The Five Mile Creek Greenbelt has secured a new Texas Department of Transportation grant, planting $6.6 million to grow a key connector trail across Dallas’ Oak Cliff community. The green space project is a team effort between the Trust for Public Land and the City of Dallas.
The new TXDOT dollars will be matched by another $1.65 million from local green supporters, totaling over $8 million to break ground on a 1.1-mile “shovel-ready” stretch of the planned 17-mile trail. The Five Mile Creek Greenbelt expands access to nature and safer transportation options for biking and walking in Oak Cliff.
With the funding now official, construction on a section of the trail could start as early as next year, officials announced.
TPL State Director Robert Kent calls the grant a “gamechanger” for the Five Mile Creek Greenbelt. In a statement, Kent said the “dollars will go directly to construction of the trail, making the transportation benefits of this trail available to the community even sooner than planned.”
“We are grateful to TxDOT and our generous supporters for believing in this effort to connect the residents of Oak Cliff to the outdoors,” he said.
The Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside program funds locally-led walking and biking projects across Texas. In December 2022, TXDOT announced applications for this latest TA funding round.
In December 2022, TXDOT announced a Call for Projects to apply for this latest round of TA grant funding. During a recent meeting, the Texas Transportation Commission teed-up approval for the Five Mile Creek Greenbelt and other applicants to receive funds.
Transportation Commissioner Robie Vaughn said the program is a major investment in communities across the Lone Star State to make walking and biking safer and easier.”
Texas Transportation Commissioner Alvin also highlighted the need for separate walking and biking spaces: “People who walk and bike account for 1 in 5 traffic deaths in Texas,” said Alvin in the news release. “These grant projects will help move our state toward zero deaths by creating spaces for people to walk and bike safely separated from traffic.”
When finished, the Five Mile Creek Greenbelt will create 17 miles of new trails and three signature parks for the 200,000 residents of Oak Cliff. The trails will connect the community to green space for mental and physical health benefits, while also providing a transportation alternative to get to retail, healthcare, schools, and more.
Many see this project as a key piece of Dallas’ current focus on parks. “This is yet another exciting milestone for the Five Mile Creek Greenbelt and shows once again that Dallas is in the midst of a parks renaissance,” said Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson.
“I look forward to seeing continued progress on this project that will help fulfill my vision of making Dallas the greenest and greatest city in Texas.”
Johnson’s sentiments were echoed by Dallas Park & Recreation Board President Arun Agarwal, who was just unanimously reappointed to a consecutive term.
“The Five Mile Creek Greenbelt is a transformational project for Southern Dallas and will provide access to the benefits of parks and trails to thousands of residents,” said Agarwal in a statement. “Our thanks to our partners at TxDOT for their commitment to this shared vision.”
The Trust for Public Land has raised over $35 million so far toward the estimated $78 million total cost of completing the Five Mile Creek Greenbelt’s planned parks and trails. With this new TXDOT grant secured, TPL will soon launch a public campaign to raise additional philanthropic support and leverage other public funding for the project.
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