Suburban Assault

Archive for the ‘Trails and Routes’ Category

Cleaning Up My Local Trails

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Broom Bike

My Trail Cleanup Rig

Richardson continues to impress me with their network of great bike and pedestrian access routes throughout the city. As part of that, we have some really nice multi-purpose trails. However, over time and through excessive usage, they have’ve gotten covered in litter, animal waste and broken glass. Instead of complaining about the mess, my local bike advocacy group, Bike Friendly Richardson, decided to take the maintenance and care of our trail network into our own hands.

Broom Bike and Billy The Goat

My Bike with Howard and His Goat, Billy

We scheduled our first, hopefully of many, Trail Clean Up Days. Given such short notice, and everybody’s busy schedules, our first turnout wasn’t that great. We did get a few volunteers from all around the city, as well as somebody from our neighboring city, Plano. The plan was to try and fill as many trash bags (provided by the city) as possible in two hours.

Overall, we were pretty successful in filling 8-10 bags—not bad for a small group of people. Think about what we could have accomplished with more volunteers. There was still a lot more trash on the trail that we couldn’t get to. Perhaps we’ll get it all the next time.

Our goal is to do this more often than not—hopefully in other parts of the city as well. My only hope is that we’ve inspired other people to get out there and care for the public areas near them. This is our city, and we need to take responsibility for it.

Clean Trail Under The Bridge

Getting The Trash Beyond The Trail

 

Written by dickdavid

February 23, 2015 at 9:39 am

Pics and Recap of the Trinity River Revel – Dallas, Texas

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Four great Dallas amenities opened this past weekend during an event called the Trinity River Revel, and it was celebrated with a Rolling Ribbon Cutting. A large group of a few hundred cyclist, which included a few of Dallas’ elected officials, representatives from local and state bicycling groups as well as surprise visitor Gary Fisher, all set out on a slow paced rally around the Trinity River to officially reveal these great new open spaces.

This is what opened:
The Continental Avenue Pedestrian Bridge – A new linear park build on the old Continental Street Bridge, which spans the Trinity River west of downtown Dallas. It includes 39 trellis and shade structures, a meditation labyrinth, bocce court, spray fountain and playground.

Trinity Skyline Trail – This is a paved hike, bike and skate trail in the Trinity River basin that leisurely rolls between Sylvan Avenue and West Commerce Street. This is a great place to take your family for a nice bike ride or walk, and see lots of nature around the Trinity River.

Sylvan Avenue Bridge – The bridge has been redesigned as a six-lane bridge with two six-foot sidewalks on the shoulders. Even better, is the Trinity Skyline Trail crosses the river below.

West Dallas Gateway Plaza – This is located between the western end of the Continental Avenue Pedestrian Bridge and Trinity Groves. This is a perfect spot to visit, with great views of the Dallas skyline.

This event was part of the Trinity River Corridor Project. Click here to learn more about the Continental Avenue Pedestrian Bridge.

It was a great day to ride and be part of this historic event. It was also inspiring to see such a large group participate, letting the City of Dallas know that bicycling and walking are important to the people who live here.

Here are some pics from the event. Click here to see the entire set.

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New Bike Lanes Along Collins Boulevard – Richardson, Texas

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Collins Bike Lane

Heading East From Alma Road

Thanks to Bruce, over at the Bike Friendly Richardson Facebook page, for spotting the new Bike Lanes on the eastern section of Collins Boulevard – in my city: Richardson, Texas. Although not complete, lacking ‘bike’ markings on the pavement and ‘bike lane’ signage, they are ready for riding. Eventually, these bike lanes will continue east, right into my neighborhood, where more bike lanes are scheduled. Unfortunately, the bike lanes will not continue west, right now, and connect to the other bike lanes on the western section of Collins.

I got word from the City of Richardson‘s Asst. Director of Development Services, Transportation and Traffic, Dave Carter, who reports:

This Bike Lane will connect from Alma all the way to Jupiter. The portion east of Plano Rd is being paid for with Safe Route To School (SRTS) funding. The western half is Richardson funding. We wanted to get it all done at the same time. There is a new trail that will be going in adjacent to the Apartments under construction that will connect from Alma down to Greenville. There is also trail along Alma that will lead down to the Arapaho DART station so getting this Bike Lane in now really connects quite a few projects.

