July Newsletter Special Post
TBG Partners and Friends of Bachman Lake and YOU!
TBG Partners concurs that the Bachman area faces some of the starkest challenges in Dallas. Environmental justice and regional connectivity are major factors for why infrastructure investments need to be a priority. We will be hosting TBG in August at our next online community session, Neighbors in the Know. This will be a great opportunity to talk to them about their analysis and what recommendations they have to help create a more walkable, cohesive community. Stay tuned for more details!
In the meantime, the 2024 Bond Program is here and if we are going to turn the dial up at all to solve our area's problems, then we need some money!
There has not been a lack of documentation on the Bachman Area needs, it's just that we, as a collective neighborhood, have failed to make enough noise to get the City to invest. Now, remember that we were not around during the last bond program and since then we have all banded together to keep Bachman Lake from being turned into a creek. We also saved the park from serving as a north entrance to the airport. We know we can count on YOU to help get these Bachman area requests into the City's cog machine! The more entries for an item, the better the chance it will get funded. So, please forward this email to your neighbors, friends and family.
Now, grab your favorite beverage and get started - it should only take 5 to 10 minutes of your time:
The steps are:
Access the 2024 Capital Bond Program Request Form.
Fill out your contact information and then Copy / Paste each of the projects below, one at a time into the project description (yes, we know there are a lot).
Hit Submit and Repeat for the next project.
Denton Dr Complete Street - Create a protected bike facility to connect Northaven Trail to Trinity Strand Trail. This would run along Denton Drive and then jog over on Burbank St to Thurston/Maple Ave in the West Love neighborhood. This project is partly funded through Dallas County’s MCIP 7th Call
Bachman to Campion Trail - Create a protected bike facility/trial to connect Bachman Lake to the DART station and to Campion Trail. This project is partly funded through Dallas County’s MCIP 7th Call
NW Highway Pedestrian Crossing Improvements - Crosswalks at Northwest Highway (Ovella, Timberline, Thornberry). These are the NW Highway Pedestrian Crossing Improvements and they have not yet happened. This project is partly funded through Dallas County’s MCIP 7th Call
Shorecrest Dr Complete St - Repave Shorecrest from Harry Hines to Lemmon Ave with 2 lanes vehicular, one biking and one parking. This project is partly funded through Dallas County’s MCIP 7th Call
Webb Chapel Ext Traffic Calming - Cross walk on Webb Chapel Ext and Bachman Dr., road diet/bike lane, crossing at Denton Dr (to DART Station)
Complete the Bachman Lake Trail at the Webb Chapel Bridge - The trail on the bridge span is all of 5 feet and folks need to navigate the small space while also contending with heavy traffic on the bridge. A major safety issue!
Bachman Lake Greenbelt Pedestrian Bridge - Install a pedestrian bridge to the east of Lemmon Ave bridge that would connect the north and south nature trails at the Bachman Greenbelt
Bachman Lake Trail Spurs - Build a connection trail between the new Aquatic Center, the planned Skate Park and the Bachman Lake Trail
Increase Tree Canopy at Bachman - Remove the asphalt and create a tree grove in the area between the Webb Chapel and Lemmon Ave bridges (behind Whataburger on NW Hwy)
Bachman Greenbelt Erosion Control - Implement erosion control measures along the Bachman Greenbelt to protect limited green space in the park
Trash Collectors at Bachman Lake - Install trash collectors for all the stormwater outlets at Bachman Lake. Also, install a Mr Trash Wheel (as done in Fort Worth) at Bachman Creek (by the Lemmon Ave bridge) to collect trash as it comes down Bachman Creek and to serve as an educational station for children to understand the impact of trash on the environment
Build an environmentally friendly parking lot for the Aquatic Center and an improved Park Entry on the land already owned by the City. Currently the ‘parking lot’ is a gravel pit.
Create Access to Bachman Greenbelt and Bachman Lake Park - Fund land purchase of property around Garvin Cemetery to create a pocket park for bike/trail access to Bachman Greenbelt / Trail for neighborhoods along NW Hwy and across NW Highway / Midway Hollow. Build a trail to connect the Bachman Lake Nature Trails to the Bachman Greenbelt.
