Park and Rec Has a New a Radar Gun. And It's Using It To Measure Hike-N-Bike Trail Speeds.

Categories: Park and Rec
measuringspeedontrails.jpg
City of Dallas Park and Recreation
The city warns, via its Hike & Bike Trail Facebook page, that it's "preparing to collect data on cyclists' speeds on Dallas trails." And ... that's about that. So I called Park and Rec's second-in-command, Willis Winters, for further information -- such as, for starters, what does the city intend to do with the data?

Winters says, well, Park and Rec just got a new radar gun -- a nice one too -- and was out at White Rock Lake on Friday testing it out. The average speed, he noted, was around 16 miles per hour -- though some cyclists got up to 23.

"What we want to do is start taking it around to all the trails around the city just to see what the speed is," he says.

"And keep in mind," he says. "The speed at one time of the day may be totally appropriate, while at high-peek usage, it may not be appropriate at all. It's all perception. Sixteen was probably a little too fast, but 14, 15 miles per hour felt pretty reasonable -- then again, that was when there were few, if any, walkers on the trail. And curbs, hills impact the speeds too."

I asked: Will the city take the data and then, oh, I dunno, start posting speed limits along the trails? Doubtful, says Winters. Very doubtful.

"Very few cities have posted speed limits, and if they do, they're not based on any research we've been able to find," he says. "Redmond, Washington, has posted 10 mph. You can do that at White Rock Lake or the Greenbelt Trail, but that's totally inappropriate. Our intent is to take this gun around and do an analysis and test speeds at various times of the day. That's all we can do -- gather data."

Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
45 comments
bobfairlane
bobfairlane

Go as fast as you want on the park road (Lawther). If you can do 35 on your bicycle, I think no one minds.  But if you are going fast on the pavement path, PLEASE STAY IN YOUR DANG LANE instead of almost running into me and my kids. I love my bike and like to pull my baby. We usually go the "jogger direction" because we are slow. About every time, someone going very fast along Garland road section, passes carelessly from the other direction and runs us into the grass. You got brakes man! 

yalehaus
yalehaus

I'm sure they've noticed that Bikers have too much fun-we have to put a stop to that.  Gathering Data today-writing Tickets tomorrow.  Some more of the elimination of our rights.

Santa Fe Trail Jogger
Santa Fe Trail Jogger

The City needs to take their rig onto the Santa Fe Trail just north of Woodrow Wilson High School at the base of the LONG hill (over 1/4 mile long) that goes into a dogleg under the bridge into a blind area that is in deep shade from the bridge where they will find even casual rider going over 20mph and the Lance Armstrong Wannabes well over 30mph and when a pack of them comes up on you heaven help you if your jogging.

BTW most of those Lance ARmstrong wannabes have speedometer/odometers on their bikes and they know exactly how fast they are going and some try to see if they can crack 25mph!

I used to ride quite a bit but since I'm north of 55 now I don't ride as much and i understand the curtesy of calling out on your left but most bike riders nowdays don't!

Used to be if you were riding a bike at over 15mph rate you stuck to the roads at WHITE ROCK BUT IT LOOKS LIKE Bikes now run on the trails more since they widened them a few years back and thenbike riders perceive that the city wants them off the roads which creates a higher danger level for joggers/walkers at the lake.

Hike and Bike Trails
Hike and Bike Trails

We're pleased to see that the media picked up on our data collection efforts concerning speed on Dallas Trails.  Though there may be disagreement on how to resolve the issue we are glad to see there is an open dialogue and healthy discussion on this very sensitive yet important issue. We welcome discussions on this note on our Facebook page: http://on.fb.me/n9ZNoY.Thank you again for all of your comments.

Cheerybitch
Cheerybitch

There really needs to be a separate trail for walkers/joggers and bikes. Read through various forums and you'll find comments from cyclists that they don't like the Katy Trail because they can't go fast (though some asshats do), but they can around White Rock Lake. It's pretty scary to have someone whiz by you suddenly. And not many say "on your left". Leisure cyclists out for some fresh air, sure, use the trails. But for those in spandex suits, geared up, take your Lance Armstrong wannabe ass to the street.

Russp
Russp

Just found this online

http://transport.tamu.edu/bicy...

The state does consider a bike a vehicle and has put a lot of rules in place. I wonder how many cyclists actually give audible warning when passing, use hand signals for turning and stopping or follow many of the other laws on here.

Titus "The Calmness" Groan
Titus "The Calmness" Groan

Mixing hikers and bikers on the same trail makes about as much sense as mixing interstate and surface traffic.  One is going a hell of a lot faster than the other and that makes conditions unpredictable and dangerous.  There needs to be clear separation of the two.  You can't enforce a speed limit, but you can enforce walkers going into a bike lane or vice versa.  Where the flows can't be separated, bike traffic needs to be re-routed onto nearby streets.

