are trails and greenways? ~ Greenways are corridors
of protected open space managed for conservation and recreation
purposes. Greenways often follow natural land or water features
and link nature reserves, parks, cultural features and historic
sites with each other and with populated areas. Greenways
can be publicly or privately owned and some are the result
of public/private partnerships. Trails are paths used for
walking, bicycling, horseback riding or other forms of recreation
or transportation. Railtrails are trails made from abandoned
Trails and Greenways? ~ Trails and greenways
positively impact individuals and improve communities by
providing not only recreation and transportation opportunities,
but also by influencing economic and community development.
Some of the many trails and greenways benefits include:
- making communities better places to
live by preserving and creating open spaces;
- creating new
opportunities for outdoor recreation and non-motorized
- encouraging physical fitness and
healthy lifestyles; * preserving culturally & historically
- strengthening local economies through
tourism and job development * protecting the environment
do Trails and Greenways Support Economic Development? ~ Trails and greenways provide
countless opportunities for economic renewal and growth.
Increased property values, tourism and recreation-related
spending on items such as bicycles, in-line skates and
lodging. In a 1992 study, the National Park Service estimated
the average economic activity associated with three multi-purpose
trails in Florida, California and Iowa was $1.5 million
Trails and Greenways Promote Healthy Living? ~
Many people realize exercise is important for maintaining
good health in all stages of life; however many do not
regularly exercise. The U.S. Surgeon General estimates
that 60% of American adults are not regularly active
and another 25% are not active at all. 20-24% of Kentuckians are considered obese (+30 lbs overweight), Center for Disease
across the country, people do not have access to trails,
parks, or other recreation areas close to their homes.
Trails and greenways provide a safe, inexpensive avenue
for regular exercise for people living in rural, urban
and suburban areas. Trails and greenways help
improve air and water quality. For example, communities
with trails provide enjoyable and safe options for transportation,
which reduces air pollution. By protecting land along rivers
and streams, greenways prevent soil erosion and filter
pollution caused by agricultural and road runoff.
Railtrails Preserve Our History and Culture? ~
Trails and greenways have the power to connect us to
our heritage by preserving historic places and by providing
access to them. They can give people a sense of place
Trails and greenways can draw the public to historic
sites. The rail lines themselves with their tunnels,
buildings, and bridges are historic features. Rail-trails
along historic rail corridors provide a glance at the
importance of this mode of transportation. They preserve
transportation corridors. Through
their votes, thousands of Americans have said 'yes' to
preserving open spaces, greenways, farmlands and other
important habitat. During the 1998 election, voters in
44 states approved over 150 conservation-related ballot
initiatives. Trails and greenways provide what many Americans
seek - close to home recreational areas, community meeting
places, historic preservation, educational experiences,
natural landscapes and beautification.
Both trails and
greenways help communities build pride by ensuring that
their neighborhoods are good places to live, so that children
can safely walk or bike to a park, school, or to a neighbor's
home. Trails and greenways help make communities more attractive
and friendly places to live. "A livable suburb
or city is one that lets us get home after work fast, that
restores and sustains our historic neighborhoods, that
preserves among new development some family farms and green
spaces. A livable neighborhood lets you and your family
walk through a natural ecosystem as you simply take an
evening stroll down your street." -Vice President
HB 221? ~ HB 221 was passed in the 2000
KY legislative session. HB 221 provided for the establishment
of an Office of Rail Trail Programs in the Department
for Local Government. Jodie McDonald, Jodie.firstname.lastname@example.org is
the Coordinator of Kentucky’s Railtrail Development Office. The Office
monitors abandonments and commissioned the statewide inventory and assessment
of abandoned rail corridors. See the Kentucky Abandoned Railroad Corridor
Inventory at http://www.gold.ky.gov/grants/railtrail.htm
What is KRTC current biggest
project? ~ KRTC has
biannual state wide conferences;
the next to be in 2008. These
conferences give information and provide problem solving
forums on how to develop trail projects in local communities.
