Since the first 0.7-mile segment of Kerrville River Trail was built from the Riverside Nature Center to Louise Hays Park in 2012, the amenity has been a daily reality residents can enjoy. Miles of scenic, tree-lined path suitable for all manner of non-motorized travel run from the nature center to Kerrville Schreiner Park.
In the last few days, the city council added another segment to the Kerrville River Trail Master Plan: a path from Schreiner University to and through downtown to the nature center. No cost or funding has been identified, nor has a precise route been established.
An already-funded project is underway to link the existing trail across the river to the intersection of G and Water streets and from there to the university. Easement acquisitions are in process.
Extending the path from the university through downtown to the nature center would further free the existing river trail from the confines of the park and create synergy with numerous homes, apartments and businesses in the area.
City officials have envisioned a riverwalk-type atmosphere available in many cities, whether it’s nearby San Antonio or far-off Naperville, Illinois; a wide sidewalk that connects many parts of the city, lined by patios and shopfronts, where walkers, shoppers, restaurant- and coffeeshop-goers can mingle outdoors. It’s an atmosphere sought by tourists and members of a more cosmopolitan, younger generation of professionals the city hopes to attract to enhance the economy.
The future hotel at Water and Spring streets, the future live-entertainment venue in the Arcadia Theater building, the new wine bars and restaurants, along with the more established shops and eateries in the area — all could benefit greatly from the project.
We encourage the city to balance this project with existing infrastructure, as maintaining good roads and drainage are just as important, if not more so, as quality-of-life amenities — even amenities that hold such promise for stimulating economic development and healthy city growth.
While we support the idea of a downtown trail extension, we look forward to learning more about how the city may propose to fund the project in addition to other details, such as the location of easements or property acquisitions, timelines and more.