Chad Lewis
Chad Lewis

dallas guv'ment is full of idiots

jharris214
jharris214

Breaking the law, breaking the law... 

Lite Speed
Lite Speed

And as the RUSH song goes... "WE HAVE ASSUMED CONTROL!"

Brother Oakley
Brother Oakley

What the hell are bikes doing on the trail in the first place? W. Lawther, Mockingbird, Buckner, and Garland are multi-laned, smooth, safe roads. Bikes don't need to be on the trail. They need to be where they belong - ON THE ROAD.

Chevytexas
Chevytexas

I already use one: a long stick that can fit between spokes, it realllly slows the speed-demons down along Katy Trail:).  Didn't even have to make the end pointy, they did it for me the first time I slowed someone down.

Yakuza_Fighter
Yakuza_Fighter

It looks like the Spandex-wearing Douchiclists that couldn't play a real sport in high school are out in full force here in the comments section today.

Byter
Byter

Dead jogger on Kati Trail? Old man run down at White Rock? This not stupid. If they were doing it to save bikies you would all be applauding. BTW 20 mph is the speed limit at White Rock not 23, and you are supposed to stop at stop signs. 

Shagoq
Shagoq

the best Willis is not this one, or the JWP buddy, or what chu talkin bout Willis, it is Willis Willis who won/lost the lottery.

Byter
Byter

Dead jogger on Kati trail. Old man run down at White Rock Lake. Does that make you think this is still stupid? Bikies piss and moan about car speeds but just try to make them try to slow down. BTW the speed limit at White Rock is 20 MPH not 23.

DuckDuckGoose
DuckDuckGoose

Sixteen was probably a little too fast, but 14, 15 miles per hour felt pretty reasonable  -- Now that is fricking hilarious!

Because...?
Because...?

What a waste of time and money!  If they aren't going to use the data, why buy equipment and pay an employee to use the equipment?  I want my money back.  I also want one of those reflective vests.

Jon Daniel
Jon Daniel

This is really important compared to making sure that wrong-way drunk drivers don't kill people

Montemalone
Montemalone

Why not just put up one of those damned "your speed" signs like are plastered up and down Preston Rd?

JS
JS

So they are wasting tax dollars on employee salaires and new equipment for the purpose of gathering data that then will not be able to be used.  Hmmmm, methinks this is not a good use of the taxpayers' money!

Tbarker
Tbarker

I did a test on that slope two Sunday's ago, early, with no one on the trail. Got to 28mph with slight tailwind.

I did so in order to roll up my sleeves for a round of calls to Park Board, and City Council, and Willis Winters or Mike at DPARD.

Why, well, one bucolic Sat am, two months ago, I was coming up on the roundhouse curve under the old rail bridge, and two guys came barrelling around the curve, cutting corners into my lane.  My excellent Navy explitives echoed off the trees and I am sure all the way to the liquor stores.

This is typical cycling anecdote, and I have thousands of them from 20 years of bike wars on the good ole trail system.

whistledown
whistledown

There are rules for pedestrians on the hike and bike trails as well as cyclists.  I have seen more dangerous behavior by pedestrians than cyclists in the three years I have been riding the trails.  I am almost 50 years old and I do not wear spandex.

scottindallas
scottindallas

when you assume, you make an ass of u and me.

scottindallas
scottindallas

W. Lawther is NOT multilaned along the lake.  I would support making it wider, or adding bike lanes, but none of those roads are safe for bikes. 

jharris214
jharris214

The Katy was indeed built as part of the greater Veloway and is still very much a part of the Dallas Bike Plan.  The pedestrian path is there for you though. 

Brother Oakley
Brother Oakley

So you are in favor of assault? 

The Katy was built with money that designated it a VELOWAY, so walkers and joggers and baby strollers and dog-walkers are 2nd citizens in the count, Chevy. 

That said - yes - cyclists need to be treated as the drivers of vehicles, and since vehicles aren't usually allowed on trails, they need to be out on the road. Where they belong. 

Now just don't bitch about the cost of trails or bike lanes, okay? They're literally bankrupting other cities, so let's stay as far away from 'infrastructure' as possible. 

Laxster28
Laxster28

You sir, are douche bag.  Your attempt to somehow make a correlation between HS sports and bicyclists shows that you are still "fighting" to understand basic logic.  I wish you luck and hope the fight is a good one, but short.   

jharris214
jharris214

In both the case of the jogger on the Katy and the old man at White Rock, both were not paying attention to the oncoming bike traffic.  If someone steps onto a street abruptly and without looking at you going to blame the car for not stopping fast enough? 

