Dallas Considers Safety Options for City Trails

A plan to improve safety on the Katy Trail in Dallas includes options such as widening trails and adding a speed limit.

The city's trails have been under scrutiny since a 28-year-old jogger was accidentally hit and killed by a cyclist on the Katy Trail a month and a half ago.

City leaders got their first look at the "Trail Safety Action Plan," which includes short- and long-term suggestions to improve safety along the 3.5-mile trail through the heart of Uptown.

"Ever since the death of Lauren Huddleston, we have been focused on how to make our trail system safer," Councilwoman Angela Hunt said.

While the plan is still a work in progress, some of the short-term recommendations, such as an increased police presence during peak hours and new signage, are already in place.

"To be honest, I haven't noticed any improvements," said Dallas resident Jenny Hunt.

While runners and cyclists may not have noticed the short-term changes, the long-term proposals would be noticed.

The city is considering widening the trail, separating runners and cyclists and introducing a speed limit.

"It's ridiculous; there should be a safe speed," said Dallas mother Vandy Alexander.

Alexander, a new mother, said cyclists fly past her when she walks her son in his stroller.

While a speed limit would be difficult, if not impossible to enforce, Hunt said she is confident Dallas will eventually devise one of the best trail systems in the country.

"What we want to do is pull together all the best practices we've seen and try and adopt something that is uniquely Dallas and that addresses our needs, because we are unique," she said.

Other long-term plans include a major advertising blitz to promote trail etiquette and safety. Hunt said there will be safety reminders placed in veterinarian offices, running and cycling shops and inside water bills.

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