After the death of Lauren Huddleston in October, when a cyclist crashed into the jogger along the Katy Trail, and a car-and-cyclist collision two weeks later, council member Angela Hunt wrote that she'd met with city staff and Friends of the Katy Trial to "address trail safety for all users." A plan, she said, would be made public by mid-December -- Monday, as it turns out, when the council's Quality of Life Committee is scheduled to be briefed on the plan.
A copy of the memo sent to council this week follows, and it includes everything from increased police patrols to better signage and street crossings to trail-user education, among the copious "immediate action" items and those further down the road. Says Hunt of the proposal, it's the result of several meetings, including one only a few days ago, during which Park and Rec officials and the Friends crafted the checklist.
"I think staff, working with the Friends of the Katy Trail, has done an exceptional job in responding to the critical safety needs for our trail system -- not just the immediate needs, but a really thoughtful, long-term plan for how to deal with safety needs," says Hunt, who adds that such a plan was inevitable but eventually made a top priority in the wake of a tragedy.
"At some point, as part of the new bike plan, in the future we would have examined how to address trail safety," she says. "But there's no doubt the recent tragedies -- certainly, Lauren Huddleston's death and the accident on Cole -- made it clear we had to move quickly. It's a very thoughtful, comprehensive way to move forward in addressing safety for all trail users."