Tuesday, December 30, 2008

More Bike-Ped Friendly Streets

The developers that own the properties adjacent to Carlisle Place - the street that dead ends into the Katy Trail just south of Lemmon eastbound - are considering how to incorporate improved bicycle and pedestrian routes into their developments. The hope is they can build wide sidewalks and dedicated bike lanes, like the ones that were unveiled at the Nasher back in November to connect the Katy Trail to Downtown.

Don't know what we're talking about? Check out the "Katy Trail-Arts Loop Connection" entry on the Friends of the Katy Trail's homepage.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Tree Grows in Oklahoma

SWA Group, the landscape architects of record for the Friends of the Katy Trail, thinks they have found a beautiful specimen tree in Oklahoma that would be perfect for the plaza on the Katy Trail overlooking Lee Park. It's a Burr Oak - the same tree planted in the Briggs-Freeman Plaza in Reverchon Park - and one the City of Dallas' former arborist, now a senior planner for Parks, thinks Dallas could use more of. The tree is currently 20-25 feet tall.

Expect to see construction of this plaza begin in early 2009.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Help ID Hit-and-Run Driver

At 3:55 p.m on Wednesday a Trail user was hit by a car while crossing Knox Street. The vehicle was a late 1980s dark gray Honda Accord sedan traveling east on Knox toward Central Expressway. The driver was a white male approximately 25-35 years old, had a goatee and was wearing a ski-cap. The Trail user was running south and cars in both directions had stopped to let them cross when the driver in the Honda went around the stopped cars and into the intersection.

Fortunately, the runner was able to jump into the air, striking the car's windshield and hood, which likely has a dent in it now. The driver then yelled at the runner to get off his car, before making an obscene gesture and driving off.

Should you see a vehicle in the Katy Trail area and/or a driver matching this description, please write down the license plate number and contact DPD by calling 911.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Contract signed

The Friends of the Katy Trail has entered into a contract with Valley Crest Landscape Development to build a small plaza/entry near the Trail's north end where McKinney Avenue dead ends into the Trail. The plaza, named "Dedo's Place," will feature the familiar limestone seat wall and three-tiered drinking fountain. Expect to see construction begin in the first quarter of 2009.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Missed the Show?

Didn't have a chance to listen to "Think" on Moday? Here's a link to the show on KERA's website -- http://www.kera.org/audio/think.php.


Tune in Monday at Noon

The designer of the Katy Trail-Arts Loop connection, Mia Birk of Portland-based Alta Planning+Design, will be on KERA's "Think" with Krys Boyd at noon Monday. Tune in to 90.1-FM and listen to Mia discuss how Dallas can convert existing streets to make improved bicycle and pedestrian connections between the Katy Trail and Downtown.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Half-Marathon on Katy Trail

Sunday morning there will be 7,000 runners on the Katy Trail participating in the White Rock Lake half-marathon. They'll be getting on the Trail at Harvard and running all the way to the AAC. So we have the following suggestions:
  1. Exercise before 7 a.m. that day
  2. Stay off the Trail until after 1 p.m.
  3. Come out and cheer on the runners at your favorite Katy Trail location.

For the most fun, choose option 3.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

University Crossing

On Tuesday we met with 30-some people involved in the connection of the Katy Trail to Mockingbird Station and the property that SMU owns in the area. SMU is branding the area "University Crossing." To check out a cool video on the location, go to http://www.universitycrossing.com/.

Katy Trail Extension to White Rock

Here's the latest schedule we heard from Public Works recently:
  • Early 2009 -- Complete funding for bike-ped bridge over Mockingbird connecting Palomar to Mockingbird Station; and get approval from City Council for contract with HNTB to design bridge.
  • April 2009 -- Begin construction of Trail from McCommas bridge through Glencoe Park, and from Warcola behind Kroger to Skillman.
  • Mid 2009 -- Complete design of Trail from Skillman to White Rock Station.
  • Late 2009 -- Begin construction of Skillman to White Rock Station section.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

PSA Now Showing at Victory Park

The Katy Trail PSA is now showing on the big digital billboards at Victory Park! You can download a schedule of times when it will be playing here.

The PSA is showing on the South facing billboard on the East wing of Victory Park above where WFAA Channel 8 does its newscast. A map and parking is included in the schedule document.

Go check it out!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Introducing the Katy Trail-Arts Loop Connection

At a public meeting Monday at the Nasher Sculpture Center, Councilmember Angela Hunt, with help from Friends of the Katy Trail’s Executive Director Eric Van Steenburg and Mia Birk, principal from Portland-based Alta Planning+Design, introduced the planned Katy Trail-Arts Loop Connection. To view the presentation, click here.

This connection improves the bicycle and pedestrian facilities between the Katy Trail and Downtown by creating complete streets that accommodate vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, mass transit, the disabled, and the aged.

Click here to download a pdf of the streets identified for improvements and renderings of what those streets will look like.

Click here to see a 10-minute video interview with the commissioner of the Department of Transportation in New York, which is attempting to turn all of their roads into “complete streets.”

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Back from Trail Conference

The Friends of the Katy Trail staff is back from a successful appearance at the National Trail Symposium in Little Rock, Ark. Both the Executive Director and Associate Director gave well-received presentations on everything from public safety to fundraising events. More importantly, now we can get to all your voice mails and emails that have accumulated since Saturday.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Testing All Lighting

OK, it’s time for you to test the lights on the Katy Trail. Get out there at 5 a.m. and make sure they come on from end to end. Then go back at sunrise and make sure they are off for the entire 3.5 miles of Trail. Be back on the Katy Trail and sundown and make sure the lights come on again from the AAC to Airline. Finish your day by being on the Katy Trail and 11 p.m. to make sure the lights turn off.

IF you notice anything not working according to schedule, or just not working, email us at Office@KatyTrailDallas.org.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Lighting Gets Final Tune-up

Our contractor tells us that as of Tuesday, all lights were working on the Trail. They replaced some lamps and ballasts, as well as turned on the lighting in the sections from the AAC to Harry Hines and Blackburn to Armstrong because someone had turned the power off. When the power was off, it also impacted the timers, so the lighting wasn’t working when it was supposed to. This has also been corrected.

Keep your eyes on the section from Blackburn to Armstrong. The photo cell that senses when the sun is up is in the bamboo; and it is possible that if it doesn’t get enough light, it will think the sun is down and turn on the lights. If you see the lights on in this section during the day, please let us know.

Bench Cleaning Complete

All the benches on the Katy Trail have been power washed to remove dirt and graffiti, and then sealed with a graffiti-resistant, environmentally sensitive sealant to help make it easier to remove graffiti in the future. The work was done by David Fink of Pressure Cleaning Technologies. Let us know your thoughts on how the benches look now.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Katy Trail Days - Pub Crawl - Tomorrow

The Katy Trail Days Pub Crawl, always a favorite, is Wednesday 6-8 p.m. This year's Crawl features seven different stops in the West Village.

For only $50 ($35 for Katy Trail members), you'll get to be a part of the crawling action. Start at the Fish and then make your way to Cork, Cru, Grimaldi's, PescaBar, Social House and Tom Tom. Ready to sign up? Click here.

Still not convinced that you want to come out and play on a school night? Ok, just for you, we're putting together rockin' gift bags. You'll get a limited-edition Katy Trail Days T-shirt and lots of goodies from the West Village, so come on, register today.