The conferences are targeted to trail and greenway advocates,
elected officials, community development advocates, public
health, design and planning professionals, landscape architects,
and officials from transportation, park and recreation agencies.
The cost of these conferences are between $10,000-$15,000
even with substantial volunteer help. KRTC is actively looking
for agencies, business and individuals to underwrite the
cost of the 2008 conference.
What are the
different options for funding a trail or greenway? ~
There are several major sources for funding trails and
1. TEA-21. In 1991,
Congress enacted the Intermodal Surface Transportation
Efficiency Act (ISTEA), a six-year bill authorizing a
wide range of federal-aid transportation programs, including
programs that fund trail acquisition and development.
In June of 1998, the Transportation Equity Act for the
Twenty-first Century (TEA-21) was enacted and expanded.
See: http://tea21.ky.gov/. Transportation
Enhancement Activities can include :
and bicycle facilities Pedestrian and bicycle
safety and education activities
- Landscaping and scenic
beautification Historic preservation
Preservation of abandoned railway corridors Control
and removal of outdoor advertising
- Archaeological planning
and research Establishment of transportation
of highway runoff Provision of wildlife under
Acquisition of scenic easements and historic
easements and sites
Scenic or historic highway programs including tourist
and welcome centers
- Rehabilitation and operation
of historic transportation buildings, structures
second source of funding authorized by TEA-21 for trail
projects is the Recreational Trails Program, which
funds acquisition, construction, and management of recreational
3. Community Development Block Grant Program.
The CDBG program directly funds cities and towns for
projects with community-wide benefits. Trails can qualify
for CDBG money, particularly those with documentable
economic, cultural and historic merits. Generally,
information on CDBG grants is available through you mayor's
4. Corporate and private foundations.
own a rail trail? ~ Yes.
Rail trails can be owned and managed by responsible private
groups as well as by governmental groups. KRTC has recently
amended their bylaws so that they can function, if needed,
as a land trust and hold (own) abandoned rail corridors
until a government agency or other suitable rail trail
proponent accepts it for development. However KRTC does
not seek to be the developer or the final and permanent
owner of a railtrail. KRTC works to have local governments
and/or park services cooperate to create rail rails.
Rail trails are linear parks and as such or public lands
owned by municipalities, counties, park services or other
'abandoned' mean? ~ A railroad corridor is generally
considered abandoned when: (1) rail service is discontinued;
(2) the Surface Transportation Board (STB) officially approves
the abandonment; and (3) tariffs (pay-schedules) are canceled.
A rail corridor can be legally abandoned even if the tracks
and ties are still in place. Conversely, even if the tracks
are out it might not be legally abandoned.
How can I find
out if a corridor is actually abandoned? ~
First check the abandon railroad corridor inventory at http://gold.ky.gov/grants/railtrail.htm.
. You can also contact the Rail Trail Office of the Dept. of Transportation.
You might also be able to find out through the railroad, although you may need
to get a high-quality historical map from your library to determine the railroad
that operated on that line. To learn more about converting abandoned corridors
into trails - and to get a listing of key agency contacts in each state - order
a copy of Secrets of Successful Rail-Trails: An Acquisition and Organizing
Manual for Converting Rails into Trails from the Trails & Greenways Clearing
House at http://www.trailsandgreenways.org/
'railbanking'? ~ Railbanking (as defined by the
National Trails System Act, 16 USC 1247(d)) is a voluntary
agreement between a railroad company and a trail agency
to use an out-of-service rail corridor as a trail until
some railroad might need the corridor again for rail service.
Because a railbanked corridor is not considered abandoned,
it can be sold, leased or donated to a trail manager without
reverting to adjacent landowners.
the abandoned corridor before it becomes a trail? ~ Ownership of a rail corridor is generally mixed, often
including the railroad, federal, state or local governments,
as well as adjacent landowners. Historically, when the
railroad built a line it bought some of the land and leased
the rest from adjacent landowners or the federal government.
