Following the tragic accident on the Katy Trail that took the life of Lauren Huddleston in October, I met with board members from the Friends of the Katy Trail, park staff, public works staff, and police to discuss an immediate action plan to address trail safety. I challenged them to come up with a comprehensive plan within 45 days. This memorandum is a summary of the resulting work plan.
The plan is robust and addresses both immediate and long-term safety needs. Here are a few highlights of the immediate improvements:
- Increased police presence on the trail
- Improvements to the street crossings at the Katy Trail at Harvard Dr. and at Knox St.
- Restriping the Katy Trail
- Updated trail safety guidelines
I am most excited about the following two aspects of our plan which I believe will have a long-term, positive impact:
First, we have created the Dallas Trail Safety Advisory Committee, comprised of city staff, key park board members, a nationally-recognized local trail planner, and members of key stakeholder groups. This group will begin meeting this week and is tasked with developing consensus on appropriateness and feasibility of various ideas of improving trail safety. Some of their topics of discussion will include:
- Facility design standards (width, separation, etc.)
- User behavior and concerns
- Regulation and enforcement (police, radar signage, speed limits, etc.)
- Pertinent city codes and ordinances
Secondly, we are launching a dynamic advertising campaign to promote trail safety. Elements of the campaign may include:
- Trail signage
- Brochures/flyers/ banners/posters
- Billing inserts (water bills, etc.)
- Advertisements (newspapers, billboards, magazines, etc.)
- Public service announcements (radio and television)
- Internet applications (websites, social media, etc)
- Retail and office applications (bike shops, running stores, veterinarian, clinics, etc)
My thanks to Assistant Director of the Parks Department, Willis Winters, and his team, as well as the Friends of the Katy Trail, for working diligently to develop this important, comprehensive safety plan.