“The greater test of courage on earth is to bear defeat without losing heart” — R.G. Ingersoll
Lots of mixed feelings in this edition: frustration because community voices were not heard on the Bachman Lake aquatic center and gratitude that, when we asked, Northwest Dallas engaged. We just wish the city had followed their own citizen feedback process for such a large project. We wrote a letter to Councilman Narvaez, Medrano and Gates about this issue. You can interpret the results of the survey in many different ways, but that does not excuse the City treating Northwest Dallas as not worthy of the type of feedback process that was done for other aquatic centers like Samuell Grand in East Dallas. The reality suggests that East Dallas is much more organized and is an example of what we need to achieve. They not only focus on equity in services but also ensure that there is environmental equity, which looks to be an afterthought in Northwest Dallas despite being in the Dallas 'heat cone'.
It's Spring and gosh the weather has been beautiful! We hope it holds for our planned spring cleaning event at the lake. We are partnering with the Dallas Rowing Club and local schools to do our bi-annual clean-up at Bachman Lake on April 17th and need all the help we can get! The April event we had planned last year was canceled and November's #optoutside: participation was minimal. We hope that with good weather and vaccines that there will be more of a turnout on April 17th. Work will be split into two areas and times: 9AM clean-up at the Bachman Lake Greenbelt and an 11AM clean-up at the park, by the Rowing Club. To sign up and for more details, go to: https://serve.msu.edu/volunteers.cfm?service=225. By the way, the Dallas Parks Department has given us a head start with the water-wise landscaping they have done at the park entrance signs along Shorecrest. We thank them for that!
We are still looking for volunteer Board Members for Friends of Bachman Lake, please contact our president, Susanna Brown via email email@example.com to start the conversation. There is a lot of work ahead of us, we aim to be ready to meet the challenges and make a better community for all!
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Neighbors in the Know: Libraries and Civic Engagement
In our February session of Neighbors in the Know, we invited the Dallas Public Library to give us an update on how they have adjusted their services in the year of COVID. We have two amazing libraries within a mile of Bachman Lake Park, the Grauwyler Branch to the south and the Bachman Lake Branch to the north. There are so many free services that you can get with your library card, from a wifi hotspot to a curated book bundle for your family. If your kids are doing homework and need research assistance, just do a chat with a librarian off of their website. No library card? No worries! Just email firstname.lastname@example.org and attach a photo/scan of your photo ID and proof of residence in the city of Dallas; staff will email you back with your card number and password. For more information on all the amazing library services, please check out their presentation with all the details!
Coming up in the next Neighbors in the Know on April 12, we are going to be sitting down with an amazing organization called March to the Polls. This is very timely given that we have City Council elections coming up! This non-partisan group is focused on increasing voter participation and turnout, especially in areas where engagement has been historically low. As we discussed in a session with our friends from Bachman Lake Together last fall, the Bachman Area had very low participation in the 2020 Census and in the 2020 Election. Unfortunately, this was not just due to COVID, this has been a historic trend that we would like to reverse. Research has shown that active precinct chairs can make all the difference in engaging neighbors. A precinct is a small, grassroots level of voters, generally bound by one or a few neighborhoods. Any one registered voter that lives in the precinct with some time, energy, and commitment can help. We at Friends of Bachman Lake see this type of engagement as critical and directly tied to the success of Northwest Dallas as we seek a better and safer community. We hope you will join us on April 12th at our sessions at 6PM (English) or 7PM (Spanish). We are going to try something new this month with a direct link to the WebEx in addition to following the video stream on Facebook Live.
What happened at the Trains, Trails and Automobiles Meeting?
There was a major community meeting organized by the North Texas Council of Governments (NCTCoG) regarding the output of the mobility survey and analysis of existing studies / data. As we have been pointing out to NCTCoG, and they listened, is that the number of independent studies that they are working on in the area need to result in holistic solutions. Until Northwest Dallas demanded this, it was not going to happen and Bachman Lake Park was going to be ignored in the middle of all the efforts. The $1.5M secured for the planning effort will ensure that instead of being considered an impediment, that Bachman Lake Park takes center stage.
