Monday, October 4, 2010

Accident on the Katy Trail

The Friends of the Katy Trail extends its condolences to the family of Lauren Huddleston, who died as the result of an accident on the Katy Trail.

Here are a few guidelines to follow to make the Katy Trail a safe and enjoyable place:

Keep to the right.
Announce “passing on left” when passing someone in front of you.
Always look both ways before moving across the Trail.
Maintain a safe speed and remain in control at all times.
Watch children carefully.
If using headphones, keep the volume low so you can hear those behind you.
Keep pets on a short leash.
Stop and look for traffic before crossing at Knox and Harvard streets

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am a friend of the Katy Trail, but if the board members do not step up and do something to regulate the outrageous high speeds of cyclists on the trail, then I may not be a friend much longer. The speeds at which these cyclist ride are ridiculous; there needs to be a speed limit. Just as driving, there are rules of the road - SPEED LIMITS. We don't want drivers getting out of control. The same should be done on the Katy Trail.

This trail should be used for joggers, walkers, skaters, and LEISURELY cyclists. If you are a cyclist and want to act like you are training for the Tour de France GO TO WHITE ROCK LAKE. My husband is a cyclist, so I am not against cyclists...there is just a time & place. The Katy Trail is not it.

The board puts out these 'rules', so cavalier. Go to the funeral of this young girl; think of the life the cyclist who killed her has to live...then hopefully you'll be compelled to make changes.

Your rules say to 'watch children carefully'; are we now supposed to put our young children on a leash; gosh forbid they should stray & be run over & killed.

Finally, I have participated in the 5k fund raiser for years...but board, why is it called the 'The Michelob Ultra No. 12 Katy 5K Run-Walk-Skate' Do you see a place for cyclist? NO.

Anonymous said...

Is this a leisure trail or a danger trail with the constant yelling of "on your left"? Bikes and skaters should limit speed to 10 mph. If a biker is out for workout why would they be on a trail that is about 12 or less minutes long for a biker. Bikers and skaters should always yield to pedestrians. Do pedestrians that don't adhere to strict rules to give high speed bikers access deserve a death sentence if they are not perfect? I skate and do not have a problem yielding to all even if I stop completely. Can't we walk quietly in nature, listen to music and make a move without dieing? The biggest problem should return to dog poop on trail.

Anonymous said...

Keep to the right.
Announce “passing on left” when passing someone in front of you.
Always look both ways before moving across the Trail.
Or you may die
Maintain a safe speed and remain in control at all times.
Watch children carefully.
Or they may die
If using headphones, keep the volume low so you can hear those behind you.
Or you may die
Keep pets on a short leash.
Or they may die
Stop and look for traffic before crossing at Knox and Harvard streets
Or you may die
Thanks for the tips. Good luck babies, kids, dogs and pedestrians.

Anonymous said...

Jxxx Rxxxx both bikes and runs on the Katy Trail and says this incident is unlikely to be repeated. "I think it was a freak accident and something that shouldn't be considered a dangerous activity here on the Katy Trail."
-------------------------------------
This person could not be more wrong, I have been on the trail since it started and the high speed bikes showed up a few years ago and have only increase speed and frequency. I am constantly whiffed (feeling breeze from bike going by) by bikes. I have been involved in discussions about the possibility of someone getting hurt from high speed bikes for the last year.

Anonymous said...

It has gotten to the time when the trail is too crowded for everyone to use how they want. It is too small to really accommodate bikers. No one can "police" the bikers- no one is against bikers( i use the trail for both) but whomever is traveling at a fast speed can hurt everyone else.
Just a month ago an elderly man turned right in front of my bike (he had on headphones). I hit the brakes so hard, I almost went over my handlebars. I was not going too fast, he just turned at the last minute and did not hear me announce my approach.
I am nervous to be a walker and a biker.
Dogs are not on short leashes which is a danger to everyone, esp bikers- children are all over the place.
I think there needs to be a time on the trail everyday for just bikers, other than that it needs to be a walking/jogging trail. This was such an unfortunate accident but it is time to pay attention.