As for the Collins bridge over US75 – we don’t have enough funding to make all the improvements we need yet. However, we will be adding some “Bikes may use Full Lane” signs and sharrow markings across the bridge for now.

With these new Bike Lanes as well as the recent extension of the DART Central Trail, it’s really great to see the Richardson Bike and Pedestrian Plan actually getting built out.

From a personal perspective, I ride down this part of Collins, almost every time I ride. The traffic is usually very light and having it three lanes in each direction, made it very accessible for me – even without bike lanes. My first thought was that these bike lanes might be overkill for this road. I was completely wrong.

First, having these bike lanes opens this section of Collins Boulevard for many, less confident, cyclists who would never attempt to ride on this road. This creates a great connection between east Richardson neighborhoods and the Central Trail. Also, it wasn’t until I actually rode the bike lanes, before I realized how much more relaxed I am riding down Collins. This has become a great upgrade to my commute.

Collins Bike Lane

Heading West From Plano Road

As you can see from the map we’ve made of completed bike lanes, the City of Richardson is doing a great job at making bike connections all around town.

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Update: Apologies. I had the map set to private. It should be visible, now.

Written by dickdavid

June 8, 2014 at 7:57 am

Richardson Central Trail Ribbon Cutting Ceremony – Recap and Pics

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BFR In The Group

Today was a great day for my city. Richardson had a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to welcome cyclists to the newest addition to our Bicycle Master Plan – Central Trail South.

Although not entirely complete, this trail will eventually provide a much needed extension to the existing Central Trail North. Scheduled to be finished within the next few weeks, the Central Trail will be a complete route that reaches from the northern end of the city limits to the southern end. Eventually, it will connect to other trails which will provide access into downtown Dallas.

Along with the many city officials, government partners and city staff, local bike advocacy group, Bike Friendly Richardson, was there to participate in the ceremony.

Here are a few pics. Click here to see the entire set.

BFR at the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Presentation

Ribbon

Mayor Speach

Cut

BFR at the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Written by dickdavid

June 2, 2014 at 8:38 pm

Richardson – Central Trail Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

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CentralTrailRibbonCutting

They are opening up a new trail in my town. It’s a much needed extension of an existing trail, providing some great connections between our local DART rail train stations and neighborhoods. The City of Richardson and Dallas County are hosting a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the trail this June.

Here are the details:
Date: Monday, June 2. 2014
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Location: Spring Valley DART Station/Central Trail – Spring Valley Road at Lingco Drive

Let’s try to get as many cyclists to this ceremony as possible, and show our appreciation for these connections.

Written by dickdavid

May 8, 2014 at 5:43 am

Buried Under A Trail

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Buried Under The Trail

I had forgotten all about this, until I ran across the pic in my photo stream.

A few years back, during the construction of one of Richardson’s bike trails, I buried a “Bike Friendly Richardson” pin in the ground before they laid the cement. I’m calling it a time capsule of positive thinking.

Hopefully, many years from now – when they dig it up to widen the trail – somebody will see that we cared about cycling back then.

Written by dickdavid

April 15, 2014 at 1:43 pm

It Was A Busy Bike Weekend – With Not Very Much Riding

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Now that spring is upon us, bicycling and cycling related activities are starting to ramp up. This weekend was no exception.

Texas Trails and Active Transportation Conference
For me, it started on Friday, when I attended the last day of the Texas Trails and Active Transportation Conference in Fort Worth.

Hosted by BikeTexas and the Texas Trails Network, the conference was held for anyone involved in the planning, construction, funding, economics, operation, management, promotion and use of bicycle, pedestrian, and other transportation modes. According to their siteThe TTAT Conference brought together those involved with bicycle, pedestrian, and other active transportation and recreation modes from around Texas and the world with the goals of sharing current information and examples, and sparking inspiration to continue striving to make things better in each of our communities. The conference focused on issues of economic development, health, safety, and many other topics relevant to advancing active transportation and trails. 

My local advocacy group, BikeDFW, had a table at the conference, which allowed me to attend the last day. While there, I got to sit in on a few seminars that were quite impressive and much more informative than I had expected. I also got to meet other advocates and professionals who are passionate about making Texas better for bicyclists and pedestrians – not only on our growing trail network, but also on our streets and in our neighborhoods.