Master Plan for Bachman Lake Park - The city has made major investments in Bachman Lake Park, however there is no master plan for this, one of the oldest parks in the City of Dallas. As such, there is a lack of coordination of efforts in and around the Park.
Secure needed lighting for the Bachman Skate Park
Create Park entries with Educational Signage - Park entries are needed at NW Hwy/Timberlake, Webb Chapel Ext/Denton, Webb Chapel Ext/Bachman Dr, Lemmon/NW Hwy, Webb Chapel Bridge
Renovate Bachman Lake Park’s accessible playground
The Case for These Investments to address Environmental Justice
In making the case for greater attention to the challenges of the greater Bachman Lake area, it is critical to spotlight some of the various environmental justice arguments for streetscape and greenspace improvements. This is not only necessary to help us more adequately address some of the issues faced by nearby residents; it will also help make a stronger case in pursuing federal grant funding, which includes an environmental justice component.
Here are some key points from our environmental justice analysis:
The Bachman area includes some of the highest-density neighborhoods in Dallas, as well as some of its highest proportion of zero-car households (in some areas, over 30% of households have no car).
Neighborhoods adjacent to Bachman Lake have higher than average numbers of both children and seniors. Both of these population groups as a whole have mobility constraints, especially in terms of ability to drive, which is the primary mode of travel that the Bachman area is designed to accommodate.
The Bachman area also has some neighborhoods with very high levels of limited English speaking households, as well as some neighborhoods that have high levels of low-income households.
Areas surrounding the Bachman Lake activity asset show elevated rates of low physical activity. Many factors affect this, but a critical one is safe connections to green space; another is comfort level within parks and on trails. In hotter months, lack of shade is another barrier.
Many surrounding neighborhoods also have elevated levels of poor mental health. Perhaps unsurprisingly, these coincide with low income, high noise, dangerous streets, and high heat stress.
Speaking of heat stress… Despite proximity to the park, the Bachman area is one of the most uncomfortable areas in Dallas to be outside on a hot day. Shade is minimal, and impervious surfaces abound. Ensuring streets have adequate shade for people on foot will be essential, and will also make the walk to Bachman Lake (as well as the connection to nearby transit stops) safer and more comfortable. Shade still remains a scarce asset within much of Bachman Lake Park and along sidewalks and trails.
The Bachman area also suffers very high levels of respiratory hazard and transportation noise impact. Noise is a major contributor to a variety of cardiovascular and other health issues. Both the noise and respiratory hazards are rooted in prioritization of automobile traffic speeds throughout the neighborhoods.
The streets surrounding Bachman Lake are among the most frequent sites for vehicle-on-pedestrian and vehicle-on-bicycle collisions. The streets are not designed to protect or prioritize people outside of vehicles.
The Case for These Investments due to the Regional Nature of Bachman
The Bachman Area borders the City of Irving and has major light rail stops that connect Dallas to Carrolton, Denton, Irving and points south. However, even though there are three light rail stops (Bus, Bachman and Walnut Hill) and a major bus transfer point, none of these have a connectivity infrastructure that accommodates pedestrians or cyclists.
Trust for Public Land’s “ParkServe” tool indicates that much of the surrounding area is within a 10 minutes’ walk of Bachman Lake and other parks. However, this is a measure of proximity, not access. The potential lies in making safer pedestrian and bike connections with surrounding neighborhoods and with the broader Dallas park and trail network.
Bachman Lake itself sits in a strategic location with respect to this network. Ideally, it could act as a kind of connecting hub for both east-west and north-south bike and pedestrian connections through the city. There have been plans for city-wide greenbelt connections going back to at least the 1940s and the creation of the “Bartholomew Plan,” which featured Bachman Lake as a core connector. Not only that, but it is also a transportation node for other modes of travel, including light rail, multiple bus lines, and an international airport.
With investments that are being made in Bachman Lake Park to add a Regional Aquatic Center and a Regional Skate Park, it makes sense that the connectivity and 'green' investments also be made!