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Input sought on Ben Burr Trail improvements

Julie Happy, Division Communication Manager of Business and Developer Services

Friday, October 25, 2013 at 10 a.m.
Ben Burr Trail Improvements

The Ben Burr Trail is an early 1900’s former Spokane and Inland Empire Interurban rail line that currently connects Liberty Park to Underhill Park.

A discussion has been underway with the neighborhood residents and council for more than 20 years to improve this trail. More recently, discussions have moved to talking about design ideas about that would make the Ben Burr Trail experience inclusive of all trail users. The City has secured federal funding for the project, which comes with some stipulations such as width requirements and paved trail.

Bikers, walkers, runners, dog walkers and those who need ADA-compliant trails all have interest in this project. Currently, the Ben Burr Trail is slated for construction in the Comprehensive Plan (PDF 32.7MB, Page 41) as one of three major transportation pathways or trails that are shared by pedestrian and bicyclists. This year, Capital Programs (PDF 6.4MB, Page 84) secured funding for the completion of Fish Lake Trail and the Centennial Trail.

Most everyone agrees pedestrian safety is a concern, but what form Ben Burr Trail improvements take is up for discussion. Considerations that must be considered as part of the discussion include:

  • Improvements the trail such as expanded width, paving, and safety components
  • Connection to the Centennial Trail and neighborhood streets
  • Improved connections to Grant Park and Underhill Park
  • Construction during the 2014 season
  • A trail width of approximately 12 feet to comply with federal grant requirements
  • Sidewalks in designated areas for connectivity

City engineers are accepting feedback on the design option at jhappy@spokanecity.org. You can also follow project updates through this blog.



  • Ben Burr Trail
  • Engineering

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