RestedTraveler

Rails to Trails

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Starting a separate topic thread for this discussion.

There have been varied alternative uses suggested for the rights of way formerly belonging to old rail lines in the Upstate. One of those is conversion of the rails into trails to be used by walkers, joggers, runners, bikers, hikers, etc.

For more information on the effort, go to:

http://www.railtrails.org/

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From the Thursday, 19-MAY-2005 issue of the Travelers Rest Chronicle:

'Rails to Trails' Meeting May 24th

The United Methodist Church of Travelers Rest will host an informational meeting Tuesday, May 24 for community members who want to learn more about the proposed rails-to-trails conversion of the old railway line that runs between Furman University and Travelers Rest.

The meeting will take place from 6-8 p.m. in the sanctuary of the church. All interested residents in northern Greenville County are invited to attend.

The meeting will detail the latest plans about the Vision 2025 project to provide a 11.8-mile "greenway" trail connecting downtown Greenville to the northern limits of Travelers Rest, including the First step in converting the northernmost section to pedestrian access. Work to clear the section of the rail/trail between Furman and Travelers Rest will begin Saturday, June 4 under the leadership of the Palmetto Conservation Foundation.

Speakers at the May 24 meeting will include Carelton Owen of Upstate Forever, Randy Eggenspiller of Furman University, Joe Dill of Greenville County Council, Travelers Rest Mayor Roy Reynolds, and Jean Crow of the Palmetto Conservation Foundation. The meeting will be moderated by Russell Stall, a member of the Chamber of Commerce Leadership Class 31 responsible for oversight of Vision 2025.

"We're hoping that a large number of people in the community will come to the meeting," said Dill, the Greenville County Councilman who represents the northern portion of the county. "We'll inform people about the status of the project, and what direction it is moving. I believe the railway conversion is going to be the biggest thing to happen to this community in a long time."

For more information about the meeting, contact Elaine Bearden 864-834-2220.

#######

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We should all go to this meeting and support this!!!! :thumbsup:

Think of the day in the future when you can bike all the way from Travelers Rest through downtown and South to Simpsonville. GV has done great with it's greenway system........quality of life.....it's happening in Upstate!

Thanks for posting about the meeting RT!

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I can certainly imagine the day. I'm very much looking forward to it.

Here's a little taste of what it may look like:

park-heritagetrail-photo-01.jpeg

The photo above is of the Greenwood Mill Village and Railroad Heritage Trail in Greenwood County, taken from the following site:

http://sciway3.net/outdoors/index.html

Edited by RestedTraveler

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Last I heard a few months ago, a lawsuit was holding up this project to create a path along the Reedy between Lake Conestee and Travelers Rest. Hopefully, based on the information in the article RT posted, it has been resolved. I will have to go Tuesday to find out.

Edited by JCT

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The future of the Greenville Northern line is still up in the air. There are quite a number of supporters for a light rail service to connect Travelers Rest to Fountain Inn. It would be quitely expensive knowing that a new rail line would have to be constructed from the old CSX line parallel to Laurens Road and Greenville Northern's downtown terminus. (CSX's tracks were pulled up nearly two decades ago for Reedy River Park.) Should a light rail line ever come to be, it would be nice to have a monorail.

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National Trails Day is June 4th

Rail to Trail work day for National Trails Day

As an additional celebration of National Trails Day Palmetto Conservation Foundation is joining together with Upstate Forever, Furman University, City of Travelers Rest, and the City of Greenville to host the first volunteer workday on a new Rail Trail Conversion in Greenville, S.C. Volunteers will undertake the initial clearing for conversion of a 12-mile section of the abandoned Greenville & Northen Railway to a hike & bike trail. Volunteers are needed to clear brush and overgrowth. Please wear long pants, closed-toe shoes, sunscreen, and work gloves. If you have any, please bring hand tools as well (such as loppers, hand saws, etc).

Meet at Sunrift Adventures, located on Hwy. 276 in Travelers Rest, at 8am. Light snacks and waters will be provided. Workday will end at Noon.

Please contact Jean Crow at 864-948-9615 or by e-mail for more information.

For more information on the Palmetto Conservation Foundation, CLICK HERE.

Edited by RestedTraveler

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I'm always in favor of more hiking/biking trails. :) However, if it is the end of our near-future hope that Greenville will have a north/south highspeed lightrail transit option, then I would steadily oppose such trails. <_< If, by building these trails, it is being stated that the abandoned right-of-ways will not be developed into LRT anytime soon (10+ years), then I support the trails 100%. :thumbsup:

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I arrived 20 minutes late, but from what I could tell, it was a very informative meeting this evening.

