Do Dallas Trails Need a Speed Limit?

Radar guns clock some Dallas cyclists at 25 mph and faster

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCDFW.com
    Radar guns clock some Dallas cyclists at 25 mph and faster.

    After the death of a jogger in a collision with a cyclist, Dallas is looking at ways to make its biking and jogging trails safer.

    Renton, Wash., recently started enforcing a speed limit for cyclists. Does Dallas need something similar?

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    "I know that a Seattle suburb has put a 10-mph speed limit on a multiuse trail," Councilwoman Angela Hunt said. "Maybe that's the magic number."

    Some Katy Trail cyclists clock in at 20 mph, according to radar guns loaned by Highland Park police, the Grand Prairie Air Hogs and the Dallas Mustangs. A hit at that speed is faster than one from an NFL linebacker -- who clock in at about 15 mph -- and joggers don't have pads and helmets.

    "It doesn't surprise me," said Robin Baldock of Friends of the Katy Trail. "It troubles me."

    Radar guns captured even faster speeds at White Rock Trail -- 25 mph, 27 mph and 28 mph.

    "I can kind of hear the group coming, so I can prepare myself," White Rock walker Aaron Camelhaar said.

    The fatal collision between jogger Lauren Huddleston and a bicyclist is the only reported collision on the Katy Trail since January of this year.
    Huddleston, 28, was hit by a cyclist Sept. 30 when she made an abrupt turn, according to police reports.

    Police say some minor collisions go unreported, but also say there are many accidents waiting to happen.

    Hunt, whose district includes the Katy Trail, said she was troubled by how fast cyclists were clocked.

    "When you think about how fast cars are going when they're going 20 mph, you really wouldn't see baby strollers and joggers in the street," she said.

    Bill Shirer, a Dallas cyclist who has biked at White Rock for 24 years, says speed limits and radar guns aren't the answer.

    "That's the whole thing -- get the pedestrians separated, from the cyclists and there won't be these problems," he said.

    The city is considering a plan that would separate cyclists and pedestrians at White Rock Lake.

    City officials are also drawing up a safety plan for all of Dallas' multiuse trails that is expected by Thanksgiving.

    NBCDFW's Meredith Land contributed to this report.


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