Anonymous said...

Lance Armstrong wanabees and speed skaters ruined the trail for me years ago...walk,jog,or gently ride on wheels people!life is both fragile and far too short...slow down and live,if you want to race,please,go to the track...

Anonymous said...

This was a horrible accident for this family, her friends, the Katy Trail and for Dallas. Anyone from Dallas who has used the Katy Trail more than once knows there is just too much mixed traffic on the Trail: high-speed bikers, children biking, dog walkers, runners, strollers etc. I am also a Friend of the Katy Trail member, for the Trail to merely post signs and recommend ‘..maintain a safe speed..’ is not enough.

Bicycle riders and roller bladders routinely race down the Trail within inches of walking pedestrians, joggers and small children. I would recommend the City of Dallas ban all bicycle and roller bladders immediately until a long-term solution can be developed. A long-term solution would include widening the Trail and building a parallel bicycle and roller blade path.

The real issue is the Katy Trail Board serves as a fund raising and general landscaping recommendation commission; the point here is they have no real enforcement authority over the Trail.

The Trail is owned by the City of Dallas as a public park, so if real change is going to occur it needs to be at a Dallas City Council level!

This poses the same type of public danger as intersecting streets without traffic laws, stop signs, streetlights and right of ways. This should be a walk up call for the City of Dallas to take action.

My thoughts and prayers go out to this young girl’s family. This accident should have never occurred in a public park.

Anonymous said...

I am a regular road cyclist and don't ride on the Katy trail because I think it is too crowded to do so. I live next to the trail and jog and walk my friend's dog on the trail. My feeling is that road bikes should be excluded from at least the congested part of the trail (for example, from Knox St to town). Road bikes belong on “roads” – hence their name - that's where I ride. It is very apparent that some cyclists – particularly some on road bikes – are unaware of their responsibility (as a (fast) moving vehicle on the trail) to anticipate potential hazards. There are strollers, dogs on leashes and small children on small bikes among flanked walkers and runners (many with headsets) – no place for road bikes.

Zac P. said...

What an unfortunate accident. As an avid cyclist, regular KT runner, and ongoing volunteer for the Friends of the KT I can say that fast moving bicycles have no place on a 3.5-mile trail. Even as a multi-sport athlete sensitive to all users needs’ and familiar with trail etiquette and safety, I’ve had many close calls with speeding cyclist on the KT myself. A speed limit must be put in place for the protection of both pedestrians and cyclists.

Yes this accident is not the total fault of the cyclist, but a young jogger shouldn’t have to pay with her life for a cyclist’s inability to avoid a fatal accident.

Anonymous said...

On Saturdays and Sundays cyclists AND inline skaters are racing on the Katy Trail at excessive speeds. It will never stop unless you ban cycling and skating on the trail. The situtaion is similar to our streets but at least there we have the police to catch speeders and people have a chance of surviving because an automobile provides a bit of shielding from impact. Katy Trail: It's a trail, not a racetrack. Think about it.

Anonymous said...

there are some people that speed in cars on streets...lets ban cars from our streets

Anonymous said...

It maddens me to hear this called a "freak accident". I was struck by a cyclist from behind when I was running on the trail in July. I was lucky to only be thrown to the ground with multiple scrapes and bruises, I guess. I am an avid cyclist as well as a runner, and I would NEVER EVER ride on a heavily used trail like this. In my opinion, any cyclist who thinks a trail full of walkers, runners, strollers, dogs, and children is a legitimate place to ride a road bike needs to put his training wheels back on his bike and have his mother watch him ride around the driveway, or else go ride on a real road. I live in Houston, and the very popular running trails here are thoroughly signed as prohibited to bicycles. It is insane that cyclists are allowed on this trail, and selfish and foolish of cyclists to use it for high speed training.

