City to improve Hike and Bike Trail parking area
July 6, 2013 at 2:06 a.m.
Updated July 7, 2013 at 2:07 a.m.
A new parking lot at Victoria's hike and bike trailhead is expected to make using the park more convenient.
Since the 2.1-mile Lone Tree Creek Hike and Bike Trail opened, bicyclists and walkers have used a makeshift dirt parking lot at the southern entrance on East Airline Road, said Assistant City Manager John Kaminski.
"It hasn't been a problem - except when it rains," Kaminski said. That's when some drivers cut through the park into the water retention area to rut up the field, he said.
Originally, there was a project to repair sidewalks and concrete throughout the city's parks, including replacing a section of curb and gutter along Airline Road near the community park to block motorists from tearing up the field.
But once a parks employee asked about building a parking lot rather than closing the makeshift one, it caught the city manager's attention.
Kaminski said the concrete repairs finished $28,000 under budget. To add eight parking spaces, including installation of control posts and cables to keep drivers out of the drainage area, will cost about $24,000, he said.
Assistant Parks Director Kevin Stewart said a parking lot was not in the original plan.
"We just figured once we developed the parking lot for the splash pad, people would utilize that and walk along the sidewalk," he said. "I think it's just that people have used that area for so long; they're accustomed to parking there and walking."
Although the city recently finished constructing a parking lot for the nearby splash pad and practice fields, walkers and joggers are still using the dirt lot.
City spokesman O.C. Garza said the new concrete lot will make the facility nicer and weather-proof.
"People don't seem to be willing to park there (at the splash pad) and walk to the hike and bike trail," Garza said. "We just want to improve the convenience and make the parking more weather-resistant, especially for when we get rain."