A bike path to the airport?

Bike to the airport? That sounds like something I might be excited to do before catching a morning flight. I travel light, so if it’s a short trip I could squeeze my luggage into the basket. But of course I’d regret it when my super-delayed flight home gets in at 2 a.m.

The Transportation Department is studying the creation of an urban trail that would begin just west of S. 1st, run south of Ben White and end at the airport.

Bergstrom Spur Location Map.jpg

Awesome. Not even because it connects to the airport, but because it would be a really long urban trail in a part of town that isn’t too friendly to bikes. Plus, maybe there are some airport employees who want a healthy, affordable way to get to work.

I admit, I did not consider that there were actually a sizable number of people interested in biking to get to and from their flights. But Janae Spence, who oversees urban trails for ATD, tells me there are “definitely people interested in riding to and from the airport,” adding that the nearby Park & Zoom has bike racks and showers.

This project is still very much in its infancy. The 2016 bond only funded preliminary study. If it’s built, it will connect to an emerging network of bike/pedestrian s that CTRMA has been building along highways in the area, notably a five-mile shared use path along SH 71, which runs in front of the airport. I haven’t checked it out myself, but Spence notes that it’s lighted.

And then there are these improvements planned for U.S. 183:

  • The project includes 10 miles of shared use path, including pedestrian bridge crossings.
  • It also adds seven miles of 6-foot-wide sidewalks and 16 miles of 5-foot-wide bike lanes
  • Major trailheads at the YMCA and Boggy Creek will connect with the existing Southern Walnut Creek Hike and Bike Trail
  • Pedestrian bridge crossings over US 183 will be located near Manor Road/Springdale Road, 51st Street, and Bolm Road.
  • Planned improvements provide connections to the 290 Toll and 71 Toll SUP facilities, as well as the Lance Armstrong Bikeway and the Walnut Creek Trail.

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