Wow, still haven't registered. You're a tough egg to crack, so we're going to give you some insider information.

Nobody should pay $50 for this pub crawl. Why not? Members of the Friends of the Katy Trail only pay $35. Just call us at 214-303-1180 or email office@katytraildallas.org for the code. Not a member, no worries, you still don't have to pay $50. Take advantage of our special $10 membership offer, then call us for the member discount code, register for the pub crawl for only $35, and you've only come out of pocket $45.

Wait, wait, it gets better. That $10 membership makes sure your Trail stays clean, safe and beautiful, and gives you something to write off when Uncle Sam comes calling in a few months. Like we said, don't pay $50 for this pub crawl.

So do it now. Click here to register and we'll see you on Wednesday night at The Fish.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Lights Still being Tested

The contractor who installed the lights is still troubleshooting the lights. You may notice several lights out in one section, or the lights on during the middle of the day, or an entire section out when it will normally be on. Please be patient as the lights are fine-tuned. They should be working 100 percent by next weekend - just in time for the end of Daylight Savings Time.

Friday, October 24, 2008

PSA Makes Public Debut

Even though Robert Wilonsky of The Observer used his outstanding journalistic instincts to find a secret copy of the Friends PSA and post it on the newspaper’s blog before it was ready for public viewing … it’s now ready.

The 30-second version of the brand new PSA is on the left toolbar of the homepage. Check it out and let us know what you think.

Public Service Announcement

Benches Getting Cleaned

Work started on the Trail today to clean all the benches. This involves power washing the benches to remove the graffiti. After the benches have dried, our contractor will seal them with an environmentally responsible sealant that will help prevent graffiti from damaging the benches in the future and make it easier to remove it when it does happen. Expect to see the workers cleaning and sealing the benches over the next two weeks.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The PSA Rocks

We just got a sneak preview of the PSA today and, we might be a little biased, we're still right when we say it rocks! We'll have it up on our website www.KatyTrailDallas.org this week, so check back later to see it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lights Are On

In case you missed the announcement at last Thursday’s member event at La Condesa – you missed a killer party, too, by the way – the lights were turned on for the entire Katy Trail last Friday night.

Right now, the contractor is troubleshooting. He tells us there are less than 10 lights not functioning correctly. Not bad, considering there are more than 140 lights on the Trail.

While there will be some kinks to work out, the lights are designed to come on at 5 a.m. and go off at sunrise, then come on again at sunset and go off at 11 p.m.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Lighting Almost Done

Pressure from the Mayor’s office seemed to have worked. Oncor had both remaining meters installed by the end of day Tuesday this week, and the lighting contractor was able to test all the lights up and down the entire Trail. Of the 140 lights, only seven weren’t working. The contractor tells us he’ll be trouble-shooting those starting Friday.

Speaking of Friday, he told us today he hopes to have the lights working, at least a night, as early as this weekend. So go out on the Katy Trail after dark this weekend and let us know if the lights are working end to end.

It's Party Time

That's right boys and girls, it's time to party with your Friends. We've got our Friends of the Katy Trail member party tonight at La Condesa in Victory Park from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. It's the perfect opportunity to sip on yummy margaritas and hear about what's going on on the Katy Trail.

We'll be there with our closest Friends, so we hope you'll join us. See you at La Condesa tonight!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Lighting – Calling in the Big Guns

Got an email from the Mayor’s office today that they weren’t happy the lighting on the Katy Trail wasn’t turned on yet. When we told them that everyone was waiting for Oncor to install the last two meters, they said they’d “call them today and light a fire under them.” Hopefully that means we’ll get some movement and those meters will be installed sooner rather than later. We’re just glad the Mayor’s office didn’t say they would “make them an offer they couldn’t refuse.”

Monday, September 29, 2008

Katy Goes International

A magazine from Japan came to Texas to do a story on how the Lone Star State was “going green.” They visited Houston and Dallas in their quest. Click here to see a copy of one page of the four-page spread in Sotokoto and see if you recognize anyone. And let us know what you think the photo captions say.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Latest on Lighting

There’s been a delay in completing the lighting on the Katy Trail. The final two meters – one at Travis Street and the other at Tracy Street – have not been installed by Oncor yet. Until they are, the lighting installer cannot test the lights on the northernmost mile of the Trail to see if they work.

When we last spoke with Oncor three weeks ago, they said the meters would be installed “soon.” Not sure what the definition of “soon” is, though. Once the meters are in, the contractor will test the lights, make any adjustments, complete his final “to-do list” and the lights will be fully operational. We’re still hopeful that the lighting will be working in the next few weeks.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Walk to School Day is Coming Up

Walk-to-School-Day is October 8 this year. Nearly 1,500 schools are participating from 48 states to encourage students to get to school without a car. Walk-to-School Day in the United States is part of international Walk-to-School Day, which involves more than three million walkers around the world.

Why promote walking and biking to school?
Engaging in active transportation at a young age is an important step for children to develop into lifelong walkers and bikers. In 1969, 50 percent of American children walked to school, but by 2004 that number had dropped to 14 percent. Several problems have accompanied this decrease. Parents dropping their kids off at school account for 20 to 30 percent of all morning rush hour traffic. Further, 50 percent of all American children (under age 19) were overweight or obese in 2003, compared to 15 percent in the early 1970s. Walking or biking to and from school is an easy way for children to build activity into their lives and meet the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendation of 30 minutes of moderate physical activity at least five days a week.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Latest on the PSA

I talked with the composer yesterday. He said he thought he'd have music back to us by Monday. Once we have his tracks, we'll do a polish edit of a 30 sec and 1 minute version. We do have some post- production to do to make the motion control shots look perfect. We're shooting to have everything wrapped up this month.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Lost & Found

We've recently gotten calls about a few things that have been lost and found on the Katy Trail. If you think either of these are yours, call our office at 214-303-1180 and we'll reunite you.

  1. A pair of nice sunglasses. Call our office to describe them and if they're yours, we'll make sure you get the back. Otherwise, KT has taken quite a fancy to them.
  2. A cat was found on Sept. 14. near KT 117. He's not feral and clearly comes from a good home. If you think he's yours, give us a call so he can come home.

We'll keep you updated if we get any other calls about stuff lost and found on the Trail.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Waiting to Hear the Music

Regarding the PSA that we're all dying to see, we've done a rough cut (1 minute version) and are working with our composer to develop music. Once the music is done, we'll re-edit the rough and then develop a 30 second verison.

Then you'll get to see it(and maybe yourself if you volunteered to be in it) and all it's magnificent glory.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Clearing on the Trail

Just a reminder that Lawns of Dallas is scheduled to start clearing work on the Katy Trail between the Harry Hines and McKinnon bridges on Monday, Sept. 8.

Chris Miller, who oversaw the clearing of the limestone escarpment from Harry Hines to the Victory Overlook, will be supervising.

