It’s the hike-and-bike trail journey that counts

That journey is getting longer as Katy Trail expands via the Ridgewood Trail, now under construction. Walkers, joggers, runners and the like will soon be able to follow the Katy to White Rock DART Station, according to Michael Hellman.

This isn’t the only trail in the works, as we reported in March. In all, the city plans to increase the total number of city trail miles from 111 to 284. Dallas has, and will have, a lot of great trails, city leaders say.

Once that happens, how can the city make the trails easier to use and encourage people to use them?

A  team of designers, engineers, city leaders and other creative minds tackled this question through the GOOD Ideas for Cities effort. No studies have been conducted on how trafficked the trails are already, according to Hellman, but this team is looking to get people out of cars and onto trails.

After two months of thinking and spending time on the trails, the “Connect the Dots/ Bike Hike Trails” team presented possible solutions.

Their main idea includes creating an umbrella brand to market the trails, which would connect the Katy, White Rock, Santa Fe and other individual trails with an overarching identity. Other ideas are to put up signs to clearly mark intersections, and design an app that would allow users to map journeys via trails and alternate transportation. The app, which still needs a developer, would also help you track your progress and find nearby amenities such as bike repair shops. The team is now hoping to gain approval from the Dallas Park Board soon so they can put their ideas into action.

Samuel Stiles, director of development for the Dallas Parks Foundation, says he hopes the umbrella brand will not overshadow the existing trails but instead simplify messaging and ease marketing. For example, you might see more ads for the example brand GO: Get Outside Dallas, rather than individual ads for each trail. Though he has not heard from representatives of all the existing trails, Stiles says several have given him positive feedback.

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  • Tedbarker

    Thank you, Dallas, for the trails. Those of us who use them really appreciate every inch of them.  We all need to pay better attention to those do use the trail system and reduce the potential for disaster.  Basic rules, stay right, announce left, low sound on earbuds. Women should not run alone in wooded or low sightline areas.  Use the buddy system, ladies, please.

  • Lauri Valerio

    Hi Stuart, you’re right that the “Ridgewood Trail” will become the “Flag Pole Hill Trail” at that intersection. According to Michael Hellman of the city Parks and Recreation department, construction on the bridges has not yet begun. Right-of-way acquisition is in progress for the Mockingbird bridge, so he expects other bridges to be constructed first. Thanks for your questions! 

  • stuart

    They’ve been saying “soon” for the last ten years. Have they started construction on any of the bridges yet? Have they worked out their issues with DART and Oncor?

    BTW, last I heard the “Ridgewood Trail” name will end where it meets the SoPac. The “Flag Pole Hill Trail” will continue on to the White Rock DART station and, hopefully, eventually to the old armory.