It was also good to see that NCTCoG took a look at what has already been funded / requested in terms of biking and pedestrian elements. Take a look at the image below and notice the PURPLE lines these are sidewalks on NW Highway, biking/pedestrian connections along Denton Drive from the Northaven Trail down to the Trinity Strand, along Lovers Lane from Lemmon Ave to the Tollway and a biking/pedestrian connection from Bachman Lake Trail over to Campion Trail. FoBL has been pushing hard for all of these in the two short years we've been in existence and we are so excited to see them reflected in this map!
If you want the details of the presentation, go to the NCTCoG website, in the meantime here are some other highlights we gathered:
Regarding the community survey, everyone was very clear that increasing sidewalk coverage for pedestrian / cycling use is most important.
Although NCTCoG states that driving is the most popular and preferred transportation mode followed by walking, the reality is that if you sum the count for walking and biking, these would be the preferred methods of transportation. Both of which are impacted by the lack of sidewalks / trails.
Everyone agrees that NW Highway is a problem and that we need to increase the tree canopy and trails in the area.
Between 2015-2019 there were 2008 vehicle-vehicle crashes. Surprise, surprise, the stretch of NW Highway from Harry Hines to Lemmon Ave. has had 198 accidents and there were 133 accidents on Mockingbird from Harry Hines to Lemmon, although the majority of those seem clustered at the Lemmon/Mockingbird intersection.
One of the most accident-prone roads is Webb Chapel Ext from NW Highway to Lombardy (88 crashes).
All 208 pedestrian-vehicle accidents are clustered strongly along NW Highway with some additional ones along Harry Hines. These are both major roads without sidewalks.
NCTCoG is looking at depressing NW Highway to create a topper connection from the runway protection zone to the north (by the Sam's Club) to Bachman Lake Park. We are a little concerned about this idea as the images lead one to believe that there can be trails and trees in the restricted zone by the runway approach lights, however FAA regulations determine what exactly can go there since crowds cannot gather in the protection zones .... Let's keep an eye on this and make sure that the investments been suggested are something that provides value to the community.
As we had pointed out previously, the airport alternate entrance is on hold pending the work being done by NCTCoG, so its important for neighbors to weigh in at these meetings and place comments in the mapping tool. It's super easy!
March 2021 Dallas Police Department Statistics - Northwest Station
We are considering making the crime statistics police report a permanent part of our monthly newsletter. What do you think? The Reporting Area (RA) numbers listed below can be found on DPD map Section 520 and DPD Section 530. Are there areas in Northwest Dallas that we should add? It is challenging to do a comparison to 2020 when it was such an anomalous year, so take these stats with a grain of salt. We see an uptick in crime in the following neighborhoods: Bradford Estates, Briarwood, Elm Thicket, Midway Hollow and Old Preston Hollow, these appear to be mainly burglaries and auto theft. Although down year-over-year, the area with the most violent and non-violent crime is amongst the apartment complexes to the north of Bachman Lake.
OUR FAVORITE IMAGES THIS MONTH
Instagram photo credits:
The next Love Field Good Neighbor Program meeting will be held virtually (via Microsoft Teams) on Tuesday, April 13, 2021 from 6:00pm - 7:30pm. This is your opportunity to ask questions about what projects the airport is working on and how they affect your community. Runway closures and noise? An alternate airport entrance that could increase traffic in your area? It's your chance to ask. Register here to attend.
Our monthly plogging event is every 2nd Saturday of the month – at whatever time works for you! Bring one of those plastic bags we all have around the house and put it to good use. Walk the path or meander off of it and pick up trash. It’s great for the hamstrings! Give a shout-out to anyone you see walking around the lake with a plastic bag - they are clearly FoBLers!
Every second Monday of the month (6PM English and 7PM Spanish) we host a multi-neighborhood virtual meeting to review the major projects that affect our area. Remember, just go to the FoBL Facebook page and watch it live! Next up, the Dallas Water Utilities and Parks & Recreation!
Also, don't forget to join us at our monthly ‘meeting of the minds’ at Bluffview Growler. It's on the 4th Wednesday of every month from 4-6PM. No RSVP needed. Note that this activity is subject to COVID related restrictions and proper social guidelines.
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