Don't worry, this is a good thing.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Mark Your Calendar for Katy Trail Days

Yes, your favorite time on the Trail, Katy Trail Days has returned this year and will be better than ever. To make sure you don't miss a thing, mark your calendars for these events:

  • Chalk Art Competition 10 a.m. 4 p.m. Area students will create works of art featuring Katy Trail Days themes on the Katy Trail. The young artists will compete for prizes from area restaurants and retailers. Trail users will pick the winners by voting at www.KatyTrailDallas.org
  • On-Trail Entertainment 10 a.m. 4 p.m. Bands, clowns, jugglers, face painters and chalk artists will be on the Trail for six hours of non-stop entertainment. Located at various locations along the Trail, all entertainment is free.


  • Pumpkin Party 3-5 p.m. Children and families will fill Reverchon Park for an outdoor Pumpkin Festival, where pumpkins can be purchase, designed, carved and decorated all in one spot. Live music, tasty treats, spicy drinks and ghostly tunes round out the festivities.
  • On-Trail Entertainment 10 a.m. 4 p.m. Bands, clowns, jugglers, face painters and chalk artists will be on the Trail for six hours of non-stop entertainment. Located at various locations along the Trail, all entertainment is free.


  • Pub Crawl 6-8 p.m. One of the most popular events of Katy Trail Days is back for its second year. Crawlers get to sample signature drinks from some of the hippest bars, pubs and restaurants in Dallas. Cost is $50 per person, with all ticket sales at www.KatyTrailDallas.org. Members receive a discount.


  • Dog Trot 10 a.m. 12 p.m. A new event geared for our furry friends and the people they own. The Katy Trail Days Dog Trot begins at the American Airlines Center and travels 3K up to Reverchon Park, where a post-race party features music, doggie massages, food and drinks for dogs and people. Entry fee is $25.
  • On-Trail Entertainment 10 a.m. 4 p.m. Bands, clowns, jugglers, face painters and chalk artists will be on the Trail for six hours of non-stop entertainment. Located at various locations along the Trail, all entertainment is free.


  • On-Trail Entertainment 10 a.m. 4 p.m. Bands, clowns, jugglers, face painters and chalk artists will be on the Trail for six hours of non-stop entertainment. Located at various locations along the Trail, all entertainment is free.

Oh, and we got the alcohol permit this morning for the post-race party after the Dog Trot, so you know it will be a great party. Stay tuned for all the latest info after our meeting tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

PSA Progress

Good news for all of you anticipating the fabulous Katy Trail PSA. . . . The transfer house finally re-digitized the final reels of film we shot for the PSA. We're going to pick up the hard drives this afternoon and continue the editing process.

We'll let you know when we've got it ready for your viewing pleasure.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Latest on Lighting

So far, the only section of lighting that is operating on the Trail is the southern half mile that we turned on at the end of June. And for now, those lights are only coming on at night – when the sun goes down until 11 p.m.

The next three sections, which will take the lighting to Fitzhugh, are almost ready to turn on. All the wire has been pulled and the meters are set. The city’s contractor is testing the lights now to see what additional work needs to be done. The wire has also been pulled for the final two sections, but Oncor has not set the meters yet.

Once everything is in place, the lights will operate from 5 a.m. to sunrise, and then again from sunset to 11 p.m. daily.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Pollution Prevention Week in Dallas

The City of Dallas will be hosting Pollution Prevention Week September 15th – 20th and wants you to know all about it. Click here for information about the Green Festival and click here for all the information about Pollution Prevention Week.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Half Meets the Trail

The White Rock Half Marathon will finish on the Katy Trail this year. Click here for a pdf of the course map. Pretty cool.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Lee Park overlook gets good reviews

When shown the plans for the proposed plaza on the Katy Trail overlooking Lee Park on Monday, the donors who have contributed generously to the Friends of the Katy Trail for the project were pleased with the latest design. The executive committee of the Lee Park/Arlington Hall Conservancy also expressed their support of the design, as has the Friends of the Katy Trail’s executive committee. Developers planning projects near the site have also been impressed. Scroll down to see a sneak preview of the plaza.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Another Feral Cat Resource

Here’s some additional information about feral cats for those interested. There’s a Dallas group located on Preston Road called Feral Friends who can answer any questions you may have about feral cats on the Katy Trail. Their website is www.feralfriends.org and they can be reached at 972-671-0429.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Dealing with Feral Cats

It has been reported that there is a small colony of feral cats on the Katy Trail. Studies have proven that trap-neuter-release is the single most successful method of stabilizing and maintaining healthy feral cats with the least possible cost to local governments and residents, while providing the best life for the animals themselves.

Spaying or neutering homeless cats:

· Stabilizes the population at manageable levels
· Eliminates annoying behaviors associated with mating
· Is humane to the animals and fosters compassion in the neighborhoods
· Is more effective and less costly than repeated attempts at extermination.

The best thing to do with feral cats is try to catch them and take them to a vet where they can be spayed or neutered. For tips on how to trap a feral cat, click on http://www.feralcat.com/trapinst.html and follow the instructions.

The Feral Cat Coalition of San Diego California has a great website to answer all your feral cat questions. The address is http://www.feralcat.com/.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

McKinney Avenue Entry Plaza - Dedo's Place

Three contractors returned bids for the construction of the entry plaza that will be on the far north end of the Katy Trail. This plaza, known as Dedo’s Place in honor of long-time board member Dallas community volunteer Dedo Kidd, could be under contract as early as Oct. 1 and under construction by Thanksgiving. That would allow for trees and landscaping to be planted in the February-May months that those types of materials love.

Katy Trail Days Schedule

For all of you who just can't wait for Katy Trail Days, here's a preview of what we've got lined up for you:
  • Saturday, Oct. 25 - On-Trail Entertainment - 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Sunday, Oct. 26 - On-Trail Entertainment - 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Sunday, Oct. 26 - Pumpkin Party - 3-5 p.m. in Reverchon Park
  • Wednesday, Oct. 29 - Pub Crawl - 6-8 p.m. at West Village
  • Saturday, Nov. 1 - On-Trail Entertainment - 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Saturday, Nov. 1 - Dog Trot - 10 a.m. - AAC to Reverchon Park with after party at Reverchon Park
  • Sunday, Nov. 2 - - On-Trail Entertainment - 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Stay tuned for all the details and registration.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Lee Park Plaza Progress

SWA Group, the landscape architects under contract with the Friends of the Katy Trail, have made some outstanding revisions to the design of the plaza on the Katy Trail overlooking Lee Park that was generously funded by the Snyder family. The designers will meet with the engineer-types from the City’s Park Department at the end of next week to nail down dates for the final design-bidding-construction process. Then, the following week, will present their design to the Snyders. Once we get their blessing, the Friends of the Katy Trail will post some renderings on this blog of what the plaza will look like. Stay tuned.

Ask KT - Up on the Blog Again

After a Friend told us our "Ask KT" blog post was going to fall off face of the blogosphere(actually just roll to the next page, but it's almost the same thing), we decided to repost it so you can easily ask KT any questions you might have.

You can submit your question for KT to answer in a future newsletter or on our webpage. Go ahead, click below and ask KT your questions.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Latest on Lighting

We spent three hours on the Trail on Tuesday and chatted with the contractor installing the lighting. He said that the power is finally flowing to the master panel in the section between Blackburn and Fitzhugh, and he’ll start checking the system in that area this week to see if the lights turn on. He was working on the section north of Harvard at the time, and said he thought he’d have all the wire pulled within two weeks. If all goes well, the trouble shooting will take place the last week of August and the lighting working by mid-September.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

PSA in Progress

You probably remember that we shot our PSA last month and you're wondering when you'll get to see the finished product, so here's an update:

Since we shot the PSA on film(higher quality stuff), it needs to be transferred to be edited. The transfer should be complete next week and then editing will probably take another two weeks or so. We're as anxious as you are to see how it turns out and we'll make sure to keep you updated.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Trashy News

No, this has nothing to do with Brittney & K-Fed, Madonna & A-Rod, or Jessica & Romo. It’s much more trashy than all that.

