Parks and recreation
Although Plano is named for the flat plains of the area, large trees abound in the city's many parks. One such tree, estimated to be over 200 years old, resides in Bob Woodruff park near Rowlett Creek on the city's east side.
There are two main open space preserves: Arbor Hills Nature Preserve (200 acres) and Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve (800 acres). Bob Woodruff Park and Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve are connected by biking trails, making the green space one large uninterrupted park space that is larger than Central Park in New York City (840 acres). Go Ape, a family-friendly place with outdoor activities like zip lining and Tarzan swings, is at Oak Point Park and Preserve. The yearly Plano Balloon Festival that happens every September is also in Oak Point Park and Preserve. Total acreage of all spaces managed by the Parks department totals 3,830.81. The Plano Master Plan has the acreage growing to 4,092.63 when complete.
There are five recreation centers: Tom Muehlenbeck Recreation Center, Carpenter Park Recreation Center, Oak Point Recreation Center, Liberty Recreation Center, and Douglass Community Center. Carpenter Park Recreation Center, Oak Point Recreation Center, and Tom Muehlenbeck Recreation Center have an indoor pool, while Liberty Recreation Center has an outdoor pool. Plano Senior Recreation Center is a recreation center dedicated to seniors. There are three swimming pools owned by Plano Parks & Recreation: Harry Rowlinson Community Natatorium, Jack Carter Pool, and Plano Aquatic Center. All of the pools are indoor except for Jack Carter Pool. Douglass Community Center houses the Boys & Girls Club of Collin County. For pet owners, there are The Dog Park at Jack Carter Park, The Dog Park at Bob Woodruff, and Dog Park at Windhaven Meadows Park.
The City of Plano also owns and operates four performing arts venues and one conference center under the auspices of the Parks and Recreation Department. These venues include the Courtyard Theater, the Cox Playhouse, the Amphitheater at Oak Point Park, McCall Plaza, and the Oak Point Park Nature and Retreat Center.
- Neighborhood Parks: 249.13 acres
- Linear Parks: 629.27 acres
- Community Parks: 1,120.65 acres
- Open Space Preserves: 1,324.13 acres
- Special Use Areas: 46.57 acres
- Golf Courses: 461.06 acres
Plano is one of 12 suburbs of Dallas that opt into the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) public transportation system. During most of its membership in DART, Plano was lightly served by bus lines, but in 2002, the Red Line of the DART Light Rail project opened stations in Downtown Plano and at Parker Road, which provide access to commuters traveling to work elsewhere in the Dallas area. The Orange Line traverses the same route for selected weekday/peak hour trips. The Silver Line is also planned to run through Southern Plano. Approximately 1% of the city's population uses DART. The Parker Road station charged for parking for non-member city residents from April 2, 2012 – April 3, 2014 as a part of the Fair Share Parking initiative. Two DART park-and-ride bus facilities, separate from the rail lines, are within Plano: Jack Hatchell Transit Center and Northwest Plano Park & Ride.
Plano was the first city in Collin County to adopt a master plan for its road system. The use of multi-lane, divided highways for all major roads allows for higher speed limits, generally 40 mph (64 km/h), but sometimes up to 55 mph (89 km/h) on the northern section of Preston Road. Plano is served directly by several major roadways and freeways. Central Plano is bordered to the east by U.S. Highway 75, the west by Dallas North Tollway, the south by President George Bush Turnpike (Texas State Highway 190 (east of Coit Road)), and the north by Sam Rayburn Tollway (Texas State Highway 121). Preston Road (Texas State Highway 289) is a major thoroughfare that runs through the city. Plano is the largest city in Texas without an Interstate Highway.
Plano opened a new interchange at Parker Rd. and U.S. 75 in December 2010. The single-point interchange is the first of its kind in Texas. The design is intended to reduce severe congestion at this interchange. According to reports traffic congestion has been reduced 50-75%.
Plano is roughly 30 miles northeast of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport; it is the primary airport serving Plano residents and visitors
About the Neighborhood
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