Preston Hollow has some great trails but they can be better, according to some city leaders and thinkers. In light of the city’s many existing, funded and proposed trails, like the Northaven Trail which broke ground in April, GOOD Ideas for Cities in Dallas asked a team of designers, engineers, city leaders and other creative minds to tackle trail awareness and usability. In all, Dallas plans to increase the total number of city trail miles from 111 to 284.
Bottom line: Dallas has, and will have, a lot of great trails.
Now, how do you make the trails easier to use and get people to use them?
No studies have been conducted on how trafficked the trails are already, according to Hellman, but this team is looking to get people out of cars and on trails. (Take a look at our March cover story for thoughts on bike culture and etiquette.)
After two months of thinking and spending time on the trails, the ”Connect the Dots/ Bike Hike Trails” team presented possible solutions.
Their main idea includes creating an umbrella brand to market the trails, which would connect the Northaven, Katy, White Rock Creek and other individual trails with an overarching identity. Other ideas are to put up signs to clearly mark intersections, and design an app that would allow users to map journeys via trails and alternate transportation. The app, which still needs a developer, would also help you track your progress and find nearby amenities such as bike repair shops. The team is now hoping to gain approval from the Dallas Park Board soon so they can put their ideas into action.
Samuel Stiles, director of development for the Dallas Parks Foundation, says he hopes the umbrella brand will not overshadow the existing trails but instead simplify messaging and ease marketing. For example, you might see more ads for the example brand GO: Get Outside Dallas, rather than individual ads for each trail. Though he has not heard from representatives of all the existing trails, Stiles says several have given him positive feedback.