Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Let’s Take a Hike!

The weather outside is beautiful this time of year, aside from the occasional 100-degree day. The evenings and mornings are cool and crisp. What better way to enjoy the outdoors with a hike around your neighborhood or community! 

Southlake is home to over 180 miles of sidewalks and trails, for a variety of exercise or leisure options. The best news is there’s more to come! 

The City of Southlake’s interactive sidewalks map shows hikers existing sidewalks and trails, as well as those planned for the future.  

The perfect sidewalk or trail is just a few steps away, so grab your water bottle and sneakers, and head outside for hike. 

To keep up with all things mobility in Southlake, visit ConnectSouthlake.com, the Southlake Mobility Facebook page or sign up for the mobility e-newsletter. 

Connecting Southlake One Neighborhood at a Time

As the community continues to develop, plans to create more sidewalks in Southlake are part of our plan to connect residents to each other.

The City recently wrapped up the Continental Sidewalk project, providing a continuous connection along Continental Boulevard, FM 1709, S. Kimball Avenue and S. Carroll Avenue to for pedestrians to walk to schools, parks and shopping areas from their homes. Ongoing street projects such as the N. White Chapel Widening and the Zena Rucker Connector will also include sidewalks.

What does this mean for existing neighborhoods designed without sidewalks?

The City offers programs that enable residents to request the construction or filling of sidewalk gaps within their neighborhoods. This process is often referred to as neighborhood retrofits.

Residents can submit a request for a new sidewalk or to fill in the gaps of an existing sidewalk by completing this form. Requests are forwarded to the City Council for consideration in the priority plan. Once requests are approved, neighborhood organizations and HOAs can utilize the Neighborhood Sidewalk Matching Funds program in which the City matches 50% of the cost of sidewalk design and construction.

These partnerships foster collaboration and allow the City to work with residents to provide a sustainable solution for the interest of both parties. Together, we can help connect Southlake and make it a great place to live, work and play.

Residents are required to complete the Neighborhood Sidewalk Matching Funds Program Application and submit a petition to demonstrate the support of other homeowners near the proposed sidewalk.

If City Council approves the petition, the HOA or organization will need to complete a Sidewalk Participation Agreement with the Public Works Department. The 50% match is required before sidewalk construction starts.

To learn more about the City of Southlake’s sidewalk programs click here. To complete a Neighborhood Sidewalk Matching Funds Request click here.


An Inside Look at Sidewalks in Southlake

Assistant City Manager Ben Thatcher presented an inside look at Southlake’s Sidewalk Program during the February 4 Council meeting.

He discussed updates on sidewalk infrastructure and how the City plans and funds sidewalks.

Thatcher showed how residents can utilize an embedded interactive map on the City’s sidewalk page and explained how residents can get information pertaining to sidewalks.

The easy to use map shows all of the existing sidewalks, hiking and equestrian trails and provides information about future sidewalk segments in Southlake.  

As new neighborhoods develop, plans to include more sidewalks are in the works. As for the more established areas in Southlake, the City wants to help them obtain sidewalks as well. 

“We’re open to working with neighborhoods to come in and retro fit sidewalks if we’re able to get an easement or get the right-of-way,” Thatcher said. 

The page even includes an in-depth video about planning and funding sidewalk projects and a contact form to connect residents to Public Works directly. 

For more information about sidewalks or to view the City’s sidewalk pages, please visit ConnectSouthlake.com.   

Understanding Mobility: Tactile Paving in Southlake Town Square

Have you ever noticed the change on the sidewalk near a street crossing?

It starts to shift from being flat concrete to concrete slightly raised in a circular pattern that is a different shade and slopes downward? Those colorful, bumpy designs have a significant purpose.

Known as detectable warning surfaces and pavers, they are designed to inform the visually impaired that there is about to be a change in path or direction.

Detectable pavers are a part of the tactile paving system. The word tactile means it can be felt. The colors vary from red, to white, to yellow and the design can be stripes or blisters and sometimes a combination of both. Different designs indicate different mobility notifications. In most cases, if you see or feel these pavers, it’s an indication that you are about to approach the street, ramp or top or bottom of stairs. Installation of these pavers is also in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Southlake Town Square has several detectable pavers at the end of each sidewalk to assist pedestrians. These pavers are the red tiles with offset blisters. The contrast of the red color against the concrete is easier to see for those who are partially-sighted.

Now as you’re walking through Town Square and other areas, you will understand what these devices mean and how they are designed to improve mobility for all pedestrians. The City’s goal is to ensure that sidewalks and pathways can accommodate everyone and help the visually impaired navigate through Southlake safely.


