The Deck Park and Trail Connectivity

Deck plaza advocate Tracy Yellen had this to say in a recent guest column in the El Paso Times:

A deck plaza would provide the connectivity we were looking for to connect the Paso del Norte Trail – a 68-mile hike/bike trail across El Paso County – including segments from UTEP/Sunset Heights through Downtown to Magoffin and the Medical Center of the Americas to Playa Drain Trail from Ascarate Park to Capistrano Park – and all trail segments from county-line to county-line.

Any cyclist will tell you that where El Paso needs connectivity is from Central to the Upper Valley. The only routes to the west side are Mesa and and Paisano, both of which have too much auto traffic. If you want to go from UTEP/Sunset Heights to Downtown and Magoffin, Prospect is a low traffic straight shot through the neighborhood. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can take Missouri down past the old Sunset Grocery and go under the freeway down by the train station.

Telling us that we need the deck park to connect UTEP/Sunset Heights to Downtown and Magoffin a poorly considered and ham-handed ruse. A widened freeway means more traffic and worse health outcomes for the nearby residents. I’m in favor of a comprehensive trail system in El Paso, but the deck park delivers the least essential segment of that system.


  1. Someone please ask Ms. Yellen to provide a map for these assertions…and how will Sunset Heights/UTEP etc be connected to downtown when the deck is installed over the freeway? Will roads run through the deck?

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