Holland Park to officially get trail back Aug. 29

       Holland Park residents finally have been given a date - Friday, Aug. 29 - for the Sinton Trail to reopen through the Douglas Creek Open Space. Westbound bicyclists  approach Holland Park Boulevard from the Douglas Creek Open Space’s Sinton Trail this 
week. Someone had pushed aside the city’s “Trail Closed” sign at that location at the time, but many people have been using the newly paved trail anyway.
Westside Pioneer photo
       City Parks Development Manager Chris Lieber provided the time frame in an interview this week.
       If accomplished, the completion would be about a month later than had been foreseen in early July. The delay came about because City Parks has been waiting for Springs Utilities to finish relocating a fire hydrant on Holland Park Boulevard near the trail crossing, Lieber said.
       Parks has poured and smoothed new trail asphalt (the main part of its project there) from Chestnut Street to the eastern end of the Creekview Townhomes a few hundred feet west of Holland Park Boulevard.
       During the work, “Trail closed” signs have been posted, although they are often ignored. One was reportedly a bicyclist who snagged his handlebars on the sign as he rode by, fell and broke his hip.
       The completion work will consist of pouring new trail topcoat a few hundred feet west to Centennial Boulevard (a funding requirement of the Creekview developer), laying gravel on either side of the trail to help with drainage and placing rip-rap (rock armoring) where needed. There will also be a temporary fix - gravel to serve as pedestrian ramps for the trail on either side of Holland Park Boulevard, Lieber said.
       This fix theoretically will serve until a traffic-calming project, led by a division of City Planning, is implemented on Holland Park Boulevard between Vondel Park Drive and Forest Hill Road. This project, not yet scheduled but still expected this year, will include “bumpouts” on either side of Holland Park Boulevard at the trail crossing - thus, the pedestrian ramps will be in different places than before.
       When initially conceived last spring, the hope had been that the improvements to the trail and the boulevard could go forward without a hitch despite having three government entities involved (Utilities, Parks and Planning). However, the Utilities and Parks phases have each taken a few weeks longer than expected. And, the traffic-calming project remains unscheduled, according to its director, Kristin Bennett. because staff engineers have not finished studying potential drainage issues that could result from the bumpouts and other calming structures going in.
       Holland Park residents are pleased at the improvements, but Mark T. Smith and Cynthia McGrath of the Holland Park Community Association, admit some frustration. “It's lasted the whole summer,” McGrath said. “I understand there is planning and budgeting but in the meantime we live here.”

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