Russp
Russp

I wish someone would make a decision as to what bikes are and then make them follow the appropriate rules. If they want to be vehicles with access to city streets then stay off the walking/jogging trails and sidewalks, follow traffic signs and signals and ride on the right side of the street. If they want to be glorified kid's toys riding on the walking/jogging trails, then stay off the streets. I wouldn't want a kid riding a bicycle down 635 and you wouldn't want me riding my motorcycle down the Katy trail. Cyclists seem to want it both ways.

scottindallas
scottindallas

25 I believe, few of the uniformed riders can do 25, but they sure block the road like arrogant asses.  With the money going into this project, perhaps they could widen the trail, so pedestrians and bikes could each have a lane.

MisterMiguel
MisterMiguel

Yes, it does.

1) There should already be existing data for what is a safe bike speed in various conditions.2) Most bicycles aren't equipped with speedometers.3) If speeds vary depending on who is occupying the trail, how do you set a speed limit?4) If you set a speed limit, how do you enforce it?

The only way it makes sense is if they intend to construct curbs and hills where they think people are traveling too fast. Of course, a big old hill on the Katy trail could lead to blind spots and curbs sound like a dangerous addition to a busy trail.

If we're going to be that preoccupied about safety because of a couple of accidents, perhaps the answer is to require walkers and joggers to wear helmets.

Byter
Byter

It's not the police it's Parks and Recreation. They don't have anything to do with wrong way drivers except in the parks.

Whodunnit
Whodunnit

In the future, I see posted speed limit signs (let's go spend some money!) and agressive enforcement ticket writing (let's go colect some money!). Collecting Data..........yeah, sure.

Eliot Landrum
Eliot Landrum

Not sure what that would accomplish. Most cyclists already know their speeds.

I would appreciate speed limits that are reasonable for mixed-use trails. But like Winters says, it's hard to know what that speed limit might be without any data.

John_McKee
John_McKee

I think it would just encourage people.

Brother Oakley
Brother Oakley

None of them? Uh, wrong again, honkylips. W. Lawther could be widened, but try getting that past the homeowners. And Mockingbird is safer than the footbridge. Buckner has 3 lanes in each direction. So does Garland. Traffic can pass, so you're not an impediment. OH, but they want to put a trolley car system up and down Garland... Well, there goes that one....

Kamilar
Kamilar

I was riding and was stuck behind an old guy, but was waiting until it was safe to go around. On a hill, with someone coming straight at us, two guys flew by causing everyone to try and dodge to avoid an accident. The old guy yells out a- hole and the bike guy stops and blocks the path. The old guy almost crashes trying to stop. The biker started reaching towards the old guy and I think if I was not there her would have hit him. I love riding at the lake, and I usually go about 19 mph, but I slow for children or cases where passing is not safe. Based on what I see every time I go, bikes should be banned. What are you going to say when a speed- deamon kills a toddler. It was the parents fault, it was the kids fault. Of course it couldn't have been the rider who observed the child 100 yards away.

Anonymous
Anonymous

I agree with the sentiment that bikers need to choose what they are, and be consistent, though I don't agree that they should stay off places like the Katy Trail. That's a walk/bike trail. The only thing it's supposed to exclude is motor vehicle traffic. I have always assumed White Rock was the same way, although there is a road around many/most parts of the lake as well, so I could be wrong.Right now, some bikers want it all. They want to use the streets when it is convenient, the sidewalks when that feels safer to them, and they want to weave in and out of traffic and run red lights just because there's no oncoming traffic. Pick a position and let's be consistent about it. You don't get to do whatever you want on the road, violate traffic laws (thereby making your behavior completely unpredictable to motorists), and then moan and complain that automobiles are not driving safely enough for you. 

MisterMiguel
MisterMiguel

Your "walking/jogging trails" are often called "hike and bike trails."

scottindallas
scottindallas

I have an idea, they could pull weeds, pick up trash, or, paint/maintain park equipment.  When that's all done and the grass is all trimmed; if they're looking for something to do, it's layoff time. 

Jon Daniel
Jon Daniel

Good thing that they have a completely separate budget, separate revenue stream, and separate city council running things

scottindallas
scottindallas

I don't think most cyclists know their speeds.  Most cyclists, it seems wear racing gear and are NOT, in any way of that caliber.  This seems like another of the ultimate unfunded mandate, requiring recreational riders to buy equipment; first helmets and now speedometers.  The helmet rankles me since motorcyclists don't have to wear them.  The law holds that motorcyclists and bicyclists have to obey the same laws, except for this, where motorbikes are infinitely more dangerous.  Fully 105% of motorbikers will have a serious injury accident.  That's a bona fide figure, proving that many come back for more.

I've ridden many, many miles and have had only one accident, at about 1mph, where I did an endo where I plunked right on my head, chipped a vertebrae--no big deal but the worst wreck I've had.

Brian
Brian

It always has encouraged me to go faster, though I always know my speed anyway.

Russp
Russp

It just seems any combination of a vehicle and a pedestrian without some type of seperation is asking for trouble and a yellow stripe isn't going to do it. Just because someone decided to name it hike and bike doesn't make it safe for both.

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...