The South Austin community of Westcreek celebrated the grand opening of its new greenway, a trail system with entrances near area schools, on June 1.
At the event, which featured local vendors, food and music, Austin District Eight City Councilmember Paige Ellis commended the community for its work on the trails, which have entrances on Summerset Trail and Cana Cove and may serve as a walking path for some students of Small Middle School.
“Projects like this are models for what we as a community are able to accomplish when we bring together neighbors and city staff to work together,” Ellis said.
According to Westcreek Neighborhood Association President Mindy Sutton, work on the Westcreak Greenway began in 2012, when the neighborhood association cleared brush and erected a trailhead with help from the city of Austin. In 2014, the Austin Parks Department contributed Westcreek Pocket Park.
The Westcreek Neighborhood Association that same year formed the Greenway Committee and applied for aid under Austin’s Neighborhood Partnering Program, allowing them to share costs for the project with the city. After years of work by community volunteers and city parks staff, the trails are now fully operational.
However, Sutton said she was concerned about the potential for a cut-through roadway to disrupt the new trail center, based on a proposed element of the new Austin Strategic Mobility Plan, which was approved by Austin’s city council in April.
“I’m going to do everything I can, and the board, to communicate with you guys about what you can do to make sure we preserve our greenway space,” Sutton said.
The Austin Strategic Mobility Plan was voted through unanimously by the city council. However, when asked about the proposed roadway, Ellis said she did not want to see the greenway interrupted.
“I share [the community’s]same concerns,” Ellis said.
While the mobility plan has been approved, not all the proposed new roadways on the map will necessarily be constructed, depending on environmental vetting and other factors.