Santa Fe Trail Officially Opens

Nancy Visser with the Dallas Morning News provides an update on a great new amenity in East Dallas: “Santa Fe Trail Opens in East Dallas with Legwork to Come.”

The city laid the groundwork by building the trail, but like the Katy Trail, it’ll be the friends groups that take the Santa Fe Trail to the next level. The surrounding community, the Santa Fe Trail Neighborhood Association and Crime Watch, and the Friends of the Santa Fe Trail are working together to make this a clean, safe trail. My hat’s off to them for adopting this new trail to make it a great asset for East Dallas.

In the meantime, I’m going to keep pushing the city to put in stop lights/signs for traffic at Beacon and other major streets. Right now, there are no stop signs for cars, but there ARE stop signs for trail users, if you can believe that. I’ve never seen an SUV hit by a pedestrian, so that doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

East Dallas Veloway is Getting Underway (Finally!)

Today, the Council is set to approve several items related to the East Dallas Veloway, which is East Dallas’ version of the Katy Trail, built along the old Santa Fe rail line.

I’m still trying to understand what has caused a year and a half delay, but from what I understand, it was related to problems coordinating with the Texas Department of Transportation (with whom we’re partnering on this).

Here’s the new schedule, below. I’ll update the timeline on the East Dallas Veloway page, but I’m also going to leave the “old” schedule up so we can keep track of shifts in the timeline.

Phase 2 (Randall Park south to I-30):
Feb. 2008 – Construction contract awarded
Apr. 2008 – Construction for phase 2 begins
Aug. 2009 – Construction for phase 2 completed

Phase 1 (Randall Park north to White Rock):
Feb. 2008 – Authorize construction contract w/TXDOT
Summer 2008 – Construction contract for phase 1 awarded
Fall 2009 – Construction for phase 1 completed

See my East Dallas Veloway page for a map.

Council Quality of Life Committee Meeting: 311 and Trails

We had two agenda items today: COGNOS and the Citywide Trail program.

COGNOS is a computer program for manipulating city data, specifically 311 information. Data is not much use unless you can slice it and dice it and find patterns. COGNOS will allow us to really analyze 311 information. For example, we’ll be able to compare response times for different service requests, look at service requests by geographic area, and basically determine where the City needs to be improving. It’s going to be a very powerful tool, and will help us set goals for improvement. It will also give us concrete numbers to show residents whether the City is improving. Right now, staff is working with the Council to figure out exactly what types of reports we’ll want to run, and how to build the program.

The other agenda item was on our citywide trail system. I’m a big fan of hike and bike trails. My husband and I are out of the Katy Trail all the time, and I can’t wait for it to link up with the Old Trinity Trail.

We’ve got a master plan for our trail system, unlike most cities. We’ve also got more completed trail miles (about 85) than most cities. The goal is to triple that in a decade, which will complete our master plan. It’ll cost more than $100 million, but in addition to city money we’ll also seek grants and private funds.