City Continues to Prioritize Providing Pedestrian Pathways

At the most recent November 19 City Council Meeting, Assistant City Manager Ben Thatcher reaffirmed the City’s commitment to improving mobility in Southlake is not just on roadways but sidewalks too.

“Mobility and infrastructure are key focuses for us, we want to provide travel convenience within the City,” Thatcher commented during his presentation. “That’s not only in road construction but also in sidewalk construction. It’s very much in the forefront of our budget and resource allocation.”

In the last couple Citizen Satisfaction Surveys, respondents indicated that pedestrian pathways were very or somewhat important, while only little more than half of the respondents were very or somewhat satisfied with the City’s efforts to provide them.

“We understand that it’s an important service that the City provides to our residents,” noted Thatcher. “We have an annual appropriation of budget funds that go towards capital projects for filling in the gaps in our sidewalk network. We continue to put money aside.”

“In the last 5 years we’ve spent just under $1.3 million retrofitting and filling in the gaps in our sidewalk network,” said Thatcher.

And in the past 10 years, the City has added more than 21 miles of sidewalks. Thatcher encouraged residents to visit the sidewalk pages on the City’s website and check out the interactive sidewalk map. The map shows the current sidewalk network, future sidewalk segment, and hiking and equestrian trails. It also allows you to search by the address and gives the history of the segment at the bottom of the map.

During the presentation, Thatcher also talked about the sidewalk construction barriers the City faces. The most common barriers include the right of way acquisition, topography, utility relocation, tree removal and damage to existing structures. Right of way acquisitions challenges are the most likely to prevent a project from moving forward and can outweigh all other factors.

“Sometimes we don’t have the property so we have to go out and acquire it just like on a road project,” noted Thatcher. He also spoke about how what appears to be a simple sidewalk project on the surface can run into its challenges. “Because of the grade changes, ADA requirements, all of a sudden a simple sidewalk project becomes something that needs to be engineered to a great deal,” he said.

The City utilizes several different funding sources to help build sidewalks. Those sources include:

  • CIP Funding, where the City can retrofit projects along roads, or as part of a larger project, such as the reconstruction of N. White Chapel;
  • Developer Agreements where the City works with developers to incorporate sidewalks into their developments;
  • Local State and Federal Grants, these are typically administered by Tarrant County, NCTCOG and TxDOT,
  • and Neighborhood Sidewalk Matching Funds Program

Finally, Thatcher discussed current active projects. The most noticeable project is the N. White Chapel Widening project currently under construction. New sidewalks were incorporated into this project and when completed will provide sidewalk connectivity on N. White Chapel from FM 1709 to SH 114.

Also under construction is the Continental Boulevard sidewalk project. This is between South Hollow Drive and Crooked Lane on the north side of the road. Construction is anticipated to begin in late spring for sidewalks on Kirkwood Boulevard from TW King to Tyler Street both sides of the road. This project is currently in the design phase. And new sidewalks on FM 1709, near the south side of The Hill Church, have their design under review.

Thatcher also encouraged anyone with sidewalk questions to visit the ConnectSouthlake.com website and view the sidewalk pages or to contact the Sidewalk Program Manager Stephanie Taylor, Transportation Manager in the Traffic Management Division.


N. White Chapel Widening Project On Schedule and Making Major Headway

The end of the school year is right around the corner and while that means summer break for many, it’s rock and roll time for the N. White Chapel widening project. N. White Chapel from Highland to SH 114 will have a totally new look by the time school is back in session.

Despite some intervention from Mother Nature with some heavy rain falls, the project is pretty much on schedule. Most recently in mid-April, crews closed a section of east Highland to begin construction of the east side of the dual-lane roundabout.

If you’ve driven through the N. White Chapel and Highland intersection, you can see the roundabout starting to take shape. The old pavement has been removed and crews are working on leveling the surface in preparation to pave. Work on this side of the roundabout is expected to be completed by early June so work on the other side of the roundabout can begin.

New pavement is in on the southbound lanes and is closer to joining with the existing pavement close to the intersection of N. White Chapel and SH 114. Meanwhile what’s left to pave on the northbound traffic side is formed up to be ready to pave. Weather permitting the contractor hopes to have paving of the new traffic lanes completed in a few weeks.

“It’s great to be able to actually see the roundabout taking shape,” notes City Engineer and Deputy Director of Public Works Kyle Hogue. “So far 70 percent of the work has been completed. Up next is the completion of the roundabout, installation of public art in the roundabout, landscaping and new sidewalks.”

As with any construction project, drivers are encouraged to be extra aware of their surroundings and if possible avoid the area.

In the meantime, if you haven’t already, follow Southlake Mobility on Facebook for all the up-to-date mobility news in Southlake. You can also visit the website at www.ConnectSouthlake.com.

