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Group in Austin looks to complete 32-mile long park along CapMetro Red Line

The Red Line Parkway Initiative is hoping to connect multiple trails and green spaces to create a full park from Downtown Austin to Leander.

AUSTIN, Texas — A plan to create a 32-mile long park is underway in Central Texas.

The Red Line Parkway Initiative is looking to have a trail parkway follow the entire Capital Metro Red Line, which runs from Leander to Downtown Austin.

This month, CapMetro and the City of Austin both approved resolutions to work with the "Red Line parkway initiative" to make this happen. Even though this will take years to complete, they already have parts done now – like the stretch just south of the MLK CapMetro stop.

"A lot of people are using that these days," said Tom Wald, the executive director of the Red Line Parkway Initiative. "We're working to create a 32-mile linear park and public space and trail-oriented development alongside the CapMetro Red Line."

The existing section near the MLK Metro Rail station was just completed several months ago. Wald said this will be one of the few opportunities for people to cross the city without encountering many cars, if any at all.

Giving a path for bikers and walkers to take all the way along the Red Line. 

Even though some of it is already completed – Wald estimated about 15% – they have a long way to go. He's not sure what this could cost or how long it could take to happen.

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"You know, the idea was conceived of at least as long ago as 2000," he said. "Some of the trails were actually completed decades ago on the east side."

Some people who are already using this section, like Rachael Stone, who lives off the trail, are excited about the growth.

"I think people who live close to the Red Line will definitely be getting on and off it," said Stone. "We actually went down to one car recently in our family because the bike lanes have gotten so great."

Wald also said he thinks this will give more people access to public transportation, and will help many of the people who live near it.

"There's hundreds of thousands of people who live and work within a mile of the corridor, and so it's going to be something that a lot of people end up enjoying," he said.

The group is a nonprofit as well. They'll be coordinating with local governments in their efforts, making sure that this project gets completed.

If you'd like to learn more, click here.

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