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Transportation

The Santa Fe Trail Detour Isn’t Safe

Are you up for playing real-life Frogger on Garland Road?
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Near the south end of White Rock Lake, we’ve been dealing with some road construction as TxDOT works to reconfigure the intersection where Garland, Grand, and Gaston roads converge. It’s been super fun. As part of that project, the Santa Fe Trail bridge over Garland Road was supposed to shut down—back in early April.

Well, the pedestrian bridge finally closed last week, and a detour has been instituted. It sucks. More than sucking, it puts people in danger.

Yesterday, in a journalism-style field investigation, I rode the detour with my phone duct taped to my helmet so that I could bring you the thrilling video below. It’s about 14 minutes long. After you watch it, though, you’ll wish it were twice that length. That’s a guarantee. A few observations and highlights:

Along my ride, I met a woman walking a pig on a leash. If you take away nothing else from this exercise but one fact, I want it to be this one: there are people in East Dallas walking pigs on leashes.

This detour needs to be reconfigured. It crosses Garland and Grand roads—aka State Highway 78—not once but twice without signal-light protection for cyclists and pedestrians. One of those crossings is six lanes wide. With no exaggeration, this thing is dangerous. Bike DFW calls it “a tragedy waiting to happen.” Councilman Jesse Moreno tweeted yesterday that they have asked the city’s Park and Recreation Department to reevaluate the detour. That needs to happen posthaste.

One last detail about this amazing video: I ended my trip by paying a surprise visit to a special friend of FrontBurner who happens to live near the Santa Fe Trail. When I have more news about his injury, I will update this post. Let’s be careful out there, folks.

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Tim Rogers

Tim Rogers

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Tim is the editor of D Magazine, where he has worked since 2001. He won a National Magazine Award in…

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