February 2010

Washington-Greenville Greenway news

At the Washington-Greenville Greenway committee meeting in February, it was reported that the W-G Greenway is now on the state's Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) list of projects (a necessary first step before funding is allocated, which make take several years). The project, including links to the town of Chocowinity, is listed in the NCDOT Strategic Prioritization Results (Non-Highway) as TIP #EB-4703, but does not yet have a ranking. Meanwhile the city of Washington has submitted a Bicycle Planning Grant request to NCDOT's Bike-Ped division. Students from ECU's Geography department have created a map of the trail routing possibilities at both the Washington and Greenville ends. Bianca Gentile has been asked to compose content for a W-GG web page on the City of Washington's website, to be linked also to the town of Chocowinity's and to Beaufort County's website The next meeting of the W-G Greenway committee is Tuesday, March 16th, at 3:30 p.m. in the Washington Parks and Recreation office. All are welcome.

Bridging Rails-to-Trails--A Documentary on the ATT

After several years of preparation, Carol Thomson has now posted her documentary on the history of the American Tobacco Trail. NCRT provided support to her early efforts on this project. A formal presentation of the documentary is scheduled for 7-8pm on March 24th, at the Durham  Arts Council theater. The recent release includes a historical slideshow and a video of tobacco production in Durham and videos of the Apex Street bridge removal, the role of equestrian efforts in western Wake County and a short clip on Norfolk Southern use of the corridor, Jordan Lake's construction and  the New Hope Valley Railroad, showing how all relate to the trail's history and development. { A video on the newly completed Chatham section was aded in late March }.

Project Development Guide Released as Interim Version

On-line access to one of our most comprehensive guidance documents is being made available in an interim version pending on-going revisions to bring it up to date with changes to federal and state laws passed in the last several years. This document discusses the multi-year process from finding and researching unused rail corridors to finding resources and finally getting a rail-trail constructed. AL Capehart, a long time Board member, is heading up the revision project.  If you have questions concerning this interim version AL can be reached via the contact information on our Board of Directors page.

Interesting Article on Solo Ride of the Katy Trail

Eve Capehart, a one-time Triangle resident and frequent visitor reports on her adventures riding Missouri's Katy Rail-Trail. Pictures and her account are contained in the Winter 2008 Little Toot.

North Carolina Receives Stimulus Funding for High Speed Rail

On January 28th, North Carolina received $545 million to support incremental improvements in the Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor (SEHSR) After these upgrades, the Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor, a nearly 500-mile route, will allow trains to travel between Charlotte and Washington, D.C. at top speeds of up to 90-110 miles per hour and an average speed of 86 mph. North Carolina's DOT conducted public hearings concerning this corridor in May 2009 and is continuing efforts to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for an even higher speed future corridor. The DOT is considering rail-with-trail segments as possible components of this future high speed corridor. In North Carolina, development of these rail-with-trail (RWT) segments will not be done by the State but will have to be undertaken by local governments and/or private groups. North Carolina Rail-Trails (NCRT) is supportive of RWT and stands ready to provide a variety of technical support and consultation to these local efforts. Please click HERE to see press releases and links to the SEHSR program.