Tobacco Road Marathon Needs Volunteers

The second Tobacco Road Marathon and Half Marathon will be held on the ATT on Sunday March 20th. Again this year, TRTC will be a benificiary of race proceeds. This is a large event and volunteers are needed on race day and on the 18th and 19th. Several of us from TRTC will be helping out on race day. There are volunteer opportunities for individuals and for groups. If you are interested in volunteering, please click on the Volunteer tab for details.

ATT Featured on UNC-TV

The American Tobacco Trail and rail-trails across NC are featured in Rick Sullivan's story on "North Carolina Weekend". TRTC's Dave Connelly and Board members from NC Rail-Trails were interviewed for this show on the trail. The show debuted on UNC-TV Thursday, Nov. 4th at 9pm. NC Weekend was repeated over the next few days on both UNC-TV and UNC-EX. For those who missed these on air showings, please go to a VIDEO of the Rail-Trails segment.

TRTC Receives Generous Donation from Carolina Tarwheels

Herndon Connector to ATT South Durham

Late in November 2010 we were pleased to receive a generous gift of $5000 from the Carolina Tarwheels Bicycle Club. We will be using this gift to help fund the construction of a path that will connect the ATT to existing restrooms and parking spaces in Herndon Park near Scott King Road; construction will be undertaken in 2011. The Tarwheels, who organize regular social rides around the Piedmont and use their yearly Bikefests to fund local bicycling-related causes, have donated to TRTC to help with other projects in the past. We very much appreciate their continued support.

Porta John Installed at Fayetteville Road Trailhead

TRTC is pleased to announce that we have arranged for the one year rental of a fully-serviced Porta John for the Fayetteville Road Trailhead. Since we completed the parking area and kiosk in early 2006 we have completed several drainage improvements, installed brick pavers around the kiosk and have held numerous workdays to remove trash from the woods and connector trail and generally maintain the grassy areas. Usage of this trailhead has been increasing steadily over the past two years and we believe this Porta John will be appreciated by lots of ATT users.

Durham Recognized Nationally as Bicycle Friendly Community

The League of American Bicyclists announced last week that it has honored the City of Durham with its prestigious Bicycle Friendly Community Award at the Bronze level. “Durham has many great places for cycling, from the American Tobacco Trail and North-South Greenway Trail to many low-traffic neighborhood streets,” said Mayor William V. “Bill” Bell. “We thank the League for recognizing our efforts to improve the quality of life for our residents and provide transportation choices. Our City staff, the North Carolina Department of Transportation, and the biking community have worked hard over the past decade to get us to this point.” The League is recognizing 18 new Bicycle Friendly Communities and eight renewals in its fall 2010 award cycle. Chapel Hill is also being recognized at the Bronze level, and Carrboro’s designation was renewed and upgraded to the Silver level. Other Bicycle Friendly Communities in North Carolina are Cary, Charlotte, Davidson, and Greensboro. The League of American Bicyclists will present Durham’s award along with a highway road sign at a local ceremony in the near future. See this recent article from the Herald-Sun for more detail.

Durham Urged to Use Earmark Funds for Rail Corridor Soon

In late July 2010, Durham received a letter from Congressman David Price urging them to take prompt action to obligate $2 million appropriated in 2005 for preservation of a rail corridor. At that time Durham was negotiating with Norfolk-Southern (NSC) for a short corridor commonly referred to as the beltline. Those talks broke down but NSC has recently indicated it is interested in renewing discussions about at least a portion of the beltline. The urgency arises because the House has passed a bill seeking to rescind some $713 million in old, unspent funds for transportation. While these corridor funds are not included, Price's staff believe other unspent earmarks may also be vulnerable to rescission. For a fuller discussion, please see the recent Herald-Sun article. At it's August 2 meeting, TRTC's Board moved to request the City Council, the Durham County Commissioners and several other officials to find a way to make use of the $2 million in transportation funds that was earmarked for the city's preservation of rail corridors, and to offer our wholehearted support for this effort. If acquisition of the beltline corridor cannot be accomplished, other potential acquisitions should be considered, including a long-abandoned north-south corridor ending at Falls Lake. We'll report on this again in the near future as we learn of efforts by local governments to work out a deal for acquiring a local corridor.

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