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Old 01-08-2014, 02:48 PM
 
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Desire paths or social trails are made by foot traffic over natural landscape such as grass where people have found it easier to bypass the already established paved paths such as sidewalks.

Are there any in San Antonio? The longer and more secluded feeling the better but anything of interest is welcomed.

Please offer nothing consisting of trespassing, it must be accessible to the public.

Please help my pedestrian explorations of our city.
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Old 01-08-2014, 03:15 PM
 
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When I go cycling I pass by two locations.
.
On the right next to Alamo Hts. pool & the other is by Olmos Park.

They are open to the public...but just a tad too secluded for me...
I prefer to stay on the bike.
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Old 01-08-2014, 04:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranchodrive View Post
When I go cycling I pass by two locations.
.
On the right next to Alamo Hts. pool & the other is by Olmos Park.

They are open to the public...but just a tad too secluded for me...
I prefer to stay on the bike.
I walked the AH Nature Trails a lot in the summer. They're nice, but yeah, they are a bit isolated if you're a woman by yourself.... I know of other people who use them but I never saw anyone.
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:17 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
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There are many on campus at UTHSCSA! The students are all about their shortcuts.
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Old 01-09-2014, 11:05 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaGrace View Post
There are many on campus at UTHSCSA! The students are all about their shortcuts.
Funny enough, I remember an interview with the head engineer on campus when I was going to college back in the 1980s. He was asked how he knew where sidewalks needed to be built, and he said he simply put them where the students were already walking across the grass!

I've never heard the term "desired path" (defined as "atrajectory in space determined by guidance to meet the current mission objectives") used in this fashion before, it's either "shortcut" or "off the beaten path."

Anyhow, there are dirt trails at Government Canyon State Natural Area that may fit the bill. Just be sure to stay out of the off-limits areas, those are nondesired paths!
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Old 01-09-2014, 03:14 PM
 
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Thanks everyone for the suggestions thus far.

Really looking to make urban exploration more interesting beyond the hike and bike trails and lanes.

Definitely asked the question wrong before so to be more specific now: a secluded feeling...until you hear the traffic in the background.

Campuses and buildings are always interesting so will definitely check out the exterior of UTHSC next time I'm in the area for any family member requiring a visit or stay in the Medical Center and I'll keep in mind the nature trails when wanting to do that sort of thing, which happens often enough, so thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by majormadmax View Post
Funny enough, I remember an interview with the head engineer on campus when I was going to college back in the 1980s. He was asked how he knew where sidewalks needed to be built, and he said he simply put them where the students were already walking across the grass!

I've never heard the term "desired path" (defined as "atrajectory in space determined by guidance to meet the current mission objectives") used in this fashion before, it's either "shortcut" or "off the beaten path."

Anyhow, there are dirt trails at Government Canyon State Natural Area that may fit the bill. Just be sure to stay out of the off-limits areas, those are nondesired paths!
Desire path vs desired path.

We just call it a "shortcut in the grass" usually.

Interesting tale about the head engineer and indeed it is a term used by some architects and urban planners.

Oh and definitely not looking to go off the designated paths into areas off-limits where personal safety and landscape erosion become concerns.

Anything nearby sidewalks and roads is what I seek, the longer the better. Trouble is many desire paths in cities are not long at all, some a few feet long, and quite in the open. Also many are disappearing due to development. Just consider those you have used in the past such as the brief shortcuts through a field to get to school or corner store. They might no longer be there.
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Old 01-09-2014, 06:56 PM
 
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There are some interesting older natural trails near the creek/greenways, which were there before the areas were built into "official" parks.

Describe some that you have seen before in other cities and maybe we can think of more. Right now all I can think of are paths that run alongside the major roads, or near sidewalks that were built too close to the road.
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Old 01-16-2014, 06:37 PM
 
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Have you found any?

I've seen some paths along major commercial roads adjacent to neighborhoods where a sidewalk was not built for whatever reason. But it seems like these kinds of paths in general would need to be near parks or other common areas.
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:57 PM
 
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The most obvious ones, as you observed, will run on the side of the road or lead through parkland.

1. San Pedro Park with the desire path encouraged by a footbridge.

Google map coordinates: 29.44508,-98.502954




2. The path leading from Walmart to the KFC at the Bandera @ Guilbeau intersection. A jogger is using it. Possibly a deer trail before the area was developed? If so then not a true desire path.

GMC: 29.518658,-98.635536



3. Trail leading from the back of the Cielo Hills apartments (old Goliad Gardens) parking lot toward the much newer Costa Dorada apartment complex near City Base West. That used to all be thicket in the '80s from there to Handy Dan on the corner of Military @ Goliad. It is easier to see the desire path from the aerial view using the coordinates. Just zoom in.

GMC: 29.355007,-98.445173



4. The shortcut from the Pecan Valley Apartments annex to the Valero on Pecan Valley @ Southcross.

GMC: 29.378060, -98.431664




Overall nothing extremely interesting but will keep looking.
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Old 01-17-2014, 10:24 PM
 
10,459 posts, read 12,691,401 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merovee View Post
The most obvious ones, as you observed, will run on the side of the road or lead through parkland.

1. San Pedro Park with the desire path encouraged by a footbridge.

Google map coordinates: 29.44508,-98.502954




2. The path leading from Walmart to the KFC at the Bandera @ Guilbeau intersection. A jogger is using it. Possibly a deer trail before the area was developed? If so then not a true desire path.

GMC: 29.518658,-98.635536



3. Trail leading from the back of the Cielo Hills apartments (old Goliad Gardens) parking lot toward the much newer Costa Dorada apartment complex near City Base West. That used to all be thicket in the '80s from there to Handy Dan on the corner of Military @ Goliad. It is easier to see the desire path from the aerial view using the coordinates. Just zoom in.

GMC: 29.355007,-98.445173



4. The shortcut from the Pecan Valley Apartments annex to the Valero on Pecan Valley @ Southcross.

GMC: 29.378060, -98.431664




Overall nothing extremely interesting but will keep looking.
Interesting topic.
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