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Blazing Trails: Out to connect the dots on the map

Updated: Jun 6, 2019

Paving the way, one trail connection at a time.

The city has a plan. The parks department has a plan. Residents have a vision. Friends of Bachman Lake (FoBL) is doing its part to help put it all together.

If you're in Northwest Dallas you've clearly seen the signs of progress being made on the Northaven Trail. From Denton Drive to the west to Preston Road to the east, the newest phase of the trail features newly paved trails and street markings and lighting controls at some crossings. Keep in mind that some lighting is still not fully operational so care should be taken at all crossings.

This video from three months ago shows the potential benefits of connecting the trail all the way past Central Expressway to the White Rock Creek Trail.

A great follow is the Friends of Northaven trail which has kept a close eye on the progress of what will eventually be a vital corridor connecting Irving's Campion Trail with White Rock Creek Trail in Dallas. The master plan for the Campion Trail includes the Elm Fork and West Fork Trails along the Trinity River with the eventual goal of connecting regional trails throughout the Metroplex. Imagine being able to bike all the way from Fort Worth to Downtown Dallas. You can see why every little part of it – every small connection – contributes to the larger aim. That's the kind of trail talk that FoBL is engaging in.

Along with Groundwork Dallas, Dallas Parks and Recreation and other stakeholders, we're looking to join forces to make the grand vision a reality sooner than later. We recently attended a webinar and meeting of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee which provided updates on local community efforts to facilitate the movement of cars, pedestrians and bicyclists. This involves Federal, State and Local efforts to use best practices in planning and designing common access to trails and roads for people with all levels of ability. The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) and the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) are currently conducting a survey through July 5, 2019 to gather feedback that will help formulate policies and programs to keep pedestrians and recreationists safe. There are also prizes involved so check it out.

In May, FoBL also took a tour of the 100-year-old dam at Bachman Lake which is in desperate need of an upgrade. With the recommendation to keep the footprint of Bachman Lake the same coming up for a City Council vote, the funds saved could allow for major work on the lake and dam to be combined to minimize disruption. What it means for cyclists and pedestrians is that sometime in the next year or two, some trails around Bachman might have to be rerouted. In the meantime, we're enlisting the help from groups like Groundwork Dallas to help pave the way to make the needed connections between the Bachman Lake greenbelt across to Frasier Dam and Hines Park. When all the work at Bachman Lake is complete, more dots will have been connected and Bachman Lake will have its future secured. Residents will also have a continuous path to parts of the city once siloed away by lack of access.

The important thing is that with the right planning and the clear, unified voice from concerned citizens, the Friends of Bachman Lake could be a big player in achieving a major victory that not only saves the lake, but keeps it maintained and dramatically upgraded. As they say, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it, as more pieces have to fall into place. We'll keep you posted.



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