Officials from the City of Austin, Capital Metro and Bike Austin, along with members of Crestview and Highland neighborhood, celebrated the opening of an urban trail for cyclists and pedestrians Aug. 2.

"I'm here to tell you it works," said Councilman Chris Riley, who spoke at the grand opening. "This is an amazing complement to everything else that's going on along Airport Boulevard and it's really going to help the whole corridor take shape. So now I'm really looking forward to extending this effort along this whole corridor and other corridors across Austin."

The trail is 10 feet wide and 0.9 miles long, following the rail line from the Crestview MetroRail station, 6920 N. Lamar Blvd. to the Highland MetroRail station, 6420 Airport Blvd. The trail is landscaped; officials said 144 trees were planted along the route to eventually provide shade and a physical barrier between vehicular traffic and those using the trail.

"It's really going to be pleasant, and it's part of what makes Austin such a great place to live," Captial Metro spokeswoman Erica Macioge said. "The city wants to be bicycle and pedestrian friendly, and this is just part of that process for us."

The trees were donated by Austin Energy.

Macioge said Capital Metro has always envisioned a trail network that would follow the rail line from Leander to downtown. She said the organization ordered the 32-mile rail line into sections to prioritize particular areas, and this section was high on that list.

"Our city is growing so rapidly," Macioge said. "More people are using transit—transit ridership is way up—so it's about providing more connections and to provide different incentives for people to try transit or to be even more sustainable and just use their own feet or ride a bike."

Riley said projects that focus on alternate modes of transportation will really help the area become more pedestrian-friendly.

"It's options like this that can make the whole corridor work well together," Riley said.