Just wait. If the trail proposal is approved, you’ll soon be able to hike or bike from Addison to Richardson along the Cotton Belt Trail. It’s related to DART’s Cotton Belt construction plans, which are still awaiting funding and an agreement between DART and concerned neighbors in Far North Dallas.
This isn’t the only trail 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. Now, how do you make the trails easier to use and get 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 on 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 on June 6.
Their ideas include creating an umbrella brand to market the trails, putting up signs to clearly mark intersections, and designing an app that would allow users to map journeys via trails and alternate transportation. The app would also help you track your progress and find nearby amenities such as bike repair shops, though they are still looking for an app developer. The team is now hoping to get approval from the Dallas Parks Board by the end of July 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.