Anonymous said...

interesting, the trail is designated as a pedestrian and bicycle trail...
but according to you, "mob rule" is in effect and the bicycles should be banned

what about all the cyclists and cyclist groups that provide funding for this trail to happen? you just tell them, thanks for your money that provides this trail, but sorry it's not for bicycles now? please continue to support it though...

i lived for many years in the Northwest where pedestrians and bicyclists coexist on smaller trails than this with no problem. everyone has to respect each other and be courteous...
oh, but it's all bicyclists fault...

Anonymous said...

I like the comment about Houston and the trail system there. Unfortunately, Dallas has not figured out that a well established park system that accommodates everyone is the answer.

Memorial Park is a great example. There is a running trail that prohibits cyclist but there is a separate section for road and MTB. Although i get annoyed by the trail runners in the MTB course. Sames goes for the bayou - they co-exist without deaths.

Its sad that Dallas only has white rock which is very inconvenient for most living downtown/uptown.

Hopefully the trinity river project will eliminate this issue.

I'm first and foremost a cyclist - but Katy is way to narrow and short to accommodate.

LanceM said...

I suggest that public service signs be put up at key entry areas. The signs could reiterate through simple visual design some of the safety points listed. (bike speed, helmet, callouts, iPods, stay to the right) Also, more police presence to encourage compliance.

inside said...

I was very sad when I saw the cross last week on the trail, even without knowing what happened… now that I know, I want to say a few things:

1st of all: my condolences to the girl’s family

2nd: I am also sorry for the cyclist in the accident

3rd: let’s ALL do our part so this doesn’t happen again!

I am a runner and I have NO PROBLEM with cyclists. I think we can ALL share the trail, all we need is a little bit of RESPECT for each other. And this is where I have the problem…

I run without music nor cell phones nor anything else. I just run. I run on the right. I yell to other runners or walkers when I am about to pass them. I look back before I pass, just in case… And I expect the same for people around me.

I was on the trail today and I was passed 42 times (I run it twice) by cyclists who did NOT yelled “on the left” or made ANY noise while passing me and other 8 cyclists who did announce themselves… At first, I told them “you should announce when you are passing!”. But then I stopped. I don’t remember if I stopped after one of them told me to go and “F$%^* OFF”… or if it was after I saw the 2 trail police guys and told them “9 people passed me without announcing themselves” and they say “OK…” like I WAS THE CRAZY ONE… or maybe I stopped after I saw 12 guys on bikes passing on the other side without saying a word, just pretending that they OWED the trail… (big groups SHOULD be banned!)… You get the point! My comments were not welcomed….

Don’t get me wrong, I also saw runners turning abruptly without looking back, kids changing lanes all the sudden with parents not even paying attention, people with dogs on extremely long leashes that even after I yelled “on your left” kept their dogs on extremely long leashes… and that is nothing compared to the head sets… 99% of the people has them… and they have no clue on what happens next to them…

I don’t think that the trail needs more “signs”. I just think that EVERYBODY needs to learn to RESPECT EACH OTHER. If we ALL lose the head sets (at least, don’t have them all the way up!), we all keep a straight line, we all announce our next movements, and the cyclists keep a LOW speed and dogs on a short leash… we can ALL be good… we are all “healthy conscious people” that means we have a conscience…. Let’s USE IT!

Paula W

PS: I do think that groups of bikers should be banned and a maximum speed should be imposed. Other than that, we don’t need more signs. We just need to RESPECT each other and learn to coexist!

Anonymous said...

Oct 11: Again this morning, two cyclists travelling at high speeds and weaving dangerously in and out of the traffic of joggers and walkers. It is only a matter of time before we have another tragedy on the Trail. Please consider limiting cyclists to a 10 mph speed limit!

Anonymous said...

Unbreakable glareless mirrors every half mile throughout the trail would be a solution to all

Anonymous said...

Board members please do something about skaters and cyclists going too fast. This is the third person I know of to be hit by a bike on KT. Please prevent anyone else from being hurt or killed by those who think they are the only ones entitled to the trail. This is a tragedy that should have been prevented by the board taking appropriate action from incidents of the past. Take action now and save a life.

