As a volunteer organization, Friends of Bachman Lake remains focused on our mission to support, maintain and beautify Bachman Lake Park and its surrounding communities. We strongly believe that Northwest Dallas does not have enough green spaces or trails. What little we do have is hard to access or has been abandoned by the City to such an extent as to render it unusable in its current state.
A recent city audit indicates Dallas has not set criteria for when intersections warrant further investigation when multiple injuries or fatalities of cyclists or pedestrians occur. With a backlog of 1,500 crosswalks in need of re-marking, the city has a yearly goal of re-marking 830 crosswalks, but last fiscal year funded only 70 crosswalks. Only 7 city employees are available to complete these projects with a budget that has decreased by $400,000 since 2016. Maybe this is why Webb Chapel Ext continues to be ignored? We applaud the Bachman Northwest Highway Association for requesting a road diet to help slow down traffic. We'll link to a copy of the letter in a future post.
Unsurprisingly, the cross-walk/sidewalk/trail issues we see in our area of the city repeat in other neighborhoods and were reflected in a new study conducted by Clever (https://anytimeestimate.com/research/most-bike-friendly-cities-us-2022/), which scored Dallas 50th in bikeability out of the top 50 U.S. cities. It hurts when we see that Houston ranked #29, San Antonio ranked as #30, and Austin at #16.
Chin-up Northwest Dallas! You have helped shine a light on the needs in the area and we saw your voices reflected in the Bachman Lake Area Planning Study, which identified areas within the Bachman Area where the city should improve pedestrian safety and bicycle connectivity. For example, after 20 years of asking for improvements along Lemmon Ave, we should start seeing the construction of the Lemmon Ave Trail by the end of the year – a trail connecting Mockingbird to the Bachman Lake Trail on Shorecrest. Construction will start this next winter! Make note as well of the intersection improvements at Lovers and Shorecrest. Also the trail will take a protected path on the airport side, which is fantastic and we thank Love Field for making that happen!
The next major project that is moving into the design stage is the reconstruction of Lovers Lane as a complete street. Request for funding should be going to Dallas City Council in August 2022. The general scope includes the generation of the schematic of the potential improvements on Lovers Ln from Lemmon Ave east to the city of Dallas/University Park (UP) city limits (just east of the DNT). This phase includes an opportunity for public input, the
evaluation of the placement of a shared use path and improvements to pedestrian facilities, improvements at crosswalks and a smooth transition under the Dallas North Tollway.
Another project moving into the design phase with a contractor selection happening at the end of this year, will be the Bachman Trail to Campion Trail Feasibility Study. This fully-funded study will determine how best to connect Bachman Lake to the Campion Trail. If successful, this trail will help complete a greater bikeway loop of Dallas. Once a route is identified and it is built, residents in NW Dallas should be able to safely bike to downtown Dallas or even Fort Worth from their own neighborhoods!
Dallas County and the City of Dallas have listened and agreed that there need to be more safe crossings and complete streets. This is why Commissioner Garcia with Dallas County supported the funding of the projects below even before they were on the bond program for the City of Dallas. We need to make sure that the City of Dallas follows through and matches the dollar allocations for:
Denton Drive Complete Street - This would reconstruct Denton Drive while replacing the bridge over Northwest Highway, add sidewalks, and add bicycle facilities. Dallas County has funded their portion, but the City of Dallas still needs to provide funding. As the City of Dallas has not funded this yet, the community must stay focused so this is added to the next bond program.
Community Drive Complete Street - This will add bike lanes, a 5-foot-wide sidewalk, and improved water/drainage facilities for homes on the street. This is fully funded and expected to be done in 2023/2024.
Northwest Highway HAWK Signals - This will provide traffic signals, crosswalks, and bike facilities for neighborhood streets intersecting with Northwest Highway from Webb Chapel to Denton Drive. This is fully funded, but community participation is necessary to ensure the city continues progress with the state on this initiative.
Making SHORECREST / Webb Chapel Bridge PEDESTRIAN? This is a big item we are working hard to achieve as it has been identified as a very dangerous confluence of bikers and pedestrians who have to navigate a narrow path amid heavy truck and vehicular traffic. See the video below.