Steps are being taken to improve the safety along the hike and bike trail for residents. Changes to improve conditions should be completed and in place by the end of the summer.

“We have dropped the speed limit from 15 miles per hour to 10 miles per hour (for bicycles). That is a lot safer speed, especially when you’re approaching those blind corners that we have,” parks and recreation director John Smith said. “That is another thing that we are going to address is those blind corners. We are going to clean them out as best we can to increase visibility without ruining the effect by taking out too much vegetation.

“We just don’t want to clear cut everything because it is still a nature trail also and people will appreciate that,” he said. “We are going to include a center stripe just as a reminder all the way down the trail that you are to stay right and that the trail is two-way traffic. We always think about (safety) and want our patrons to think about it.

We have had a few incidents where an ambulance had to be called out and it’s generally for someone with a sprained ankle or a hurt knee.”

One of the reasons for the improvements is because of an accident that happened on the Katy Trail in Dallas in which a jogger was hit by a bicyclist. 

Another change that is taking place is the addition of more signs, a project that’s being undertaken by an Eagle Scout candidate. The signs will be very similar to the quarter-mile makers in size and shape although they won’t be made out of granite. The signs will educate the public about safety, such as leaving one ear free of an ear bud while listening to music. This is so people can still hear the world around them and get out of the way of any danger. The signs also will promote health, such as reminding people to remain hydrated. Other signs will point out that the quarter-mile markers can be used as a location to give to dispatchers in the event of an emergency.

The hike and bike trail runs four miles from Getzendaner Park to Lions Park. The 8-foot wide concrete surface offers opportunities for walking, jogging, biking and horseback riding. Smith said his office has received requests from people to use their horses on the trail and that is allowed. People who do ride their horse on the trail are asked to stay on the grass area. No motorized vehicles are allowed, with the exception of people who have motorized wheelchairs, which can be used on the trail.

“I think what people most need to be aware of is where they are and what they are doing. Be aware of their surroundings and be aware of other people. Be aware of what you are doing, because that affects other people,” Smith said.

If any city resident would like a tour of the trail, that can be arranged by contacting Smith at the parks and recreation office at 972-937-7330, ext. 181.

Contact Andrew at andrew.branca@wninews.com or 469-517-1458.