The turn-out was tremendous. There were many diverse representatives of the community at large there tonight: Citizens of Travelers Rest; Greenville; Greenville County at Large; members of the Greenville Track Club; members of the Greenville Spinners Bicycle Club; and members of the news media. WYFF TV4 was even there, so expect to maybe see something on the news about the meeting this evening.

There are a lot of people and organizations backing the conversion of the Northern Greenville line into a trail. It definitely seems to be a very well organized joint effort between Furman University, Upstate Forever, the City of Travelers Rest, Greenville County, and the Palmetto Conservation Foundation, and many more.

In short, the long-term plan for this is to develop the line to be similar to the Hub City Connector over in Spartanburg County. The first step is cleanup of the rail line on June 4th (National Trails Day), as mentioned in one of my previous posts.

If anyone is interested in volunteering to be part of this cleanup effort, please contact Jean Crow at 864-948-9615 or by e-mail at [email protected]

Skyliner: You'll like this. Essentially, the vision is to preserve the right of way for use as a mass transit connector line at some point and to make use of the land for pedestrians in the interim. The right of way is wide enough in many areas to accomodate both the rail line and a trail. In areas where the rail line right of way is too narrow for both, other rights of way (utility easements, sidewalks, etc.) will be used to loop out away from the rail right of way and then back.

This entire concept fits right in with Reedy River Master Plan (particularly, start at page 34):

http://www.clemson.edu/caah/ccgc/ccgc/RR%2...l%20Report2.pdf

And the Reedy River Corridor Vision:

http://www.greatergreenville.com/pdf_forms/vision.pdf

http://www.greatergreenville.com/images/reedy_big.jpg

By the way, has anybody seen that Reedy River Cooridor Vision previously? This is the first time I've seen it and I'm rather impressed by how much of it has come true already (more or less). This SASAKI company has done some pretty impressive work. Check out their portfolio.

All I can say is I'm looking forward to the next several years as this trail comes into being and I'm definitely looking forward to being part of it.

Edited by RestedTraveler

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Here's an image of the proposed trail network captured from the Reedy River Master Plan (for those who gave up patience for the document to load):

TrailNetwork.jpg

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I always thought it would just be one trail, but from the looks of that drawing it is a whole networks of trails. That is really coool.

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I am very excited about the Greenville county rails to trails plan. It is also good news that the Senate voted a few days ago against an amendment to reduce federal funding for these types of projects. The bad news is that both of South Carolina's senators were among the 16 who voted to pass this amendment.

Amendment To Reduce Federal Cycling Funding Shot Down

MAY 18, 2005 -- WASHINGTON, D.C. (BRAIN)--Yesterday afternoon the U.S. Senate voted down an amendment to the nation's transportation legislation that would have chopped millions of dollars out of federal funding for cycling projects. Senators voted 84 to 16 against Amendment 646.

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) filed the amendment last week to hack $10.7 billion out of the transportation budget. His amendment proposed such cuts as taking $1.1 billion out of Transportation Enhancements (TE).

Transportation Enhancements is a large source of funding for trails and sidewalks. Since the program's inception in 1991, TE has resulted in more than 18,000 locally initiated projects like bike paths.

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy estimated that the Sen. Sessions' amendment could have affected more than 3,000 projects across the country.

Edited by JCT

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I always thought it would just be one trail, but from the looks of that drawing it is a whole networks of trails.  That is really coool.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Indeed, it is intended to be an entire network of trails connecting the entire county. The north greenville line is the first portion of what is to eventually become the "backbone" extending from the northern part of the county down into the soutnern part of the county. All the other trails will tie into the backbone from various locations.

It will be very cool B)

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I am very excited about the Greenville county rails to trails plan. It is also good news that the Senate voted a few days ago against an amendment to reduce federal funding for these types of projects. The bad news is that both of South Carolina's senators were among the 18 who voted to pass this amendment.

Amendment To Reduce Federal Cycling Funding Shot Down

MAY 18, 2005 -- WASHINGTON, D.C. (BRAIN)--Yesterday afternoon the U.S. Senate voted down an amendment to the nation's transportation legislation that would have chopped millions of dollars out of federal funding for cycling projects. Senators voted 84 to 16 against Amendment 646.