The TTAT conference seemed small, but it grows larger each time – with this year being the biggest one yet. They are held every other year, so the next one will be held in 2016 – in Houston. If I can get free, I plan on attending that full event. If you are a bike or active transportation advocate, you should see about attending as well.

Here are a few pics from the event. Click here to see my full set.

BikeDFW Banner

Friday Keynote

Seminar Speakers

Seminar Speaker

Trade Show

 

ALSO THIS LAST WEEKED:

Friends of the Katy Trail – Membership and Safety Day
The weekend didn’t stop with the TTAT Confernce. With BikeDFW, I also got to help out at the Friends of the Katy Trail – Membership and Safety Day in Dallas. At the event, BikeDFW joined with Bicycles Plus and helped promote trail etiquette and safety. While there, we installed or gave away almost a hundred free bicycle bells, donated by Bicycles Plus.

Overall, it was a great day and a great event. We got to meet lots of folks and hopefully helped make the trail a bit safer for both pedestrians and cyclists.

Here are a few pics from the event. Click here to see my full set.

Volunteers

Bell Installation

BikeDFW Tent

Warren Installs a Bell

Bell Installation

Randall Installs A Bell

 

Ok. I actually did get to ride this weekend. I got to give the BikeDFW trailer hauler a test spin with some volunteer passengers. We didn’t bring our helmets, so I couldn’t get it going very fast (we were even passed by a few joggers, haha) – but, it was a blast to ride and a great little supply hauler.

Hauling The Big Trailer

New Trail In Garland: Lee F. Jackson – Spring Creek Forest Preserve

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Lee F. Jackson Spring Creek Forest Preserve

I first heard about the Lee F. Jackson, Spring Creek Forest Preserve Trail on Facebook. It’s a small recreational trail, located on the northwest side of Garland, between N. Garland Avenue and Holford Road. Click here to see it on a map.

Like a lot of trails in north Dallas, it’s nice and scenic, but doesn’t go anywhere. Looking at the area map, it looks like there is the potential for the preserve to connect many Richardson and Garland neighborhoods to some major retail areas in Garland – including Firewheel Town Center. For now, it just starts at a parking lot on Holford Road and ends mid-block at N. Garland Avenue.

Even getting to it by bike is slightly difficult. Holford is a narrow two lane road with no shoulder, and isn’t very bike friendly.  Fortunately, there isn’t much traffic on it.

Lee F. Jackson Spring Creek Forest Preserve

Holford Road

Once you are on the trail, it’s a smooth, paved route that goes for a little more than a half mile. Part of it runs along Spring Creek, which has a nice view.

Lee F. Jackson Spring Creek Forest Preserve

Lee F. Jackson Spring Creek Forest Preserve

The route is a lot more relaxed than the stretch of Arapaho, between Shiloh and N. Garland Road. If you are in the area, you should check it out. I’ll be keeping an eye on this area, in hopes that the trail will get extended to make it more accessible for commuting.

Written by dickdavid

August 6, 2013 at 7:55 am

They’re Extending The Trails In My City – Richardson, Texas

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My city, Richardson, Texas, is adding an extension to an existing trail which runs along our transit rail system. It’s all part of our biking and pedestrian master plan. Once finished, it will run through the center of the city limits, connecting three of our four rail stations. Eventually, it will connect to the trail systems of neighboring cities and provide an off-road connection for cyclists and pedestrians.

Here are some pics of the current construction:

Here, you can see the start of the extension. The transit tracks are to the right.

North End, Just South of Arapaho

As you can see, the city is making efforts to save the existing trees along the tracks.

Trees Saved

Here you can see how the trail will coexist with the rail system.

Morning Train

They’ve had to make some adjustments to work around existing infrastructure.

From Jackson To Belt Line

This will be a nice addition to our city.

Missing Section

Written by dickdavid

July 7, 2013 at 5:06 pm

Broken Glass

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Corona Bottle

A couple of weeks ago, I discovered that a high traffic crossing of one of my local trails was littered with broken glass. Fortunately, I’ve been able to avoid any flats.

I’m not sure what I was waiting for — perhaps a city clean-up crew, a strong storm to wash away the debris, or perhaps the magical trail fairy — but I was hoping it would be gone soon. Unfortunately, the broken glass has remained.

This morning, I decided to take matters in my own hands and deal with it myself.

Written by dickdavid

July 31, 2012 at 11:28 am