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The Trail Foundation Launches Trail Safety Campaign to Educate Users of The Butler Trail At Lady Bird Lake

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The Trail Foundation Launches Trail Safety Campaign to Educate Users of The Butler Trail At Lady Bird Lake

AUSTIN, TEXAS, April 18, 2016 — The Trail Foundation today launched the first Trail Safety campaign to help educate and encourage users on how to keep safety top-of-mind. The goal of the safety campaign is to encourage users to share the Trail and respect fellow users so that the Ann and Roy Butler Trail at Lady Bird Lake continues to be a peaceful and enjoyable place for all users. The campaign consists of temporary on-Trail signage and a series of humorous videos that bring the most common “Trail fails” to life. Watch the first video here.

As the Austin population continues to grow, the usage and the needs of the Trail are growing commensurately. There are approximately 3,000 to 15,000 people who use the Trail daily depending on the weather and time of year. For illustrative purposes, on Saturday, April 2, there were 8,925 people who used the west end of the Trail.

Trail users include walkers, runners, walkers/runners with dogs (some on and some off leash), bikers, birders, and strollers. There’s even the occasional person on a unicycle and the parent teaching their young child how to ride a bike. “The increasing traffic of users presents space constraints that can create unnecessary conflicts and a potentially diminished experience for all Trail users. The Trail Foundation developed this safety campaign in collaboration with the City Parks & Recreation Department to help Trail users understand how they can share the Trail and work together to prevent collisions and injuries.” said Susan Rankin executive director of The Trail Foundation.

The Trail Foundation enlisted the help of Sanders\Wingo, an award-winning advertising agency, who created the campaign based on research on trail safety, what the perceived issues are at the Butler Trail, and what solutions have succeeded in other cities.  Four key messages top Trail users’ safety concerns and are addressed: “Make Room” (no more than two people across); “Don’t Be Shy” (when passing someone, call out “on your left”); “Slow Your Roll” (there is a 10MPH speed limit); “Keep Them Leashed” (pets have to be on a 6’ leash unless in designated off-leash areas). These safety messages can be seen on temporary signs at the Trail, in four new video PSAs, and on The Trail Foundation’s social media accounts with the hashtag #TrailSafeAustin. Watch the first video, “Trail Fail Dogs” here. The Trail Foundation is working with local cycling, running, pet, and other organizations to the extend the reach of the campaign.

As the steward of the Butler Trail, The Trail Foundation continues to make enhancements through careful improvements to the infrastructure and the environment. This safety campaign reaffirms The Trail Foundation’s legacy of appreciated Trail enhancements that touch the lives of Austinites every day.

About The Trail Foundation

The Trail Foundation (TTF) protects and enhances the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake, Austin’s central green space that makes the city such a great place to live. Since its formation in 2003 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, TTF has fulfilled its mission through careful improvements to the Trail’s infrastructure and environment, such as adding new locally designed restrooms and trailheads as well as planting native trees to increase shade, habitat diversity and beauty. In a distinctively collaborative effort, TTF works in cooperation with the Austin Parks and Recreation Department to close the gap between what the City can provide and what the Trail deserves. The popular Boardwalk is a direct result of this unique partnership.

About the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake

The Trail is the heart of Austin, a lush, urban path that meanders along the water’s edge and passes by skyscrapers, neighborhoods, ball fields and cultural attractions. As the city’s most recognized and popular recreation area, the 10-mile Trail is visited more than 1.5 million times each year. Trail users come from all over the city; in fact, the average distance people travel to the Trail is 6.75 miles. The Trail is critical to Austin’s economy as both an important factor in attracting and retaining employees and as a key factor in Austinites’ quality of life.

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