When abandoned, a corridor may revert to the lease holders
and, in effect, be owned by many people.
the obligations of a person allowing their property to
be used as a Rail Trail?~ Kentucky has the Recreational
Use Statute which covers liability issues for land owners who
allow their property to be used for a Rail Trail. The
law was designed to encourage owners of land to make
the areas available to the public for recreational purposes
by limiting their liability toward persons entering the
property. For more information, see KRS 411.190.
KRS statutes found at http://www.lrc.state.ky.us.
a 'public use condition' and a 'notice of interim trail
use'? ~ Both are documents that can be issued by
the STB during the abandonment process. A public use condition
(PUC) gives public agencies the exclusive right to negotiate
for 180 days with the railroad for purchase of an abandoned
corridor. During this time, bridges, culverts, surface
material, and any other features essential to building
a trail must be kept intact. A notice of interim trail
use (NITU) permits the railroad and trail manager to negotiate
for railbanking and use of the line for a trail.
to the bridges or tunnels, and what about road crossings? ~ Ideally, bridges
and tunnels are left intact after abandonment so that
the trail agency need only add wooden decking, appropriate
railings and other safety features. Although road crossings
tend to be relatively few and far between on most rail
lines, they must be properly striped and signed for both
trail and road users. To learn more about all aspects
of rail-trail design, including surfacing materials,
width, plantings, crossings and amenities, order a copy
of "Trails for the Twenty-First Century:
A Planning, Design, and Management Manual for Multi-Use
Trails" from the Rails to Trails Conservancy.
the trail? ~ In most cases, the public agency
that buys or manages the corridor builds the trail as well.
The agency either develops it using its own labor and equipment
or hires an independent construction company. In a few
cases, a group of citizen volunteers has constructed a
the trail? ~ Trails
are generally managed by local, state or federal government
agencies, but some are operated by other types of organizations,
including non-profit "friends of the trail" citizen
groups, land trusts and community foundations.
major trail uses? Who are the users? ~ Major
Trail Uses: Bicycling (55%), Walking (34%), Jogging (6%)
· The average trail user is 45 years old and makes
39 annual visits.
· The average visit is 2 hours.
· Men and women comprise an equal percentage of users.
· 88% of nearby landowners use the trail an average
of 85 days per year.
does a trail have on property values? ~
From studies of existing trails reported by the National Trail Conservancy:
of adjacent landowners believe that the trail has no effect on the resale value,
with 28% believing that the land value increased as a result of the trail.
· 71% of realtors and appraisers believe that the
trail has no effect on adjacent residential property with
19% believing that the property value increases.
How Much Does a Trail Cost? -
There is no one answer to this question and each trail
will have a difference answer. Cost will vary if land and easements
are donated or will they have to be bought at current prevailing
prices. Is the land urban or rural with corresponding difference
in land value? Other variables that will affect the
cost are the condition of the trail bed, bridges and tunnels
and if repairs are needed. Are there excavation
or drainage problems that will have to be corrected? Will
the surface be gravel or asphalt?
If there is a stable surface and cost
of land ownership and trail bed preparation is not included
a broad estimate of a base price for a paved trail is $50,000
a mile or $25,000/mile if not paved.
comparison, a local conversion of a public pool from
a Jr. Olympic to an Aquatic Center was $2 million (Tates
Creek Pool, 2004).
estimated cost of a practice ball field using laser grading,
seeding and having a backstop is $15,000 to $20,000.
A ball field (200 ft by 325 ft) that can be used for
games has an estimated cost of $150,000 to $250,000 (this
assumes plenty of topsoil, a “flat” site
and does not include cost of land.) The cost will vary
if there is lighting or irrigation needed.
a practice soccer field usually runs around $15,000.
soccer game field depending on size and if lighting and irrigation
are needed can run from $35,000 to $200,000. This price can
double if artificial turf is used.
Link for CDBG
Link for abandon RR corridor inventory
Link for Secrets of Successful ...
KRS statutes found at http://www.lrc.state.ky.us