Do you know how many trash receptacles are on the Katy Trail? Bill, our trail monitor guy who you see in the golf cart zipping up and down the Trail, sure does. He recently completed a trash receptacle count. The answer is … 34.

Bill did the count at the request of a donor, who wanted to make sure Trail users had the best opportunities to help keep the Katy Trail clean. The answer appears to be “they do.” It also showed us just two locations where we can make improvements.

Always working for you – no matter how trashy the subject.

Katy Trail on DFW Scene

If you're a regular trail user, you know the Katy Trail is one of the best spots in town to see and be seen. But for those who are still looking for the hot scene in Dallas, check out NBC's recent story about the DFW Scene and Things to Do.

Katy 5K Named "Best Party"

The much-anticipated D-Magazine “Best of” issue is about to hit newsstands, and once again the Friends of the Katy Trail makes the list. This time for the Michelob Ultra Katy 5K. D-Mag chose it “Best Post-Race Party” and said that “people tend to run this race fast so they can be first in line for beer, vino from Barefoot Wines, and grub from some of the yummiest restaurants in town.”

Last May’s race was attended by almost 4,500 participants. Don’t miss the 2009 race on Thursday, May 21.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Katy 5K Goes Worldwide

The Friends of the Katy Trail had a number of extra Michelob Ultra No. 10 Katy 5K shirts in youth sizes, and we know it’s important to help others. We have a friend who works with orphanages in Myanmar/Burma and we shared the extras with them, as well as a number of cyclone survivors. The kids particularly love the shirts and use them for soccer uniforms Check out the pictures below and to see the Friends of the Katy Trail helping out half a world away.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Irrigation repaired on north end

If it looks like some of the plants on the north end of the Katy Trail are under stress from the Texas heat and lack of rain, you are correct. It didn’t help that the irrigation system installed by the Friends of the Katy Trail was damaged during construction of the lighting. But there is good news …

Last Thursday, the irrigation specialist from Moore Lawn & Garden, who does the maintenance of the north end of the Trail, checked the entire system and repaired everything they found wrong. The irrigation should be working again, except where perhaps some dirt got into the lines and will temporarily clog a sprinkler head.

The best news is that our landscape architect believes we caught the problems soon enough to save all the landscaping.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Making Dallas Safe and Walkable

The Federal Highway Administration Office of Safety has released a new publication: “A Resident's Guide for Creating Safe and Walkable Communities.” The Guide offers a user-friendly resource with ideas and references on issues that affect walking conditions, finds ways to address or prevent these problem, and promotes pedestrian safety. It provides several community success stories along with fact sheets, worksheets, and sample materials.

Here’s a link to the online version. It parallels what we’re trying to accomplish and is a great resource for you to find out more about making Dallas a safe and walkable city.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Location Map for 911 & Access Points

We've heard it before. It's a beautiful day and you're out on the Trail and then you realize . . . you're lost. Sure, it's a linear trail and you could just turn around and go back where you were coming from, but you want to know where you are right now.

Have no fear, here's the map of where the 911 location markers are so you'll never be lost on the Katy Trail again. Or you can click here to download it too.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Lighting Construction Still Going

After a slight delay waiting for meters to be installed and activated, the electrical contractor installing the lighting on the Katy Trail reports that the next two sections are ready for connections to be made to the light poles. Look for the contractor to be pulling wires by the end of the week.

New 911 signs make news

Councilmember Angela Hunt had a press conference on the Katy Trail two Fridays ago, and all the major news organizations were there. Here’s a sample of the media coverage:

Dallas' Katy Trail Gets GPS Security Upgrade
NBC5i.com - Fort Worth,TX,USA

Katy Trail To Benefit From GPS Technology
CBS 11 - Dallas,TX,USA

Signs of safety along Katy trail
WFAA - Dallas,TX,USA

Dallas police, fire, and city officials unveil new Katy Trail ...
Pegasus News - Dallas,TX,USA

Dallas officials hope GPS markers will make Katy Trail safer 9:41 ...
Dallas Morning News - Dallas,TX,USA

Tell us what you think of the new signs and lighting on the Katy Trail.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Dinosaurs Heard on the Trail

New sounds have been added to the interactive artwork at David's Way including jungle noises, birds and … dinosaurs (we think). We've also upgraded to a DSL line there so the Boston-based artist can easily access the artwork remotely to make any necessary changes or updates. Go check it out and let us know what you think.

Loopy Councilmember and Designers

Today we toured the potential routes for the Katy Trail-Arts District loop connection with Councilwoman Angela Hunt, designers from Portland-based Alta Planning+Design and other members of the steering committee to see which routes are the most favorable for a bicycle/pedestrian connection. Click here to see the different routes and let us know what you think.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Bathroom Update

When KT answered a question through the Ask KT feature on our homepage – and in the newsletter you’ll be getting in the mail any day now – the suggestion was that Trail users in the Knox area needing a restroom should go to the nearby 7-Eleven.

Since then, however, the property was sold, and the 7-Eleven that we all used is now gone. We just spoke with KT, and KT’s suggestion is now to use the Highland Park Pharmacy or the Starbucks. Just like the now gone 7-Eleven, please be a good patron and buy something on your way out.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Press Conference on Katy this Friday

Council member Angela Hunt is having a press conference Friday at 9:30 a.m. on the Katy Trail to promote and demonstrate the new 911 markers that have been installed on the Trail, and how Dallas emergency services has linked the markers with the City’s GPS. The press conference will take place where Harvard crosses the Trail.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

All the Way to State!

Ok, so the Katy Trail didn't make it out of the "Sweet 16," but in D Magazine's Best Things in Dallas Tournament we made a completely respectable showing before being beaten by High School Football.

In the first round, we were up against the 6th Floor Museum (a very cool museum and Dallas landmark that everyone should visit). The round of 32 proved pretty challenging when we were up against West Village, but you made sure we came out on top. Unfortunately, we were up against High School Football in the Sweet 16 and, this being Texas, we understand why High School Football won.

After the Katy Trail executive director heard about our defeat and wallowed in sorrow, he said, "High School Football is going all the way!" Click here to help High School Football go all the way or to root for Snuffer's Cheddar Fries because we know you'll need to run on the Katy Trail after eating them.

Monday, June 23, 2008

911 Location Signs on the Trail

Remember the story about how the idea for Southwest Airlines started on a cocktail napkin? This is similar, but different. It's not a plan for an airline and it's not a cocktail napkin, but if you click here you can see a map of where the 911 location signs are on the Trail (they go all the way to Airline Road, thus the airline humor).

