Updated: Jan 23
Latest Trail Infrastructure Ride shows our mobility possibilities and challenges right at street level
On Friday, January 20th, Friends of Bachman Lake participated in the 7th Trail Infrastructure Ride. We were thrilled to meet up with Parks Director, John Jenkins, and members of the Park Board: Jeff Kitner, Tim Dickey and Rudy Karimi as we explored possible future connections between the Northaven Trail and Bachman Lake. Below is the photo storyboard of the ride!
We met up at 9AM at the Pensive Dr trailhead for the Northaven Trail. It was chilly and sunny, perfect for a bike ride!
In addition to the folks mentioned above, we were joined by Susanna Brown, Kathryn Rush, David Sarama, Toby Grove, Ryan Brown, Jared White, Ross DeVault, Jordan Clark and Mikel Wilkins.
The ride planned was a 13 mile-long loop.
From the Pensive trailhead to the bike lanes on Monroe and Southwell to the new cycle track on Denton Drive
We then rode the sidewalks along Walnut Hill to Brockbank
We then took Brockbank to Bachman Lake, using Lakefield Blvd to cross Northwest Highway
After reviewing some concerns on the Webb Chapel bridge, we doubled back on the route (following the light blue arrows) to Community Drive
We will then follow the draft Bike Plan update recommended routes along Community, Larga, Lakemount, and Gooding to Merrell Rd.
South of Walnut Hill we crossed at Gooding and then rode Merrell back to the Pensive trailhead
Here we are on the Northaven, heading towards Monroe, where we did a little jog along Merrell to catch Denton Drive going south. Our observation on Merrell was that there needs to be significant enforcement on the part of the City, as the businesses in this corridor park their semi-trucks on the bike trail.
Our timing through here was not great, as it seemed like we were battling with a UPS army of trucks heading out for morning deliveries. Maybe an alternative route could be to go south on Brockbank from the Northaven Trail and connect to a widened sidewalk along Walnut Hill toward Denton Dr.?
This is a view of the complete street on Denton Drive. The concept is for this to extend all the way to Mockingbird. We felt safe and protected on the cycle track!
Yes, the City needs to clean the bike lanes in this area and finish some painting, but overall the vision of what this could be is fantastic!
Once we crossed Walnut Hill at Brockbank, we followed the cycle lane and showed the riders not from the area the townhome cements pads - ground zero for the 2019 tornado.
South of Lombardy, the road narrows and riding on the streets is a little more challenging given that this whole neighborhood needs street improvements.
Completing Brockbank and Timberline needs to be a priority for access to Bachman Lake, especially given the number of neighborhoods crossed, which would get safe access to the park. Yay!
We made it to Bachman Lake after crossing the very dangerous intersection of Webb Chapel Extension and Timberline, and rode the Bachman Trail over to where it basically dead-ends at the Webb Chapel bridge.
At this point, the trail narrows to 5-feet and there is no way for patrons to pass in both directions without stepping into the road. Yikes!
Here is Susanna, trying to give a brief on the vision to make Bachman Lake Park a trail hub connecting to Northaven, the Trinity Strand, to the Lemmon Ave Trail, to the gravel rides along the Trinity, to the Frasier Dam Recreation area and to the Irving Campion Trail. She had to stop every few minutes due to the heavy truck traffic going over the bridge!
After doubling back to cross Northwest Highway, back at Lakefield Blvd, we headed up Community Drive and Larga towards Durango. Having the proposed protected lanes will be critical to make the route successful. Redoing Community, Timberline and Larga will all be very expensive and thus will require will and funds to make this happen.
In the current plan, the neighborhoods east of Marsh will have to cross Midway, Marsh, and Webb Chapel Ext., to get to Brockbank and down to Bachman Lake across Northwest Highway. It was suggested that Lenel could be a good North / South access since it has a light at Walnut Hill, has been recently been resurfaced and has good access to either Thornberry or Admiral, where a signal across NW Highway could be installed. We have been told that the cost is too high to create a North/South complete street at Marsh, Midway or Inwood.
Once the ride was over, a large group of our riders jumped on the DART line from the Walnut Hill station to head home. The Bahman Area is serviced by the Orange and Green lines!
Many thanks to Mikel for all the photos and to Director Jenkins for the selfie!