City of Plano Parks and Recreation

Posted on: October 19, 2017

Bluebonnet Trail repair project to include new pedestrian signal

BlueBonnet_WEB

A project to rebuild and widen a mile long section of the Bluebonnet Trail from Blue Ridge Trail to Alma Drive will officially begin on Monday, Oct. 30.

A project to rebuild and widen a mile long section of the Bluebonnet Trail from Blue Ridge Trail to Alma Drive will officially begin on Monday, Oct. 30. The 8-month-long project will widen the concrete hike-and-bike trail from 8-feet to 12-feet, bringing it up to today’s standards.

The project also entails replacing broken portions of trail that could pose a safety risk for users, so the trail will be closed through this section during construction. Adjacent property owners will be receiving notices about the upcoming closure in the mail.

The Bluebonnet Trail is one of Plano’s oldest and most beloved trails. Built in 1978, the hard surface trail spans roughly eight miles across Plano, from Preston Road eastward to Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve.

BlueBonnet3_WEBTo also help enhance safety along the trail, we will be adding a Pedestrian Hybrid Beacon, or HAWK signal. This pedestrian-activated warning device is a first for Plano and will be installed at the intersection of Bluebonnet Trail and Alma Drive. This signal will remain dark for traffic along Alma Drive until a trail user presses the crosswalk button. It then places a request in the timing that will coordinate with other signals and turn the HAWK red, requiring traffic on Alma Drive to stop at the trail crossing. After enough time for most users to cross the street, it will turn dark to allow traffic on Alma Drive to begin moving again.

Many other cities throughout the United States have installed these HAWK (which stands for High-intensity Activated crossWalK) signals in high traffic areas with positive results. In fact, these pedestrian hybrid beacons have been shown to provide the following safety benefits:

  • Up to a 69 percent reduction in pedestrian crashes; and
  • Up to a 29 percent reduction in total roadway crashes

If you are interested in learning more about these devices, videos can be found on YouTube from other organizations and municipalities. Here is one from Salt Lake City, Utah: http://bit.ly/2x5i0yr.

Work hours for the project are 7 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday, except on City holidays. Any road lane closures will only be permitted between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. We will continue to keep you updated on this project as it moves forward. In the meantime, you can always check out Park Project Plans page for information on this and other ongoing projects.

Thank you for your patience as we work to keep Plano’s favorite trail usable and safe!

 

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