Friday, June 20, 2008

Dignitaries Confirm for Lighting Ceremony

The list of dignitaries attending Monday’s lighting ceremony at 8:15 p.m. on the Katy Trail is growing. So far, attendees include:

Mayor Tom Leppert
Commissioner John Wiley Price
Councilmember Pauline Medrano
Councilmember Angela Hunt
Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle
Deputy Chief Vince Golbeck

The event will take place at the Victory Overlook near the south end of the Trail. Be there, be there, be there.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

VIP Training on Saturday, June 21

While the lighting will make using the Trail safer after dark, you can do your part to increase safety by becoming a Katy Trail Voluteer in Patrol (VIP). The next VIP Training will be on Saturday, June 21 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Training will be at the City Hall Auditorium at 1500 Marilla St. Click here to download the VIP application and submit it to Sgt. Dennis Craig at dennis.craig@dpd.ci.dallas.tx.us

  • VIPs observe while using the Katy Trail. They carry mobile phones to dial 911 when there is an incident needing reporting.
  • VIPs wear a cool vest featuring VIP, DPD and FKT logos while on the Trail.
  • VIPs should walk in pairs, so grab a friend and sign up today.

For those of you who have already completed VIP Training, we have ordered your vests and will provide one to you as soon as the shipment arrives.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What Was Your Favorite Katy 5K Treat?

There was so much great food at the 5K and we want to know what you can't wait to have again next year. Click here to tell us what your favorite drinks, snacks and desserts were at the Michelob Ultra No. 10 Katy 5K.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

How to Keep Cool and Stay Fit When It's So HOT

In case you hadn't noticed, it's hot on the Trail. Not just a little hot, but a lot hot. Fortunately, our Friends over at The Dallas Morning News did a great article on how to keep cool and stay fit as the temperature continues to flirt with triple digits. Click here to check it out.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Be a Star!

The Friends of the Katy Trail is seeking 30 extras for the upcoming production of a television public service announcement. The TV commercial "Happy Trail" will promote the trail and the friends organization.

We need you to show up and be in the PSA. We need bikers, joggers and rollerbladers as extras. We want the trail to be full of folks when we film.

We will be shooting on Wednesday, June 25 beginning at 8 a.m. We will have a tent set up on the north side of the Knox Plaza across the street from David's Way for check in and organization. For your participation we'll provide lunch and free t-shirt.

Please RSVP by emailing office@katytraildallas.org


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Lighting Testing Begins

The contractor installing the lights on the Katy Trail informed us that testing of the system at the south end would begin today, uh, tonight. So if you’re on the Katy Trail around 9 p.m. in the area from Reverchon Park to the AAC, check out the lights and let us know if they’re working.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Lost at the Katy 5K?

It's ok. We understand that things happened in the midst of all the fantastic food, entertainment and Michelob Ultra that you were enjoying with your 4,500 closest friends.

We have some keys and few other odds and ends of value that we picked up at the post-race picnic, so if you lost something along those lines, just shoot us an email at office@KatyTrailDallas.org and we'll make sure you get them back.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Emergency 911 Signs Installed

Parks installed their 911 location signs on the Katy Trail at the end of last week. They look like this.

Should you ever be in trouble on the Katy Trail, just call 911 and tell them the number on the location marker that is nearest to you. All of the numbers are coded into the City’s emergency response GPS, so they should be able to find you.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Entry Plans Almost Done

Met with the architects from SWA Group last Thursday to review the (almost) complete designs for the public entries to the Katy Trail. These privately funded entries will be at the following streets – Fairmount, Routh, Cedar Springs, Hall, Lemmon, Cambrick, Fitzhugh (both sides), and Armstrong.

To date, we have funds toward Hall, Cambrick, one of the Fitzhughs, and Armstrong. If we’re lucky, and they’re all funded in the next few months, construction could start by the end of the year.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Tips for Your Dogs in Hot Weather

After our two week spring, it seems as if we’re into the summer heat. Because it is our belief that North Texas is closer to the sun than any other place in the United States, we need to be mindful of the stress and strain warm weather can put on our furry friends who love and use the Katy Trail as much as we do. Here are a few tips for you to keep in mind:

  • The right time for a walk, run or playtime is in the cool of the early morning or evening, but never after a meal or when the weather is humid.

  • When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog stand on the running trail, which is probably hotter than the concrete trail. His or her body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.

  • Heat exhaustion is often caused by over-exercising or running with a dog during hot weather. Both heatstroke and heat exhaustion can result in brain damage, heart failure or even death in a short period of time. Short muzzed and thick-coated breeds and mixes are particularly vulnerable, although any breed may be at risk. Always bring cool water along when walking, running or hiking with your dog during hot weather. To cool off an overheated dog, offer him or her plenty of water, then wet the dog's body and paws with cool water, then fan.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Early Returns from the Katy 5K

Lots of good comments at last Thursday’s 5K, including one woman who loved the email earlier that morning regarding Friday’s Bike-to-Work Day.

It looks like there were more than 4,500 in attendance at the event, all of whom seemed to enjoy the food from 50 restaurants, not to mention the free Michelob Ultra courtesy of Ben E. Keith.

Click here to check your Michelob Ultra No. 10 Katy 5K time.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mow Down Air Pollution

Check this out – the City of Dallas is giving you a chance to trade in your old gas-guzzling lawn mower for a more environmentally friendly electric mower at 50 percent off the normal price. So you can get a new, cordless, electric motor for less than $200 (plus tax).

No joke. Just call Nicole Cooper at the City and tell her you want to participate. Her number is 214-670-6646 or email her at nicole.cooper@dallascityhall.com to make a reservation and trade in your old mower for a new one.

According to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, engines from gas-powered lawn equipment pollutes more than car engines. One hour of lawn mowing produces as much pollution as driving a car for four hours. Click here to read a flyer from the City to learn details about the program. And trade in your lawn mower today.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Got a Question? Ask KT

In case you haven't ventured over to the Friends of the Katy Trail website lately (shame on you), we're proud to announce a new feature - Ask KT.

It's the opportunity to ask KT, the official expert on all things Katy Trail, any questions you may have about the Katy Trail. You can submit your question for KT to answer in a future newsletter or on our webpage. Go ahead, click below and ask KT your questions.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Katy 5K Online Registration Open Until Friday at Midnight

In case you haven't registered yet for the Michelob Ultra No. 10 Katy 5K, you can register at www.KatyTrailDallas.org until Friday at midnight. If you can't make that deadline, you can still register at Luke's Locker (3607 Oak Lawn Ave.) through May 14.

And if you need another reason to want to participate, we'll have 50+ restaurants at the official post-race party, Katy's Picnic, so register now at www.KatyTrailDallas.org

If you want to enjoy Katy's Picnic for free and get a free T-shirt, email Betsy@KatyTrailDallas.org to sign up to volunteer.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Event Alert - Lighting Ceremony Postponed

The Trail lighting ceremony that was originally scheduled for Thursday, May 8 has been postponed until Monday, June 2. It will still be at 8 p.m. at the Victory Overlook and we hope you''ll join us.

