Sunday, July 14, 2013

Clovis adding large trailhead to Dry Creek Trail

The City of Clovis is looking to convert 2.5 acres of vacant land at Shepherd and Sunnyside into a new trailhead. The project would slightly extend Dry Creek Trail to Shepherd, and provide future connections to a new trail north, and the existing Enterprise Trail to the East. I recently provided a picture tour of a gap-closure on a portion of this same trail.

Here is an area trail map, with the trailhead indicated by the red arrow

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Here is another map showing the same thing. Dark green solid lines indicate the two trails, with the red line indicating where they end. The dotted green line is a future trail, which today is accessible as a dirt canal bank. The dotted beige line is a future trail (long distance future). The yellow shape is the planned trailhead

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The trailhead is intended to serve as a gateway to the trail system, and works as a way to advertise the existence of the system. The plan is also to provide amenities, like tables, restrooms and water fountains. The plans also call for a small bike maintenance area, including a tire pump. As far as I know, this would be a local first.

However like most recent Clovis park projects, the area will be dominated by parking - an astonishing 40 spots. That's a very high number for what's being advertised as a "junction and rest area for cyclists and pedestrians".

Like most Clovis parks, this area of asphalt will add large costs, take up a lot of space, and be greatly underused. During the comment period, almost every comment received noted a concern about the unnecessarily large size. Those complaints appear to have been ignored. 

Another concern by local residents was lighting. The city has agreed to use bollard-style lighting, rather than standard lights. That's a shame, because those bollard-style lights do more harm than good, as they manage to create glare and large areas of shadows.

Here is the site plan. The park area looks to be well designed - hey look, trees instead of grass that nobody uses! But the parking lot takes up about a 3rd of the site. Also, there appears to be no future connection to the trail to the east. I've marked an arrow showing the direction to the Dry Creek Trail

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Don't expect to see this done this year. Currently, the council is approving a change in land use, which allows the plan to go forward. Hopefully it's open by next spring.

Here is a picture tour of the area: 


The existing trail

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The trail currently ends before the dam at a junction, as seen is this map

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The curve towards the left leads to a sort-of road

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Looking across the canal towards the future park

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Going straight at the junction. one arrives at the dam

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The dam is accessible. Going straight one arrives at the future park

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The canal divides the lot. There are no plans for the other side of the empty lot

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However, it is accessible

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One would cross this way to head towards the enterprise trail

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This isn't officially a trail - it's a canal maintenance road.  But obviously it's used as a trail.

A concern of mine is that there appears to be no provision for a legal crossing here.

Today, it's a minor two lane road. But this is Clovis, so soon it will be 4-6 lanes wide.

Looking north

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Looking south
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This way to enterprise trail

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I had thought I read that there were going to be improvements here, but I was wrong.

It's very pleasant, even though it's not officially a trail.

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Eventually you reach where the real enterprise trail ends

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The canal dirt path is straight, the real trail is on the left, where the lady is walking.

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It currently ends here.

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Returning to the project area, you can see this not-trail is being used as a vital connection, even without a safe crosswalk

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The cyclist is heading to the dam, where she will enter Dry Creek trail. Again, this lot isn't the park area, the lot across the canal is

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1 comment:

  1. Even though there are a lot of improvements still to be made at this site, it's nice to see that the canal crossing was made safer. Back in '09, it was so much more dangerous.

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