Wish there were a hike-and-bike trail closer to you?

Just wait. You’ll soon be able to get from Kiest Park to Kimball High School via the Kiestwood Trail, which is under construction. Other proposed trail extensions include the Five Mile Creek Greenbelt Trail, for which construction will start this summer, and the creation of the Chalk Hill Trail around Cockrell Hill.

These aren’t the only trails in the works. 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. (Take a look at our March cover story for thoughts on bike culture and etiquette.)

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 Kiestwood, Chalk Hill 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.

About the Author:

One Comment

  1. Alice August 15, 2012 at 12:41 AM

    The new trails such as the Santa Fe Trail and Northhaven Trail are wonderful. I would propose that a few lengths of future trails be constructed of decomposed granite rather than concrete.  While these gravel trails are not as good for biking, they are marvelous for getting out of the concrete jungle.  Lady Bird Lake in Austin would not be the same if it were made of concrete.  Its trails are decomposed granite (“dg”) and Dallas would benefit from complimenting their great concrete trails with some made of dg!

Comments are closed.