Parking Area at Pittard Sears Road Nearing Completion

Driveway at Pittard Sears parking area on the ATT

November has seen a lot of progress on this project. We broke ground on the 12th and since then about 30 trees were removed, the area for parking was lightly graded and smoothed, geotextile cloth was put down, crusher run was spread and compacted, and finally several loads of 3/4" to 1" stones were spread and rolled. Forty four feet of reinforced concrete culvert was installed at the road and then covered with crusher run. We have placed about 10 logs on the edge of the trail side of the area as temporary wheel stops. It appears the lot should accommodate about 16 cars. No trailers of any kind will be allowed in this area since its relatively small size precluded us from putting in the kind of loop needed for trailers. We'll be putting a sign up at the entrance to inform parking area users. We plan to open the area for use about December 15th. Finally, we also put in a short stone path starting at the north end of the parking area to connect the parking area to the ATT.
As you can see from the image above, the lot has a double wide driveway (28' wide to allow safe simultaneous entry and exit) and wide approaches on both sides of the driveway. The asphalt for the driveway was put down in three layers with compacting after each layer. Needless to say this driveway was built to last.
Trenching for the water line to connect to a drinking fountain has been completed. The Town of Cary may partner with us on a portion of the fees charged for tapping in to their water line. This has delayed the installation of the meter a few weeks but we hope to get this done before the holidays. As we reported earlier, a grant from REI is paying for a substantial portion of the drinking fountain project. We just received the fountain and will be installing it on a concrete pad we plan to build just off the trail by the connector path. The major funding for our development of the parking area came from proceeds we received from the Tobacco Road Marathon in 2011 and 2012. We also received funding from the ATT 10 Miler in 2010 and 2011 and from the Tarwheels Bicycling Club in 2012.

Incidents on ATT Inspire Community Watch Program

As reports of assaults and robberies on Durham’s American Tobacco Trail attracted police and press attention this summer, resident Cynthia Cole began to worry it would prevent people from using the valuable local resource. "It actually made me mad,” she said of at least nine incidents reported between mid-May and October, which ranged from simple assault and robbery to a sexual assault report. “The thought that a town with a great trail system would have it compromised by a small number of people and a small number of incidents…”
To try to fix the problem by improving trail safety, Cole and husband, Lyle Snider, have joined Durham’s new Trail Watch Program, a group of about 25 volunteers who met on November 3rd for a training session at the trail’s Morehead Avenue entrance.

For more on the program please see this article from a recent Durham News

Cary to Install Flashing Beacons at Greenway Crossings

Cary has announced it will soon be installing Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons to help citizens safely navigate the intersections of some of its most popular greenways and well-traveled roads. These solar-powered safety devices emit rapid flashing LED lights when activated by a pushbutton. The LED lights are set to allow time for vehicles to safely yield to pedestrians and continue to flash until all people have crossed the roadway. This is pilot project and Cary will assess their effectiveness over the next year. By the end of the week (10/27) beacons will be installed at the following Cary crossings:
• NW Maynard Road at the entrance to Godbold Park as part of the Black Creek Greenway
• West Dynasty Drive near Sudbury Drive as part of the Black Creek Greenway
• Jenks Carpenter Road near Fryars Creek Drive as part of the White Oak Greenway
• Morrisville Parkway near East Ferrell Road as part of the American Tobacco Trail
Please see Cary's web site for more on the project.

Trail Watch Program Kicks off "Our Trail, Our Town" Campaign

Durham residents who want to learn more about trail safety are invited to participate in a Trail Watch program scheduled for Wednesday, October 10, 2012, at 7 p.m. in City Hall Council Chambers. The program kicks off the City's "Our Trail, Our Town" information campaign to improve safety on the trail, and is being coordinated by the City's Transportation and Police departments. The two-hour Trail Watch training teaches users to be alert to possible crime situations and how to report them, similar to the Police Department's Neighborhood Watch Program. While it is targeted for members of the Durham Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission and Durham Open Space and Trails, other residents interested in learning general safety and crime prevention tips are welcome to attend. Next steps are to teach potential volunteers interested in becoming trail ambassadors. See the event flyer from Durham's Police Department
For more information on this please contact Dale McKeel: , Durham's Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator.

Durham Cyclists Patrol ATT

In response to the numerous incidents on the northern section of the ATT in Durham, several cyclists have recently begun bike patrols for this section of the trail. So far this is a small group which has only been doing late afternoon rides a few days each week. If more volunteers join they hope to expand the program. To contact the organizers about possible participation please contact: debbie at
For more on this fine new initiative please read this recent article from the News & Observer
October 3 Update: Bike Patrol Delayed Amid October 1st Attack on The ATT It could be another four weeks before the American Tobacco Trail gets an official citizens bicycle patrol. Police Chief Jose L. Lopez says he does not expect to add an official citizens’ bicycle patrol until Oct. 29, or close to it, after encountering “unforeseen hurdles.” The “Trail Watch” will be part of the established Citizen Observer Patrol. Eight patrol members seemed interested but none had “any experience or training on bicycles,” he wrote in a memo.

For more on this story please see:

TRTC Receives Grant for ATT Water Fountain

Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) has awarded TRTC with a $5000 grant for the acquisition of a water fountain to be installed at a trail parking area we are developing at Pittard-Sears Road. We hope to break ground for this area this Fall and to have the fountain installed by the end of the year. Stay tuned for updates on this project. We'll be a having a workday later this year to construct the concrete pad for the fountain.


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