TRTC Now Enrolled in AmazonSmile Program

Users at Pittard Sears fountain

We were recently added to the AmazonSmile program. Under this program Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Triangle Rails to Trails whenever you connect to Amazon by clicking here or on the icon on the lower left portion of this page. You can bookmark this link in your browser(s) for use in future purchases. We'll be using the proceeds from this program for routine expenses such as the water bills and annual maintenance on the water fountain at Pittard Sears and for the liability insurance we carry to cover volunteers participating in our workdays.

Rails to Trails: The Time is Now

Utilizing railroads for mass transit systems may become necessary in the next century. Why not preserve the existing railroad corridors and avoid condemnation of private land for government projects? Once preserved, why not use these relatively flat, straight corridors for alternate transportation through bicycle commuting and recreational trails? These are not unique or radical ideas. Rail-trails efforts are active and successful throughout the country. Currently, the TRTC is actively seeking volunteers and contributions. If you would like to help, or you want to know more, please join us today by completing a membership form or joining us in workdays with Friends of the ATT.

This view of the American Tobacco Trail (ATT) shows folks enjoying an early Fall afternoon on the trail in downtown Durham. (Photo from Nancy Pierce

Second Annual Toast-to-Trails on the ATT

On Saturday, May 16th, North Carolina Rail-Trails will be holding their 2nd Annual Toast to Trails Cycle & Sip. This bicycle ride boasts a 36-mile round trip ride on the American Tobacco Trail. The half-way point features a stop at Cloer Family Vineyards for lunch, music, and wine tasting. Sights along the way include the American Tobacco Campus, 17 miles along the ATT, and the new bike-ped bridge over I-40. And if 18-miles is enough for you, there will be a shuttle available to return you and your bike to your car.

This exclusive event is 95% off-road and is limited to 200 riders. Proceeds will benefit North Carolina Rail-Trails, the statewide nonprofit land trust dedicated to preserving rail corridors and creating rail-trails for public use. Click here to go to their Registration Page

Trailhead Parking Construction at New Hope Church Road

Building at new trailhead--April 2015

As part of their long term support of improving user access to the ATT and other trails and greenways, the Town of Cary is now constructing a new trailhead facility on the north side of New Hope Church Road. This trailhead will have year-round restrooms, substantial parking, bike racks, a short walking trail, picnic benches and a direct off-road connection to the ATT. Construction has been underway since late Fall and completion is expected by late Summer/early Fall. You can see a rendering of the trailhead's layout in the attached PDF:

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ATT Project Updates

Exercise Stations at Scott King Road trailhead--ATT

Over the past two months we've seen the completion of two ATT projects: Quarter mile markers reflecting the north to south measurements done last year have been installed in all three counties. In Durham white markers have been painted directly on the asphalt while in Chatham and Wake Counties bi-directional stand up signs have been installed. (See ATT Construction Photos for view of new signs)

On the south side of Scott King Road in Durham County, Ben Kearsley, an Eagle Scout candidate, recently installed four exercise stations. This is a really nice addition to the trail and should be a popular amenity for numerous users of the ATT as well as those visiting Herndon Park. The balance beam station was made from rails and ties which once carried the trains on the former Durham & Southern line. TRTC and Tazikis Mediterannean restaurants of Cary provided support for this project.

Research Report on Impacts of Completing the ATT Bridge

I-40 Bike-Ped bridge on the ATT in Durham.

The Institute for Transportation Research and Education (ITRE) at NC State University has released a report on the effects of completing a critical link in the American Tobacco Trail in Durham, NC: Bridging the Gap: Economic, Health, and Transportation Impacts from completing a critical link in the ATT. The construction of the bridge over Interstate 40 and corresponding paved connections joined the two unconnected trail segments forming a continuous 22-mile shared use path corridor. Data collected before (in 2013) and after the addition of the bridge segment (in 2014) were compared to determine changes. The researchers found that use of the trail increased 133% and an additional $3.7 million is spent annually on goods and services by those using the trail. The research also portrayed exceptional gains in the amount of physical activity and economic impact measured by people using the trail, occurring just three short months after the opening of the bridge. This ITRE led study provides empirical evidence that constructing bicycle and pedestrian facilities, particularly those that fill a critical link in non-motorized transportation network, will result in measurable positive impacts. A recent article by Jim Wise in the Durham News focuses on the health and economic benefits brought by this bridge connection

To read or at least browse through this report ITRE offers two versions of the report on their web site: An 8 page brochure which presents summaries of the major findings and a 99 page full report which includes numerous tables and longer discussions.


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