Community Impact – November 24, 2015
There is no Violet Crown Trail parking lot near the trail’s first phase, which opened in August. Hanna Cofer, director of events and communication with the Hill Country Conservancy, which helped develop the trail, said HCC did not buy land for parking.
“We created this trail with a lot of the idea that people would be able to access it from their own neighborhoods,” Cofer said.
Those intending to use the trail can park at Zilker Metropolitan Park, Dick Nichols Park or the Loop 360 trailhead created by the city to access the Barton Creek Greenbelt, she said.
“We encourage people to be mindful of [nearby] businesses and to not impede customer parking,” she said.
Nadia Barrera, Urban Trails Program manager with the city of Austin Public Works Department, said HCC and the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, UTP and Neighborhood Partnering Program are working on other phases.
Phase 2 includes two sections of UTP work to create a hard-surface trail—a $1.3 million south section from MoPac and Convict Hill Road to the William Hampton branch of the Austin Public Library, and a $1.4 million north section from Home Depot Boulevard in Sunset Valley to where MoPac meets Williamson Creek.
The next step is to finish design, Barrera said. The UTP expects to have construction documents ready for bidding at the beginning of 2016, and work on the next section should be able to proceed by March, Barrera said.
The project area passes through a habitat of tawny crazy ants, Barrera said, explaining mitigating the invasive species’ potential spread has delayed the project. There have only been a few reported sightings of the ants, but the city is being cautious and avoiding the area rather than using pesticides, she said.
“We just want to make sure that we’re doing it right,” she said.