The City Council voted on Tuesday to approve the design contract for sidewalks along Garland Road in front of the Dallas Arboretum, which will allow neighbors to more easily access the botanical garden.

The sidewalk will run from the intersection of Lawther and Garland north along the west side of Garland to Timplemore Drive, where the sidewalk picks up again. Right now, if a pedestrian or cyclist wants to visit the garden, they have to walk or bike over grass along Garland, causing riders and those with walkers or wheelchairs to go off road or head out into traffic.

In a Facebook post, District 9 Councilman Mark Clayton noted how this addition would fit into the larger Garland Road vision to make the area more pedestrian friendly. It’s a win for an area that has long sought sidewalks, a request complicated by the fact that the state owns the highway, giving the city limited options to build there. Sidewalks were possible at the arboretum because the city owns the land.

“Adding these sidewalks will allow neighbors to get to White Rock Lake and the Santa Fe Trail without playing Frogger on Garland Road,” he wrote. “It will also make it easier for families and cyclists to get to the arboretum without having to drive.”

Currently, there are large trees, signage and underground electrical lines that run in the area where the sidewalk will be, making its construction a more difficult task. At the White Rock Task Force meeting on Tuesday, Park Board member Becky Rader assured the group that no trees would be harmed in the construction of the sidewalk. The total cost of building the sidewalks is $450,000 and the funding will be included in this November’s bond election.

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