File photo. 

Editor's Note: This story is part of a month-long series that highlights 31 ideas included in the "Mansfield Rising" plan. The 67-page document was created by 15 local leaders after attending the South by Southwest Conference last March in Austin, Texas.

Idea 20: Create linear parks

MANSFIELD -- American essayist and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Its the not the destination, it's the journey.” The 'Mansfield Rising' plan has the same notion in its idea to create linear parks and develop meaningful green spaces. 

While the plan details ways to improve downtown Mansfield as a destination, a segment of the plan also prioritizes efforts to improve the pathways people use to journey into and throughout the area. 

"While our streets are our primary method of conveyance, creating a secondary network of spaces to encourage pedestrian traffic to and around downtown Mansfield is equally important," the plan notes.

It suggests the secondary network be supported with traffic control devices, signage, maps and literature to make people aware of the spaces and how to take advantage of them.

The Richland Carrousel Park could serve as the hub. Meanwhile, linear parks could be made to use existing green space, alleys, parking lots; and vacant and underutilized properties could be developed to connect to the pending Imagination District along Park Avenue West. 

A key part of this idea is to transform specific alleys as destinations and safe walkways by closing them to vehicular traffic and making their primary function for gathering, exploring and art. Alleys to be included might be the alley east of Dan Lew Exchange, Dickson Avenue, Temple Court and Luther Place.

Develop meaningful green spaces

In addition to the idea of creating linear parks, the 'Mansfield Rising' plan also proposes "meaningful green spaces."

These are locations that could be used for programming. They might include amenities like public restrooms, seating, games, playgrounds and vending. 

Some of these spaces could be destinations, the plan says, while others might be part of the path to another spot. 

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