires money.

"You should put it on your list of things that you want council to consider funding for the next budget session," Noe told Svarzbein.

"First, we need to determine if this a project that we can undertake and put that on the Master Transportation Plan so that we can move it further as funding becomes available," said Emma Acosta. Although it is part of the bike plan, Acosta said she doesn't believe the funding is there right now.

Acosta said the specific trail from Doniphan to Downtown has to be on the master plan in order to get funding from the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), then it can go onto the list of short term projects.

"This is not something radical, it is not something out of the blue, this is following the comprehensive bike plan that we already passed," said city representative Peter Svarzbein.

In the end, council agreed to add the projects to the city's transportation master plan, no funds were allocated during Tuesday's vote.

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