Make the Vision Happen! – Ideas and Experiences from San Antonio Greenways Implementation

What challenges and solutions have contributed to the character and shaped the implementation of the of San Antonio’s Greenway trails? The presenters will share strategic approaches to common greenway implementation issues, such as community engagement, land acquisitions, neighborhood connectivity, wayfinding signage, and complimentary public initiatives. The Howard W. Peak Greenway Trail system in San Antonio is in its 10th year of implementation, with the first ribbon cutting happening in 2008. Parks and Recreation staff have learned much about logistical and physical obstacles, community expectations, cooperative partnerships, how to avoid design pitfalls, and other issues and processes encountered in delivering a high quality outdoor recreational experience. The purpose of this session is to give a presentation and handouts that include helpful and interesting information to colleagues and initiate dialog regarding the nuts and bolts of bringing a lofty vision to reality. We will discuss our experiences with problem-solving, creative community engagement, trail/sidewalk connectivity, trailhead enhancements, trail user counting, and new trail amenities such as emergency call boxes, bike repair stations, butterfly gardens, and revised wayfinding signage.

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Brandon Ross, AICP, is a Special Projects Manager for the City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department. He is currently manages the planning, land acquisitions, design and construction of the Howard W. Peak Greenway Trail System, a growing network of multi-use hike and bike trails along San Antonio waterways. His previous experience includes initiatives and projects related to community planning, land use and residential development. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, a Masters of Urban Planning from Texas A&M University and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).

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