Plans for the expansion of Enid’s Trail system were reported in the March 14 edition of The Enid News and Eagle. Matt Davis, a member of the Enid Park Advisory Board, commented on the City’s plans for the next phase of the trail system. He said that costs will be covered jointly by the City and the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. The OK DOT has required that the trail system connect commercial, public, educational and governmental sites through out Enid. It should meet recreation and transportation needs.
You can find the complete plan (PDF) at the City of Enid’s Website. And looking at the maps this phase is just the beginning. This phase should connect the East Side with the West and likewise, the North and the South sides of Enid.
Initial work to be from Parkway in Indian Hills to Oakwood and then continue from Oakwood to Garland. This trail should follow and old rail road track that no longer exists but the right-of-way still exists. On the PDF this would be trail number 3, The Rail Road Pass Trail.
Future plans are for a trail that starts at the western end of The Rail Road Pass Trail and heads North into Cedar Ridge. Again, on the PDF, this is trail number 5, The Track West Trail. A trouble the planners and builders have is how to cross West Owen K. Garriot (US 412) safely. This is the last traffic light in town and drivers are eager to get up to full speed and get out of town.
Also on the City’s to-do list is trail number 9, The Channel Fairway Trail. Initial plans are for it to start close to midway of trail 3 and head North to Chestnut Ave and beyond to Crosslin Park using trail number 12. Number 12, The Farmland Express Trail, is a necessity. If you want to get to the Jumbo Foods shopping center from the South you must use Cleveland. This road is fast, 45 MPH, and narrow. This road is not safe. Having a trail that gets pedestrians and cyclist off Cleveland is a big deal. And it will be see lots of traffic.
The Southgate Lane Trail, number 13, travels from Meadowlake Park in South Central Enid to Vance Air Force Base will remove travelers off South Cleveland. Presently, there are lots of cyclist and runners who get to Vance on South Cleveland. While this stretch is a bit wider than up North it is just as fast. I have to commend the City for wanting to make Cleveland safer. I know that I will be a heavy user of this part of the trail system.
And to connect the South East side of Enid, they are building the Government Gateway Trail, number 15. This will start on the far East end of number 3 and turn North towards East Owen K. Garriot and Independence Avenue. The City plans to use the Old Santa Fe Depot as a trail headquarters. This is a local land mark and shares parking with our farmer’s market. This will be the first leg to allow people to get to Enid’s downtown. Like many towns, the downtown holds government buildings as well as shops and convention centers.
In my opinion, the City is doing the right thing. Giving it’s citizens the choice and liberty to get around town safely is outstanding. As transportation cost keep rising having choice on how one can ‘get around town’ is forward thinking. Once this trail system is complete, people can choose from their our personal automobile, taxi service, the Transfer Bus system and this trail system.