The Katy Trail
The Katy Trail
The Katy Trail is a jogging, walking, inline skating, and bicycling path that runs through the Uptown and Oak Lawn areas of Dallas, Texas (USA), following the path of the old Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, which was known as MKT or the Katy.
In Dallas, Texas, abandoned railroad tracks that once divided the downtown core are rapidly being transformed into the unifying Katy Trail, a linear 3.5-mile (5.6 km) long landscaped pedestrian, inline skating, and bicycle trail system that runs through the most densely developed section of the city. Construction started in Spring 2000. Several features have already been completed, including the 12-foot (3.7 m)-wide primary trail, two of four new entrance plazas, and four of the six planned pedestrian bridges. Construction was completed in 2007 on the Thomsen Overlook plaza overlooking Reverchon Park. An 8-foot (2.4 m)-wide secondary jogging trail only has 1 mile (1.6 km) left of construction, which will be completed once more funding is secured.
The work is being carried out by The Friends of Katy Trail under a Master Plan created by The SWA Group office in Dallas.
The trail consists of a 12-foot (3.7 m) wide concrete path for pedestrians and cyclists that runs 3.5 miles (5.6 km) from the American Airlines Center in Victory Park to Mockingbird Station (a DART light rail station) near Southern Methodist University. Next to the concrete path, a soft recycled-rubber track is built parallel for runners.
This adaptive re-use of unused railroad tracks—long a public eyesore and nuisance—unifies several important Dallas districts and provides a major recreational amenity for the more than 300,000 people who live and work within a mile of the Trail. (The southernmost trail head is just 0.5 miles (800 m) from downtown Dallas at the American Airlines Center.) This new, partly completed linear greenway already attracts pedestrians and nature-lovers, both Dallas residents and visitors.
The Katy Trail is also directly responsible for an upsurge in property values and retail/restaurant sales in adjacent neighborhoods and developments. The April 21, 2006, The Dallas Morning News called Katy Trail “one of our city’s favorite outdoor spaces.” Katy Trail has become such a popular jogging location that some Dallasites quip, “The trains don’t run here any more . . . Dallas does.”