Stay tuned for more information.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Trees to be Trimmed Around Lights

Starting Friday, you will see crews from the Park & Rec Department trimming some trees around where future light poles will be installed. In some cases, it may require a mid-sized limb to be removed. Don’t worry, the superintendent for the crew is the top tree man in the district and knows exactly what he’s doing. So if you see Freddie on the Trail in the next few days, please thank him for helping make the Katy Trail even safer by creating space for the light poles to be installed.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Party for the Friends of the Katy Trail

Please join the Friends of the Katy Trail and local artist Dahlia Woods
in our effort to Finish Lighting the Trail

Enjoy wine, hors d'ouerves, art and live music.
Wednesday, April 30 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at
The Dahlia Woods Gallery
600 Cantegral St., Dallas, Texas 75204(off Live Oak-behind the Latino Cultural Center and diagonally across from The Dallas Center for Contemporary Art)

Space is limited
Tickets are $50
Click Here for Tickets

Light pole installation begins

Poles to light the Katy Trail starting being installed on Monday morning. Installation began at the south end near the American Airlines Center. It will continue on Tuesday at 8 a.m.

Here’s what the poles look like.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Light Poles to be Installed

The new light poles for the Katy Trail lighting project will begin being installed starting Monday, April 28. Installation will take place between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. starting at the south end of the Trail and working north.

Please use care when cycling, skating, running or walking past the construction crews.

The lighting is not 100 percent funded. Help us Finish the Lighting. Click here today to do your part.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

From Earth Day to Arbor Day

Did you know the 30 acres that are home to the Katy Trail are classified as an Urban Forest? That’s why the Friends of the Katy Trail hired Arborilogical Services eight years ago to complete a tree inventory of the Trail from the AAC to Knox Street, and recently helped a future Eagle Scout conduct a tree inventory from Knox to Airline Road.

When it comes to helping the environment, a story in The New York Times reported that urban trees "can be 15 times more effective than a tree merely standing in the forest” because “three trees will sequester one ton of CO2 over a lifetime of 55 years.” A booklet titled "Urban Street Trees” by Dan Burden, founder of Walkable Communities, claims that "a single street tree returns over $90,000 of direct benefits (not including aesthetic, social and natural) in the lifetime of the tree."

Arbor Day is this Friday, April 25. Consider planting a tree in your part of our urban jungle … er … forest.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

How Walkable is Your Neighborhood?

From Sunday’s New York Times: “An economics researcher at Washington University in St. Louis suggests that raising gasoline prices by $1 a gallon would reduce American obesity by 9 percent. Another study posits that if every American spent 30 minutes a day walking or cycling instead of driving, we would collectively cut carbon emissions by 64 million tons and shed more than three billion pounds of excess flab.”

Go to www.walkscore.com and type in your address to see how walkable your neighborhood is.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Earth Day – Seven Ways to Participate

Earth Day is next Tuesday, April 22. So what should you do? Here are seven suggestions:

1. Organize a fun walk, run or bicycle ride.
2. Support the Dallas Farmers Market
3. Make it a car-free day
4. Rediscover nature on the Katy Trail
5. Stay active and informed
6. Volunteer to clean up or improve the Katy Trail
7. Chip in by making a financial commitment to trails.

For details about Earth Day opportunities from the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, of which the Friends of the Katy Trail is a member, click here. Help make every day an Earth Day.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Knox parking almost done

Thanks to the generosity of E2M Companies, the improvements to the parking lot next to the Katy Trail just south of Knox Street is almost done. The contractor is in the process of adding the wheel stops, lane striping and landscaping. Expect to see all the work done in the next couple of weeks during normal work hours (7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.).

In the meantime, you can use the lot after hours. And let us know what you think of the improvements.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Register for the Katy 5K

In case you haven't seen the great billboards around town and banners on Katy Trail bridges promoting the 5K, the Michelob Ultra No. 10 Katy 5K is coming up on May 15. The Dallas Morning News' new Fitness blog says it's a great way to get in shape. http://fitnessblog.dallasnews.com We'll have 50+ restaurants at the official post-race party, Katy's Picnic, so register now at www.KatyTrailDallas.org

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Be a Katy Trail VIP

The Friends of the Katy Trail is committed to making safety for the Trail a top priority. Because the Katy Trail is a City of Dallas park, the Dallas Police Department and City are responsible for the overall safety and protection of the citizens. But no one person or organization, not even the resources of the DPD, can enhance the safety of the Katy Trail without the community’s involvement.

  • We need more than 100 VIPs. You will be trained in situations presented by Dallas Police. Training will be on Saturday, April 19 at the DPD/DFD 911 communications center and you'll get a tour of the center. Click here to sign up now.
  • VIPs simply observe while using the Katy Trail. They carry mobile phones to dial 911 when there is an incident needing reporting.
  • VIPs wear a cool vest featuring Volunteers in Patrol, Dallas Police Department, and Katy Trail logos while on the Trail.
  • VIPs should walk in pairs, so grab a friend and sign up.

The above will be a valuable service to the safety effort and should be a lot of fun, especially if there are 30, 40 or 50 VIPs on the trail at any one time wearing their vests. Email Office@KatyTrailDallas to get your application or more information

Monday, April 7, 2008

50 Ways to Leave Your Hummer

In honor of Tuesday’s “Travel Differently Day” we at the Friends of the Katy Trail would like to write a special song for you to help you “Travel Differently.” With sincere apologies to Paul Simon … hit it …

There must be, 50 ways to leave your Hummer.

Leave it out back, Jack;
You don't need a new toy, Roy;
Drive a sedan, Stan;
And set yourself free.

So hop on a bus, Gus
Get onto DART, Bart
Just take the train, Jane
Please do it for me.

Use a non-motorized scooter, Scooter.
Try taking the trolley, Dolly
Just leave your &$%# car at home for a day. It will help decrease emissions and the obesity epidemic … Shamemick.

OK, so the last line, or stanza, or entire song needs some help. So what would you sing?

Travel Differently

April 7-13 is National Public Health Week. We hope everyone will be making the connection between personal health and the health of our planet, and how both can be improved by walking and biking more, and driving less.

In particular, Tuesday, April 8, is “Travel Differently Day.” You can travel differently by using the Katy Trail to walk or bike instead of drive, so get out on the Trail!

Friday, April 4, 2008

DPD Central Patrol's "Quarterly Crime Synopsis" Coming Up

The Dallas Police Department's Central Patrol Division(Katy Trail is in Central Patrol) will be hosting it's "Quarterly Crime Synopsis" on Thursday, April 17, 2008 at 6:30 p.m. This meeting will be held at Ceazar Chavez Learning Center, located at 1710 North Carroll @ Ross. The meeting will address crime concerns and how Central Patrol plans to elevate them.

There will be opportunities to share information about your neighborhoods with the respective Geographic Area Commanders. Please mark your calendar for this event.

If you have any questions about this event, please contact Neighborhood Police Sergeant Dennis Craig at 214-670-4420 or Community Outreach Representative Donna Rockmoreat 214-670-0659.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Party for the Friends at The Fish

We want to remind you about your chance to enjoy sushi and sake with the Friends of the Katy Trail at tonight's exclusive member event at The Fish.

Not a member? Join now and take advantage of our free upgrade promotion for new members by clicking here. Membership is also available at the door

Here are all the important details:

Thursday, March 27

5:30-7:30 p.m.

Complimentary hors d'oeuveres and cocktails. Mingle with other members

RSVP to 214-303-1180 or Office@KatyTrailDallas.org

The Fish

3636 McKinney Ave., Suite 150

East Side of West Village

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Drilling Done . . . for Now

The drilling to install the lighting pedestals on the Katy Trail has stopped for now. The contractor has 78 of the pedestals in place, the last one just south of Armstrong. The lighting contractor has said they will not drill again until next Monday, March 31.

