Friday, November 12, 2010

Rio Salado, A Path that Almost Is

A hundred mile bike path that almost is: these photos are taken around the red *.

That's a great gate

Gabion gate pivot. Is there no end of the usages of cages filled with rocks? Nice accent cairn, too.

Path heading west, in the direction of the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area.

Hello egret my old friend. I've come to ride past you again.

Round River Rocks

I don't think that the regional loop portrayed in the map at the top of the post is complete at this time. In particular, I don't think the Rio Salado Pathway from about 28th Street in Phoenix to Priest Drive in Tempe, the gray ovoid in the map, was ever built. If my statements sound a little less certain than normal, it is because I stumbled across the Rio Salado gate and rode down this path with no idea what it was, other than knowing that the entire linear zone along the Salt River is referred to by its Spanish version, Rio Salado, in various development, city planning, and marketing contexts. Upnaming 101, I suppose. So I snapped these shots, then went home and hit the web for information. I gather from the available that a designer named Tiffany Halperin was involved in a project proposal around mid-April of 2005 to connect Phoenix with Tempe by using this corridor along the typically dry riverbed to install an attractive path of the type with a thoughtful design and interesting structure that would make this blog very happy. I gathered that information from the data and metadata contained in this file on the old MAG site, Rio Salado Pathway Presentation. The document itself is quite interesting to look through, and well done. It reminds me a bit of a more recent vision for a Phoenix Bicycle Boulevard. When I think of what visions like this look like when combined, realized, and connected, I shiver with anticipation.

One thing I did not do when I was there was to ride east of 24th Street to see what is out that way at the moment. So I don't know if this project was started, planned, put on hold, or what. On the other hand, I did ride far enough west to see that the path does link up with the habitat restoration area I linked above, which gives me a plan for next time I'm out there. Great place. Needs more gabion baskets, and a lot more rusty steel art, though. Get up. Go ride.


  1. Looks like a super smooth surface to ride on - not like the potholed roads I'm stuck with in the UK.

  2. 100 mile path! Even with problems, that is awesome. I would also like to thank you for making "gabion" a new part of my vocabulary. I'm see scrabble challenges in my future... hehehehe

  3. Looks absolutely lovely! The area where I live has very little in the way of bike paths, and some of the ones we do have are useless in terms of actually going anywhere. Must be nice to have something like this!

    That said, I'm perfectly comfortable riding vehicularly, on the roads, something like this would be a lot of fun, though!

  4. RANTWICK somehow I got it into my head that it was a short "a" in "gabion", but it turns out it's long. Gabion. Say it with me.

    Trevor I think that's from the lack of freezing temperatures combined with lack of rain here. We still get 'em, but perhaps not as many as colder or wetter places.

    Apertome, it is lovely. I'm also fine riding the roads, too. And whenever I ride one of these empty beautiful paths, I imagine them at some future date, crowded with people walking or biking, which would have its own sort of loveliness, but would also surely chase me back to the streets to ride with the more predictable traffic. Crowded paths are not nice places to ride--too unpredictable, too slow, too narrow. I like to give peds five feet of clearance when I ride past them, and a lot of the paths are barely that wide.

  5. Boy, even the fences there look cool!


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