Imagine a six-mile-long hike-and-bike trail running straight through the heart of Spring Branch, seamlessly connecting the Addicks Reservoir on the far western edge of the district to the White Oak Bayou trails to the east. That’s the dream behind the Centerpoint Trail, which will be built along the existing electrical easements and is a key component of the Spring Branch Management District’s Comprehensive Plan.
“The easement bisects the district at the midpoint, so it’s centrally located,” said James Vick of SWA Group, the firm that designed Buffalo Bayou Park and is contracting with the District to plan the Centerpoint Trail. “People would be able to live in Spring Branch and bike to work in the Energy Corridor. And the other huge benefit is that there are a ton of schools located along the trail, so if we can get connectivity from the neighborhoods, it means that people who live here and go to school can use the trail.”
Discussions are underway between the District and the City of Houston about incorporating the Centerpoint Trail into Bayou Greenways 2020, an ambitious public-private initiative aiming to create a network of 150 miles of trails linking all parts of Houston. When the project is complete, about 60 percent of Houstonians will live within 1.5 miles of a trail. Vick explained that once the Centerpoint Trail is connected to the Bayou Greenways network, Spring Branch residents will be able to easily walk or bike almost anywhere in the city.
“We’ve actually gotten calls from cyclists who commute to the Energy Corridor from the east side of the district, and they’ve heard about this plan,” Vick said. “Right now they’re using city streets to get to work, often with no bike lanes, so there is a lot of enthusiasm for the trail.”