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.

Update on Repaving of ATT and Other Durham Trails

Repaving efforts began in May and are continuing. The contractor plans to repair and pave trails in the following order:

  1. The American Tobacco Trail between Cook Rd and Riddle Road
  2. The Riddle Road Spur Trail
  3. The American Tobacco Trail between Riddle Road and Morehead (downtown)
  4. The American Tobacco Trail between NC 54 and Dunhill
  5. The North-South Greenway Trail between Lavender and Murray.

Repairs to the pavement surface of the Riddle Road trail will begin on Monday, August 9. Paving will begin on Tuesday, August 10. The contractor will first pave the American Tobacco Trail between Juliette and Cook, and between Cornwallis Rd and Riddle Road, then will begin paving the Riddle Road trail. This may take multiple days.

Following the completion of the Riddle Road Trail, the contractor will resume paving the American Tobacco Trail between Riddle Road and downtown Durham.

Survey on High Speed Rail Corridor

As part of the Environmental Impact Statement process, NC DOT is seeking public input through a series of hearings and a short on-line survey. Please take a few minutes to complete this survey. This new corridor will include a designated portion on which a trail can be constructed and we want to let the State know we strongly support this an want DOT and other State agencies to take an active role in getting trails planned and constructed from the VA line to Raleigh.

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