Teen Arrested for Two Assaults on the ATT

The Durham police have a teen in custody for two assaults on the American Tobacco Trail.
Since the assaults, Durham police have increased patrols along the trail and are askng anyone on the Durham greenways to follow basic safety and crime prevention tips:

Call 911 to report suspicious activity.
Stay aware of surroundings at all times.
Walk in well-lit areas that are not isolated.
If being followed, get away fast, change directions and head toward a safe location.
Carry a personal alarm to deter potential attackers.
http://www.wral.com/durham-teen-arrested-in-two-american-tobacco-trail-a...

Urban Section of ATT to be Studied by Group Chaired by NC Rail-Trails

On March 25th a group consisting of trail advocates, Durham City and County Police, pastors, planners and others concerned with trail safety met at North Carolina Central Univ. to kick off a several month study of the views and perceptions of trail crime on the ATT from the DBAP to NC 54. Researchers from both NCCU and NCSU will be leading teams of grad students in conducting interviews and collecting survey data via questionnaires. Funding for the study was provided by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. TRTC will be represented on the group. We'll post any early findings here on our site over the next few months. The study is scheduled to be completed by November 2014. For more on this initial meeting please see this article from WUNC radio: http://wunc.org/post/how-dangerous-american-tobacco-trail-really

Bridge Over I-40 Open at Last!!

Efforts on the safety fencing, lights and drainage were completed in mid February and the bridge was opened to the public on February 19th. Since then bridge usage has been significant and was even seen as crowded at times this past weekend. Since the contractor still has a few minor items to complete on the trail (largely south of Massey Chapel Road) in the next couple of weeks, maintenance by Durham will probably not begin until late in March. A short Youtube video by ATT user Jon Parker shows some bridge views a few days after the opening.

Break-ins at ATT Trailheads !!!

Since early November, a number of automobile break-ins have been reported at the trailheads at Fayetteville Road in Durham , at the White Oak Church Road in Wake County and at the shoulder parking along Scott-King Road. Police from Durham and from Cary have investigated the incidents reported to them and we understand that surveillance at all three areas has been increased in the last 30 days. ATT users parking at these areas need to be aware of these occurrences and to try avoid leaving valuables in their cars while out on the trail. If you are at one of the ATT access points and see unusual activity or what appears to be a break-in, please do your part and call 911 as soon as you can and take note of any cars or persons at the area that do not appear to be there for use of the trail. For continuing user reports and commentary on this issue, please visit the ATT Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/43492943009/

Update on I-40 Bridge Background and Status

Bruce Siceloff, who writes the Road Worrior column for the News & Observer, has put together a nice summary of the various problems and delays encountered in constructing the ATT's I-40 bicycle and pedestrian bridge http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/12/23/3482682/road-worrier-durhams-i-40... . The replacement components for the bridge are expected to be received soon. Durham still has not set a firm date for completion of the bridge beyond the late January date referred to by Marvin Williams in an early December letter to the Durham News.

End of Year Message from TRTC--2013

Wheel stops at Pittard Sears

New wheel stops at the Pittard Sears parking lot in April 2013

Dear Friends of the American Tobacco Trail,

Season’s greetings and happy holidays from Triangle Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (TRTC)! It’s almost the end of the year and we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your help in the past, keep you up to date on what we have been doing this year, and ask you for your continuing support. Any amount you can spare will be welcome as we continue to maintain, promote and improve the American Tobacco Trail and local rail-trails. Here is some of what we have been doing in 2013 with your donations and support:

Special projects: We finished work on and opened the Pittard Sears parking lot just before Christmas last year. The 21 vehicle site, which gets regular use, provides a safe (and legal) alternative to parking on O’Kelly Church Road. Donations to TRTC and funds from the Tobacco Road Marathon were key to allowing this long term ATT facility to happen.
Using a nearby Cary water line and grant funds from REI and the town of Cary, we were able to purchase and install a drinking fountain at this parking lot. The Pittard Sears fountain is the last water stop for southbound users of the ATT. Your donations and grants helped put this in place (and help to pay the water bill). Water is available in all except the winter months.
In 2014 we will continue to work with Durham City and County to develop a new parking facility just east of the trail crossing on Scott King Road. ATT user parking along the road has seen a steady increase for several years and additional capacity is clearly needed. Projected funding from these governments for this lot appears to be quite limited and we will also look for support from other groups such as the NC Horse Council.

Trail safety: We have purchased and installed several Pass with Care signs along the Durham section of the ATT to encourage safe passing by cyclists. Several more will be installed after all sections of the trail near the bridge are completed. We have also been encouraging NCDOT to lower the speed limit to 35 mph on Scott King Road and to install the large warning signs in both directions to alert them to this busy trail crossing. We expect to see signs up early next year.

Trail maintenance: We held several targeted workdays this year. These included cleanup in the area north of Hillside High to Fayetteville Road with Duke MBA students, as well as renewing the gravel surface of the Fayetteville Road parking lot (south of Southpoint Mall), installing a water bar on the access trail, trimming grass at the trailhead, and cleaning up trash items from the lot and connector path. We also held several workdays on the 2.2-mile Eagle Spur rail-trail south of Stagecoach Road, to remove downed trees and carry out trash. Eagle Spur is an unimproved rural wooded trail corridor leading to Jordan Lake on land now managed by the NC Fish and Wildlife Commission; it is popular with fishermen, hunters and hikers.

Trail events: We handed out maps and information at several events this year, including Durham’s Trail Kick-off in April, the Eno River Festival in July and the ATT bridge-over-I-40 Opening Event in October (the bridge, we know you want to know, is now scheduled open to open in early 2014 and we are hopeful that this will be the case). We also volunteered at the Tarwheels Bike Fest in August and the ATT 10 miler running race.

Maps: We are preparing a revision of our ATT map that will be issued by late-Spring 2014. A key part of this effort will be a project by TRTC to measure and mark the entire ATT at quarter mile intervals soon after the I-40 bridge is open for public use. TRTC has taken the lead in getting the governments in Durham, Chatham and Wake Counties to agree to use these measurements as the basis for new, uniform mileage markers on the trail using a unitary north to south system (Mile 0.0 at the DBAP and Mile 22.5 south of US 64).

Other Essential Trail Support: We continue to pay for regular service to the porta-jon that we brought back into service this past July at the Fayetteville Road parking lot south of Southpoint Mall.
In sum, we continue to work as volunteers to make the American Tobacco Trail (and its little sibling the Eagle Spur Trail, originally part of the same rail line) great places to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Your donations help us to build connector trails, do maintenance, create and print trail maps, fund important special projects and provide water – and that porta-jon – for trail users. All of us at TRTC thank you for your continued support. Please consider us in your holiday giving, by purchasing or renewing a membership and making a tax-deductible donation to TRTC.

You can donate online by going to www.triangletrails.org/membership and paying via PayPal, or you can send us a check payable to Triangle Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Inc. (TRTC)
P.O Box 61091
Durham, NC 27715-1091

If you have any questions about joining or making a tax-deductible contribution to TRTC, or if you have any questions about your existing or past membership, please contact TRTC Treasurer at: michaelforte@hotmail.com
With thanks for your support,
Curt Devereux
President
Triangle Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

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