New Four Lane Stretch of Kirkwood Boulevard Improves Mobility in Southlake

Mobility in the north end of Southlake just got a little better, thanks to the widening of Kirkwood Boulevard between Stockton Drive and Tyler Street. The new four-lane roadway also includes new sidewalks on the west side of the road from Dove Road to Tyler.

The final piece of the project to be completed will be the median landscape, which is expected to be completed after the summer heat dissipates.

“This is another great mobility project we’re glad to have completed,” said Public Works Director Rob Cohen. “It was designed and constructed to help Southlake motorists get where they want to go as safely and quickly as possible. I’m glad it is moving along on time and the major work was completed before back to school rush traffic increases across the city.”

A part of a Capital Improvement Plan project designed to help improve current and future mobility in the area, work on Kirkwood started last year. This section of Kirkwood was always intended to be a four-lane, divided roadway, and the expansion of the last two-lane section has increased roadway capacity in the area. This is a welcomed improvement which has accommodated traffic generated by the opening of TD Ameritrade this past spring.

Other recent major projects in the area include the Kirkwood intersection improvements. As part of the City’s 2030 Mobility Master Plan the improvements included the addition of traffic signals at TW King and Kirkwood and Dove and Kirkwood, as well as new turn lanes at each intersection. The City also partnered with TxDOT and Westlake to improve the efficiency of the intersection of Kirkwood and State Highway 114 with the addition of turn lanes and traffic signals. These additions were completed in the spring.

For more information about Capital Improvement Plan projects, visit the City’s new mobility website at www.ConnectSouthlake.com.

New Connect Southlake Mobility Website Helps You Stay In-The-Know to Stay On-The-Go

From traffic tips to road construction and sidewalk options, the new Connect Southlake Mobility Page is your one-stop-shop for all things related to mobility in the City of Southlake. Designed as a resource to help keep Southlake residents and visitors moving freely, the page offers various options for learning more about issues that impact mobility.

As Southlake and the surrounding region has grown, traffic congestion has increased. Helping people get where they need to go efficiently and safely is one of the City’s top priorities. The new Connect Southlake Mobility Page will bring us one step closer to helping resolve mobility problems in Southlake.

The Connect Southlake Mobility Page offers the following resource links to combat mobility challenges:

  • Helping You Get Around: Waze, Lyft or Uber, navigating to Southlake and more.
  • The Future: Upcoming innovations that will increase mobility.
  • Sidewalks Where You Live: Where to find sidewalks in Southlake.
  • Bicycles Around Town: Where to find bicycle lanes in Southlake.

View Big Projects for an interactive tour of projects focused on increasing the ease of mobility and traffic flow and stay on top of upcoming and ongoing mobility projects. Click on a project to read the project’s description and see the physical location of the project indicated on a map.

See what’s new in the City regarding road construction, lane closures and more via the Mobility News section. Simply click on a mobility-related story to read the full article on MySouthlakeNews.com.

For live updates, be sure to follow @SouthlakeMobility on Facebook for the latest information on the City’s road construction projects and what is being done to improve mobility in Southlake.

Still have questions about traffic? The City of Southlake’s Traffic Management Division was created to respond to current and future transportation needs. Contact their office at (817) 748 8098.

FM 1709 Sidewalk Project – TxDOT Contractor to Commence Surveying

UPDATE 2-21-2013 – The City of Southlake would like to make all drivers aware that the contractor for the City’s sidewalk project has requested lane closures from February 22nd – March 8th. This close will affect the following areas:

  • The outside lane of Pearson to Davis eastbound
  • The outside lane of Diamond Blvd. to White Chapel westbound.

These closures will be in effect 9:00am to 3:00pm daily.

UPDATE 2-1-2013 – The City of Southlake would like to make all drivers aware that the outside lanes of the Southlake Boulevard eastbound will be closed between Pearson and Davis  Boulevard from 2/4/2013 through 2/8/2013 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. due to the Southlake Boulevard sidewalk project.

A pre-construction meeting was held with Jagoe Public Co. and TxDOT on Thursday, January 24th, for the FM 1709 sidewalk project. Beginning Monday, January 28, 2013, the TxDOT contractor, Jagoe, will be potholing and collecting survey data needed for the sidewalk project.

In order to collect this data, TxDOT’s contractor will need to temporarily close lane segments along FM 1709 for short periods of time at various locations. Once construction of the sidewalks begins, the lane closures will be daily between the hours of 9am and 3pm. All efforts will be made to minimize the impact to the commuting public during peak traffic hours, and electronic message boards will be placed along FM 1709 to inform motorists. This project will take approximately 6 months to complete. For questions, please contact City of Southlake Public Works department at 817-748-8098 or visit CityofSouthlake.com.