The contractor is now working on locating conduit to each pedestal and determining how much electrical wire will be needed to go from one to another. They have dug around each marked pedestal on the south end and left open some holes with exposed irrigation PVC. Please use caution when you’re near these locations.

And please be sure to steer clear of the drilling rig when it’s on the Katy Trail starting again next week. The Friends of the Katy Trail will post signs marking areas that would be hazardous for you to enter.

We appreciate your patience as we make the Trail safer for everyone.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Funds Being Raised to Finish the Lighting

So far, the Friends of the Katy Trail has received $7,770 to help finish the lighting from Knox Street to Airline Road. At $50 a foot, we’ve moved the lighting approximately 155 feet north of Knox Street (see photo of markers on the Trail showing exact location).

Thank you to all who have made a donation. To help the cause – and us reach our $100,000 challenge grant – click here and donate today

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Right idea Dallas Morning News

The editorial cartoon in Monday’s Dallas Morning News caught the attention of the Friends of the Katy Trail staff. After all, it’s something we believe solves more than just the current gas crisis, but helps reduce pollution and congestion, as well as our country’s overweight crisis.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Drilling to Start Monday

Starting Monday, March 17, the lighting contractor installing the lights on the Katy Trail is scheduled to have construction crews on the Trail drilling holes for the concrete pedestals that support the light poles.

During this phase of the construction process, you will see heavy equipment along the Trail. Every effort will be made to keep the entire Trail open for your use and enjoyment.

However, there may be areas along the Trail that will be temporarily blocked or impassable by the equipment. The Friends of the Katy Trail will provide signage in areas that may become impassable. Please do not cross into the construction zone during that time.

Thank you.

Friends of the Katy Trail

Price and Medrano to speak at Corporate Breakfast

The Dallas business community is invited to “Breakfast on the Trail” with a complimentary continental breakfast and Katy Trail update on Friday, March 14 at 7:30 a.m. at The Warwick Melrose Hotel.

Commissioner John Wiley Price and Councilmember Pauline Medrano will speak on the importance of Public-Private Partnerships, while Friends of the Katy Trail Executive Director Eric Van Steenburg will provide a Trail update.

Call 214-303-1180 if you’re interested in attending.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Drinking Fountain at Victory Overlook

Quick update on the southernmost drinking fountain on the Katy Trail – the water is turned off because the knob on the dog bowl portion of the fountain was getting stuck and the fountain wouldn’t shut off. So the Friends of the Katy Trail has ordered replacement parts for it and will install them as soon as they arrive – hopefully in a week or two.

By the way, the next closest drinking fountain is at the Thomsen Overlook at Reverchon Park and it is working.

Thank you for your patience in the interim.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Big, round, gray concrete things

You may have noticed about 50 large, round concrete cylinders roughly every 100 feet on the Katy Trail in the last two weeks. They are the pedestals on which the soon-to-be-installed light poles will rest. These pedestals will be sunk into the ground until just a couple of feet are exposed above the ground.

In total, there will be 138 of these on the Katy Trail when the lighting is complete from the AAC to Airline Road. More will be delivered in the next week or two.

Then, a few weeks after that, big drilling rigs will be on the Trail to dig the holes for these pedestals. Please bear with us as it might require the trail to be closed within a 100 feet of the rigs while they do their work. It will be worth it, though, when the light poles are in place and everyone will be able to use the Katy Trail safely every night until 10 p.m.

Check back and we’ll provide more details on when the drilling work will begin.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Need some free mulch?

As we approach spring in Texas, it’s getting near the time to put fresh mulch on your landscape – and on the Katy Trail. Mulching is a great way to beautify your landscape, but it is also beneficial because it conserves moisture and reduces weed growth. The best time to apply mulch in established bed areas is mid-spring when the soil temperature has warmed up enough for sufficient root growth.

To mulch, cover the area with one to three inches of mulch. And if you need some free mulch, one of the Katy Trail’s biggest supporters, Arborilogical Services, uses 100 percent of the wood debris from all the trimming and tree removal they do to create mulch.

If you want some free mulch, give them a call at 972-442-1524 and make arrangements to go pick some up at the shop in Wylie. They also deliver to areas nearby for a reasonable price.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Party like a Rockstar or Like a New Restaurant is Opening

Party with your friends for the Friends at Modern Luxury's party at the newly opened Villa-O on Thursday evening. A portion of the proceeds from the sales will go to the Friends of the Katy Trail. So come out and enjoy great food and drinks for a great cause.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Disrespectful People on the Trail

Or maybe they're just rude. This weekend, Katy Trail staff, Katy Trail spouse and Katy Trail doggie were on the Trail for a nice walk Saturday afternoon. Because it was a pretty nice day, the Trail was reasonably congested. Some rude cyclist and skaters blasted past us and other Trail users without warning.

If you happen to be one of these people, please be courteous in the future. A simple, "On your left" or "Passing" would suffice.

Please be courteous and safe on the Trail.

Besides, this puppy is too cute to be Trailkill.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Cops & Ambulance on the Trail

No, there wasn’t any crime on the Katy Trail on Wednesday when the DPD bike patrols and the DFD emergency response vehicle made a stop on the Trail near the Cambrick entrance. A woman who was exercising simply fell and cut her chin. She was a little woozy from the fall and needed a few stitches.

Fortunately, the bike patrols were on top of it, as was Bill Williams, the Friends of the Katy Trail’s trail monitor who cruises up and down the Trail in a green golf cart. The woman was quickly and safely taken to a nearby hospital where she was taken care of.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

It's Trail Time

Have you looked outside today? It's a nice day. No, scratch that. It's a really nice day. Perfect Trail weather.

If you've been using the excuse that you don't know what the weather is like on the Trail, that excuse has now expired. If you're wondering what the weather is on the Trail, you can check out www.KatyTrailDallas.org to see the current weather conditions.

We just checked the weather. It's sunny and about 60 degrees. Time to get out on the Trail.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Once again – crime doesn’t pay

The man who attacked a fellow cyclist on the Katy Trail last summer with a box cutter was sentenced to 35 years in prison on Thursday. The incident occurred after dark, when the Katy Trail is closed.

To hear how to remain safe on the Trail, and anywhere in Dallas, click here to see a video from the Dallas Morning News.

And remember these safety ABCs … and Ds and Es, too:

Aware – Keep an eye on your surroundings
Buddy – Travel or exercise with a friend
Checkpoints – Know your location at all times
Dark – Don’t use the Trail after then because it’s a City park and is closed
Ears – Keep your music at a low enough volume that you can carry on a conversation with your buddy

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Why are there trucks on the Trail?

We know about the trucks on the Trail. It's ok, they're the company doing the installation of the lights. The company is putting in the conduit for all the lighting. We're looking forward to having the Trail lit to Knox Street by May 3. We need your help to fund the remainder of the lighting up to Airline Road, so please donate at www.KatyTrailDallas.org

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Watch out for Boy Scouts

One weekend – in either late February or early March – the northern mile of the Katy Trail will be inundated by Boy Scouts. But that’s a good thing.