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) filed the amendment last week to hack $10.7 billion out of the transportation budget. His amendment proposed such cuts as taking $1.1 billion out of Transportation Enhancements (TE).

Transportation Enhancements is a large source of funding for trails and sidewalks. Since the program's inception in 1991, TE has resulted in more than 18,000 locally initiated projects like bike paths.

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy estimated that the Sen. Sessions' amendment could have affected more than 3,000 projects across the country.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Fortunately for us, we appear to (overall) have a rational senate (regardless of their political party affiliations) :whistling:

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Okay, I don't mean to sound negative but I'm a bit concerned about having a network on the scale of this plan, if it is to happen rather quickly. My reason is due to the fact that the city and county don't currently have the sufficient number of law enforcement officers to ensure the safety and protection of people on all of these trails simultaneously, while still patrolling their normal routes, IMO. The fact is that there are definitely areas out there where I'd never go without some kind of adequate protection. Opening that many new trails will certainly raise the potential for serious problems.

Don't get me wrong, I love this trail network idea. I'm just wondering what (if anything) will be done to improve the odds of our safety on all of these trails, making us more willing to venture onto all of them frequently. :) What do you think? Did this come up in the meeting?

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Okay, I don't mean to sound negative but I'm a bit concerned about having a network on the scale of this plan, if it is to happen rather quickly.  My reason is due to the fact that the city and county don't currently have the sufficient number of law enforcement officers to ensure the safety and protection of people on all of these trails simultaneously, while still patrolling their normal routes, IMO.  The fact is that there are definitely areas out there where I'd never go without some kind of adequate protection.  Opening that many new trails will certainly raise the potential for serious problems.

Don't get me wrong, I love this trail network idea.  I'm just wondering what (if anything) will be done to improve the odds of our safety on all of these trails, making us more willing to venture onto all of them frequently. :)  What do you think?  Did this come up in the meeting?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I think crowds are the best deterrent against the types of crimes that might occur in an recreational area like this. I used to go to the Silver Comet trail in Atlanta a few times a week and very rarely did I ever see officers on bikes patrolling the area. On a weekend or weekday after 5, the closer-in sections of the trail were always packed with runners, walkers, skaters, cyclists, dog walkers, etc. I don't have stats to back it up, only experience on several different urban trails, but I bet statistically these types of areas are pretty safe (I'll have to look into it).

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Okay, I don't mean to sound negative but I'm a bit concerned about having a network on the scale of this plan, if it is to happen rather quickly.
Edited by RestedTraveler

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Reminder

To all that are interested or all that just want to lend a hand.

The cleanup effort begins this Saturday, 04-JUN-2005.

Meet at Sunrift Adventures, located on Hwy. 276 in Travelers Rest, at 8am. Workday will end at Noon with prize raffles. Check here for updates if there is a forecast for rain - plans for cancellation or rain date will be posted.

Please wear long pants, closed-toe shoes, sunscreen, and work gloves. If you have any, please bring hand tools as well (such as loppers, hand saws, brush cutters, line trimmers, etc). There will be a small kiosk building project as well, so carpenters should bring a hammer and similar wood-working tools. There will be work for all ages of volunteers.

Bottled waters and drinks provided by Sunrift Adventures, fruit and snacks provided by Sunshine Cycles and the Great Escape, coffee provided by Leopard Forest Coffee Company.

Please contact Jean Crow at 864-948-9615 or by email ([email protected]) for more information.

EDIT: Also, please check out http://www.palmettoconservation.org/index.php for weather contengencies should the weather be poor.

Edited by RestedTraveler

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Thanks for posting Rested Traveler. I plan to be there. This is a good chance for us Urbanites to put our backs where our typing fingers are.

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No problem.

I look forward to seeing a great turnout, weather permitting. This is a very worthwhile undertaking and I'm just trying to get the word out.

Edited by RestedTraveler

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This was a lot of fun, and very rewarding. There were about 60-70 people and the entire trail from downtown TR to Furman was cleared. It had to be about 3.5-4 miles. And that was in just barely over 3 hours. It's amazing how much can be accomplished with a lot of people involved. I can't wait until it is exteded into Greenville.

I noticed from some publications that were available, that work is underway on trails in Sburg and Oconee as well.

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Rails to Trails gathering steam

Great news on the trails connecting Greenville Tech to downtown and TR to Downtown. Once this is completed, it could be a very attractive amentiy to the entire county. Greenville should extend this trail from TR to the state line and pick up the trail from Lake Conestee and go all the way to the Laurens County line via the Reedy River.

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