City Clocking Cyclists on Dallas Trails

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    Do Dallas city trails need a speed limit?

    It's a question city officials will try and answer with a newly purchased radar gun.

    Dallas Mulls Speed Limit for City Trails

    [DFW] Dallas Mulls Speed Limit for City Trails
    Dallas is clocking the speeds of bicyclists on city trails to see if a speed limit is needed. (Published Monday, Aug. 15, 2011)

    "We will choose different locations along the trail system at different times of day and different densities of use to determine average speeds," said Michael Hellmann, the city's park planning manager.

    He said the city began clocking the speeds of riders at White Rock Lake on Friday afternoon.

    Should Trails Have Speed Limits?

    [DFW] Should Trails Have Speed Limits?
    Just how fast are cyclists traveling on the trails in Dallas? (Published Friday, Oct. 29, 2010)

    "We clocked speeds up to 23 mph, and as low as five to seven, and we felt the average speed was about 15, and that didn't seem very dangerous at all," Hellmann said.

    City officials have spent nearly a year trying to improve safety on Katy Trail after jogger Lauren Huddleston was killed in a collision with a cyclist in September. So far, city leaders have stopped short of instituting a speed limit.

    Safety Plan for Dallas' Katy Trail Unveiled

    [DFW] Safety Plan for Dallas' Katy Trail Unveiled
    A plan to improve safety on the city's trails includes options such as widening trails and adding a speed limit. (Published Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010)

    "We're not so sure if speed limits are enforceable and, therefore, practical or effective," Hellmann said.

    At least two other U.S. cities have posted speed limits for cyclists --10 mph in Renton, Wash., which is outside Seattle, and 15 mph in Bethesda, Md., outside the nation's capitol.

    Could Dallas be next?

    "I would be OK with it if it was going to save lives," cyclist Scott Sealy said.

    City officials say they haven't seen any data so far that shows the effectiveness of speed limits on mixed-use trails.