City officials celebrated the grand opening of the Alazán Creek Linear Trail Saturday morning as children rode bikes, neighbors walked their dogs, and joggers passed by on the new trail.
The 10-foot wide path is an expansion of The Howard W. Peak Greenway Trails System. Alazán Trail is located across from Woodlawn Lake, and is one of the four creeks undergoing restoration in through the San Antonio River Authority’s (SARA) Westside Creeks Project.
San Antonio is channeling their waterways to connect the city in a tributary way. Literally.
The Howard W. Peak Greenway trails is a growing network of winding trails throughout San Antonio creeks: Salado, Leon, Huebner, Huesta, Culebra, Alazán, Apache, Martinez, San Pedro Creeks and the Medina River. The greenway has more than 52 miles of developed trails and more grand openings are coming.
The City of San Antonio is investing more than $10 million in the westward expansion of the creeks this year, funded through a voter-approved 1/8-cent sales tax. The Alazán Creek project cost $1.2 million.
Four of the nine creeks are located in the Westside of San Antonio. Alazán, Apache, Martinez and San Pedro creeks are are the focus of the Westside Creek Project. The goal is to restore 14 miles of the Westside creekways.
“You don’t know whats coming,” Olga Lizcano, Westside Creeks Committee co-chair said. “To see the restoration, you are going to be so proud of our city. You won’t believe it’s the same park.
Alazán Trail is already providing many Westsiders benefits. The trail stretches from Woodlawn Lake to the West End Parks, and provides safe pedestrian passage from Waverly Ave. and Culebra Streets.
“It’s exciting,” Councilman Roberto Treviño (D1) said. “This is the heart of what we are going after. We want to do things that truly impact our city, to connect communities, to emphasize all the great priorities we have in our community.
“Trail connections like this one are an incredible asset for all San Antonio residents and visitors. They increase our mobility across the city, improve out quality of life, and make San Antonio a healthier and more livable city.”
Not everyone is celebrating the Alazán restoration. Shirley Aguilar and Rudy Garcia live two houses away from the new trails. They say that since the restoration, they’ve seen people at the park at all times of the day and night, despite the midnight curfew, and an increased number of break-ins.
Garcia said the situation could be improved if park police would enforce the curfew, increase lighting in the parking lot and installing a private fence barrier to prevent passerby’s from entering neighbor’s backyards.
Councilman Treviño listened to the two residents, and said the city would begin looking for solutions to make the area safer for the closer neighbors.
The Westside Creeks Committee remains positive about the change, and hopes to create a long-term goal of connectivity.
The vision of the Westside Creeks Committee is to have an integrated system of creeks, where residents can enjoy them as the center of community interest. Robert Ramirez, co-chair of the Westside Creeks Committee said he wants the creeks to be like a “spiderweb that connects the city.”
“The Westside has long been an ignored part of the city,” Ramirez, continued. “There are a lot of misconceptions about this side of town. By doing this, we are letting the other sides of the city come in (the Westside). We have to act as good stewards. These pieces will come together like a mosaic.”
More trails will open up this summer, according to Ramirez.