Anonymous said...

As a runner, I will not run Katy trail. I've been tripped, I've kicked strollers, I've knocked children and people down who have dart around like tree rats. I go out of my way to avoid them, however they seem to like to just jump in front of faster and larger moving objects. I've often lectured a parent about keeping their kids in check as the next time could be a bicycle chain ring slicing their kid's throat as the impact happens.

As a cyclist: I've never had an issue on the trail, a few near misses but I likely use the trail at off peak hours with the bike.

How fast was this cyclist moving? 10mph is enough to kill someone if they land correctly, some runners travel at this speed.

I ride a very busy off-road trail, it's about 4' wide at best. Trail runners and other cyclists can navigate with very minimal incident and most people get along. No rules are posted anywhere about what to do and how to do it; it's just a culture that's more in tune with their surroundings; whereas Katy users generally have an up close view of their own hemorrhoids.

Anonymous said...

Cyclist, jogger, rollerblader, and walker with the family. I do all of the above at Katy Trail. The cyclists have a Stop sign there and some still do not know how to abide by the law and proceed to stop when they are required. It's the total ignorance, "I can do what I want" attitude, and utter stupidity that is making these bikers look worse everyday. After the October 1st tragic accident that claimed a life a few days later there was a statement/question about how the majority of us would feel if a cyclist hit an elder individual. A few days later, this happens at White Rock involving another cyclist. Now we can see how such a large amount of cyclists do not know how to stop at a stop sign. It may not be a "legal road" to some of these bikers, but those are "legal signs" we must all abide by on these trails and roads. Stop signs with no yield for traffic on Cole means the cyclists better stop and look both ways before proceeding. It is the same at Knox. They better read and act at the Stop sign there before proceeding. It is only after the cyclists make their required stop that the oncoming traffic must yield! Simple drivers ed at the level of a 15 year olds mind needs to be followed. I just hope that cyclists with childrens attatchments to their bikes all know what street signs and yellow dividing lines are for and know how to abide by them as well.

Anonymous said...

I walked KT again early this morning. It was not very crowded but once again the cyclist were going way too fast. Too fast to stop if someone stepped out in front of them. It's still very dangerous and I'm wondering if it will take another death to get something done. Ban cyclists and rollerblading because they go too fast. 2 of my friends have been hit by cyclist going too fast. Please do something before there is another tragedy.

Phoenix Personal Injury said...

Sad news indeed. My condolences to Lauren's family. Everyone should do their part. Everyone should be responsible to keep everyone safe.

Anonymous said...

It's sad that the too fast cyclist problem has just gotten worse over time and no one cares. Lauren is still dead and it is set up to happen again. Association wants more money and will not take a stand for the majority and what is right. I know they have no authority, since it is a dallas park, but they do have a voice, it is silent. Incidents still happen constantly. Cyclist are andorphine addicts which explains their militant, all about me attitude to have right to go 20+mph down trail and everyone conform so that they can do exactly what they want. It is only a matter of time until there is another death. Another bilingual sign? Whats happening in our country when people could do something look the other way. e.g. Penn State
Please stop fast bike or remove them, they are the problem, not everyone else.

Anonymous said...

In addition, and in reference to the police that patrol the trail. I have never seen police ever do anything about the high speed bikes on trail. They just seem to ride along talking to each other, practically never interacting with trail users. I'm sure they have helped to reduce attacks but since they are paid, I would expect more than just riding back and forth when everyone else does it for free. Come on "To serve and protect".
Solutions:
1. police walk trail sometimes interact with people.
2. Blend in (no uniform) and see the dangers cyclist create.
3. Ticket or at least reprimand cyclist for dangerous speeds.

There are kids on tricycles, strollers, small dogs on leashes they cannot be forced to be responsible for every step they take and one wrong move is injury or death.

Andi said...

My heart goes out to Lauren's family. I'd suggest to her family to look into www.deathletters.org. The grieving process is a long and painful one but knowing someone is going through the same thing gets it a little less difficult.