One of the scouts, Anders Elmgren, is working on his Eagle Scout project and helping out the Friends of the Katy Trail at the same time. Anders is conducting a tree inventory for the Friends in the section of Trail from Armstrong to Airline. Since 2005, the Friends of the Katy Trail has planted dozens of trees in dozens of varieties in the section of trail. While we have architectural plans, we don’t have a complete inventory of everything we’ve planted.

That’s where Anders and his fellow scouts come into play. They’ll be on the trail measuring, categorizing, and plotting every tree in this mile long section. So when you see them one of these weekends, slow down, pass with caution, and thank them for helping us out.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sunday's Incident Not Related to Trail

Local law enforcement officials are saying there is no connection between the incident Sunday in Highland Park and the Katy Trail.

According to a story Monday on WFAA channel 8, both Dallas and Highland Park police say the attempted robbery and shooting on Sunday in Highland Park is not related in any way to the Katy Trail. Police report a convenience store on Knox Street has been robbed twice in the last two month, and also report numerous burglaries of motor vehicles in nearby parking lots.

"We don't have a crime problem, that I would characterize it as such," Sgt. James McElroy of the Dallas Police Department told channel 8.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Thoughts on Trail Safety

Reasons why police call the Katy Trail “the safest place in Dallas”
1. the sheer number of users makes the Trail a de-facto crime watch
2. the number of incidents on the Trail is lower than almost anywhere in Dallas
3. in a survey of trail users, more than 90 percent said it was safe

The Friends of the Katy Trail is making the trail safer by doing five things:
1. installing lighting
2. installing emergency location signage
3. using membership to pay for off-duty DPD bike patrols to augment scheduled police patrols
4. establishing a Volunteers in Patrols (VIP) program
5. studying safety options under the direction of Safety Chair Rick Anderssen, who is head of the Dallas Police Reserves

Safety tips from the Friends of the Katy Trail:
1. travel with a buddy
2. don’t go on the trail after dark – the trail is a park and is closed
3. keep your iPod volume at a level where you can carry on a conversation with a buddy
4. be alert and aware of your surroundings
5. be aware of your location

Robbery in Highland Park

There was a robbery Sunday at an apartment that backs up to the Katy Trail. It's an unfortunate incident that isn’t really related to the Katy Trail. As a City park, the Katy Trail is closed after dark while many restaurants and bars in the area are open at that time of night.

Safety is an important priority to the Friends of the Katy Trail. We're working on establishing a Volunteers in Patrol (VIP) program, as well a signage plan to identify emergency locations on the Trail. The chair of our Safety Committee is actually the head of Dallas Police Reserves, and he’s working on a plan to make the Trail even safer.

Don’t forget, the Friends use membership contributions to augment DPD patrols by paying for off-duty bike patrols, so we need your help to keep the Trail safe. If you're not a Friend yet, click here to join today.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Drinking Fountain Drainage

What's with the big puddles around the fountains?

Some of you have been asked what's going on with the drainage from the drinking fountains at David's Way and the Victory Overlook. We want to know too, so we are having them inspected by a plumber. The plumber will probably be digging around them to check the drainage in the next week so he can fix them.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Knox area parking lot – Construction starts Monday

The contractor working on repaving the parking lot just south of Knox Street informed the company paying for the work that they’d begin on Monday, Feb. 4, 2008.


So … if you’re an early-trail users on Mondays, please be sure to find another parking place that day as construction vehicles will be in there by 7:30 a.m. and we don’t want your car damaged.

Other parking options include the Theater Center between Lemmon and Blackburn, and Reverchon Park.

We know this is inconvenient, but it is an inconvenient truth.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Parking lot to be closed

The parking lot next to the Katy Trail near David’s Way (the plaza at Knox Street) will close in the next few weeks for repair. In addition to eliminating the dirt – which becomes mud puddles after a rain that are large enough to swallow a Volkswagen – and replacing it with concrete, the lot will have marked parking spaces, making for easier in-and-out. We’ll also be landscaping the area to provide some shade and shrubs to make it look even better.

Keep your eyes open for a bulldozer in the lot to signal when work will begin. Once it arrives, the project will take 4-6 weeks to finish.

CAUTION: Do not park in the nearby retail parking lots or you will be towed. Try parking at the Dallas Theater Center lot about a mile down the trail on the west side off of Lemmon at Turtle Creek.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Resolution Clarification

We’ve gotten some questions about one of the Katy Trail resolutions we emailed out last week, so we want to clear things up. In clarification to Katy Trail Resolution #2, “Do not use the Trail after dark,” we realize that the evening is often the best time for most people to use the Katy Trail. However, the difference between “after dark” and “after work” is key. In fact, that is why we applied for, and received a $600,000 grant to install lighting on the Trail. Now people will be able to use the trail whenever they choose.

That being said, the lights will turn off around 10 or 11 p.m.—when the park will be closed. Like any Dallas park, we do not do not recommend use after that “after dark” point. (Seriously, some of the Friends don’t even like going to Target alone when it’s dark. Do you like going anywhere when you’re alone and it’s dark? Nope, so that’s why you can avoid going on the Trail when it’s dark)

Don’t know what resolutions email we’re talking about? Sign up to get our emails by visiting www.KatyTrailDallas.org

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Lighting on the Trail

Good news for all of you who keep asking when the lighting is going to be started and finished. The work has actually already started because the contractor was given the notice to proceed on Jan. 7, 2008. They've been out there marking where the poles will be and checking everything out.

Here's the really cool part because we just looked at our calendars to calculate when the lighting installation will be finished up to Knox Street. Drumroll please. . . . . May 3! That's only 102 days away!

We've got some other really fabulous news for you. The Communities Foundation of Texas is giving the Friends of the Katy Trail $100,000 to go toward finishing lighting the entire Trail. We still have some fundrasing to do because lighting the rest of the Trail will cost more than $150,000, so click here if you want to help us reach our goal. If we finish the fundraising quickly, we can add the additional sections to contractor's project and could potentially have the entire Trail lit by June 1. Stay tuned for more exciting news.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What’s a Veloweb anyway?

Well, velo means bike, and web means …. well … web. So imagine a web of bike trails in North Texas, and you’ve got the North Central Texas Council of Government’s plans for the Veloweb. With biking becoming a new and better option for transportation in our state, the Transportation Division of the NCTCOG created the Veloweb to provide enough alternative transportation options for cyclists by 2025. Click here for the COG’s latest Veloweb map.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Mark Your Calendar for the Reverchon Roundup

The Reverchon Park Roundup is around the corner, so mark your calendar for 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. on March 1st. It's the 10th year of the clean up and its a great opportunity to be outside and beautify the park.

We recommend that you wear long-sleeved shirts and pants. It's great if you can also bring gloves, rakes and small hand tools(if available). Parking is available at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. Please call TSRH Volunteer Services at 214-559-7825 to R.S.V.P. or get more information.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Cool Katy Trail Video

Never been on the Katy Trail? Bored at the office and wish you were on the Katy Trail? Check out this cool video and you'll feel like you're on the Trail without even leaving your computer.

We have a new blog!

We have a blog section on our own website (www.KatyTrailDallas.org), but we want to make sure you have a chance to interact with us. So this is a blog for us to let you know what's going on with the Trail and for you to let us know what you're thinking.

Check back for regular updates about safety, security and other cool Trail-related information.

See you on the Trail!