October 2009

Article on Great Allegheny Passage (Rail-Trail)

An interesting article from the NY Times relating just how enjoyable rail-trail journeys can be. Should the Southeast Highspeed Corridor be constructed, over 130 miles of rail with trail from Richmond to Raleigh is a long term possibility.

Special Awards Presented at Annual Meeting of NC Rail-Trails

Two former Board members of NC Rail-Trails were presented with Carolyn R. Townsend Award plaques for their long term volunteer efforts over many years. These awards were supported by a special gift from George Smart of Durham, a long time member of NCRT. The first recipient was: Carolyn (CR) Townsend, who served as the group's Chair for 18 years until January 2009. Smart presented the second Carolyn R. Townsend Volunteer Award to Jean  Middleton of Durham in recognition for years of service on the Board of Directors and as Assistant Treasurer and Treasurer. Jean continues as NCRT's  Membership Chairman. As a trails supporter since 1987, Smart remarked that he wanted to somehow recognize and reward these long term volunteers for their generosity and dedication over many years. View these images of CR  and Jean  with Mr. Smart

Quarterly News Items from AL Capehart

Granville County

The Surface Transportation Board (STB) granted Norfolk Southern (NS) a “continuance of service” of the Oxford to Clarksville rail line, although there has not been traffic on the rails in the past 18 years and pine trees are growing up between the ties. The county would like for NS to ask to request the STB to assign a Public Use Condition and an Interim Trail Use Certificate allowing for track and tie removal and the conversion to a trail or rail with trail. At the NC Rail Corridor Roundtable meeting on 9/28  corridor preservation for this line was dicussed. Oxford to Clarksville in Granville County is stymied by the legal issues of a greenway trail on the NS rail corridor and most especially the concept of rail with trail. A question was  posed as to whether NS would lease it to Granville County and request the Surface Transportation Board to assign an interim trail use condition.

Atlantic Coast Line Rail-Trail (Cumberland, Sampson, Pender & New Hanover Counties) – Fayetteville to Wilmington.

West Pender Rail Trail Alliance met September 25th in Burgaw. The adjacent property owners and the county commissioner reaction to the rail-trail proposal have caused the county planning department to withdraw its active participation with the Alliance.  Pender County Travel and Tourism continues its active support. Plans are for a fund raising bicycle ride (Battleship to Battleground) the USS NC, Wilmington, to Moore’s Creek Revolutionary Battleground, Currie - Pender County. The Cape Fear Cyclists and UNCW Environmental Club will help make it happen to raise money for the Alliance to incorporate and apply for qualification as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

North Carolina Active Transportation Alliance. NCRT was present at their August 15th annual meeting in Charlotte, Nancy Pierce, Alison Carpenter, CR Townsend and AL Capehart. Nancy lead the bicycle ride after the meeting. Alison serves a chair of the NCATA.

Ecusta Trail – Hendersonville to Brevard- Henderson & Transylvania Counties. Has gotten good press which has enlivened the opposition. The Brevard Bike Path is now entering the Pisgah National Forest. The Petition is still on-line and continuing to add signatures. See picture of this verdant corridor in our photo gallery.

Flickr Account Set Up for Trails Images

On October 5th NC Rail-Trails established a Flickr account  for the storage and display of images from rail-trails all over North Carolina. In Flickr, find it by searching for NCRT. On the search page results look on the lower right for the NCRT Groups icon and click on that to view the contents. Posting to this account is moderated and does require a Yahoo ID. Captions for each image are desirable but not required. For images not captioned, please identify the name of the trail and the city or location. Storage space for our NCRT Group is not unlimited so we ask that you upload images with smaller file sizes. We welcome images from our members, our Local Contacts and from the public. If you have rail-trails images but are unable to upload them to Flickr, please send them to our webmaster.

Update on Washington-Greenville Greenway

The Washington-Greenville Greenway committee met in July and September. Bob Henkel, of Washington's planning board, has prepared a presentation about the trail for the City Council's September meeting, to update the City Council on expected costs and route. The planned Phase 1 will extend from downtown Washington, partially on the abandoned rail corridor, to a prospective park site in western Beaufort County, a distance of about 8 miles. The estimated cost for Phase 1 is for the purchase a 30’ wide trail easement for nearly 8 miles at $6K – $10K an acre or between $180 to $300K. The City of Greenville is also interested in connecting. The committee is working on getting Phase 1 of the project included in the latest Transportation Improvements Project (TIP) list for ranking.