City leaders, group discuss Katy Trail safety in wake of death

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by CYNTHIA VEGA

WFAA

Posted on October 11, 2010 at 4:20 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 11 at 8:04 PM

DALLAS - Friends of the Katy Trail met with Dallas city leaders behind closed doors Monday afternoon.

The group requested the meeting to discuss new ways to make the trail safer in the wake of an accident that killed 28-year-old Lauren Huddleston. Huddleston was jogging along the trail when a cyclist slammed into her from behind, knocking her to the ground. She suffered a head injury and died just a few days later on October 3.

Both city leaders and members of the Friends of Katy Trail say they want to make sure everything is being done to maintain the safety of both bikers and runners on the trail.

Among the ideas that have been brought up include increasing signs that encourage runners to stay on the pedestrian path and cyclists on the main path. Also proposed was a 10 mph speed limit for cyclists and widening paths where possible.

Council member Angela Hunt, whose district includes the Katy Trail, says Monday's meeting was all about an exchange of ideas.

"I think right now we need to have a conversation about how wide our trails are and how we can accommodate both pedestrians and bicyclists in a safe manner," she said. "Creating a 10-foot wide trail just isn't going to cut it, even a 12-foot trail. I think we need to look at other cities that do 16-foot, 20-foot wide trails."

Hunt said the meeting also brought to light the need for more paths and trails for cyclists.

Included at the meeting were Hunt, members of the park board and staff and members of the Friends of the Katy Trail. They are expected to continue the discussion in the upcoming weeks.

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