[TRTC-news] American Tobacco Trail News for March
billbus at gte.net
Sun Mar 6 22:31:52 EST 2005
Hi Friends of the American Tobacco Trail,
This is your last minute reminder about the monthly meeting of the
Triangle Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Meeting (TRTC) coming up Monday,
March 7, at 7:30 p.m. at the Woodcroft Professional Building at the
intersection of Fayetteville Rd. and Woodcroft Parkway in south Durham.
All are welcome!
We'll be discussing progress on both the southern Section of the ATT
that we are maintaining and managing for Durham, the 3.5 miles of trail
we maintain and manage in Chatham, as well as the trailhead parking
facility we are constructing on Fayetteville Road. We'll also discuss
other progress on the ATT and our other activities. Due to a low turnout
last month, we'll also be having elections.
We hope you can join us.
Please note we are now utilizing an email list server run by our website
provider, www.RTPNet.org <http://www.rtpnet.org>. You can easily remove
<http://rtpnet.org/mailman/options/trtc-news> yourself from this list
serve by following the link at the bottom of this message. Or you can
contact me at billbus at gte.net as well.
*1st Stop: www.triangletrails.org
If you haven't already been there be sure to check out the Triangle
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy website at: *www.triangletrails.org *. You
can join TRTC <http://www.triangletrails.org/MEMBERS.HTM> or make a
contribution via PayPal
here right now.
Webmaster Curt Devereux <mailto:devereux at gte.net> has recently put up a
page with Directions to locations
<http://www.triangletrails.org/DIRECTIONS.HTM> of where to access the
ATT on trail workdays. He'll be putting up a page of regular trail
access points as well though this is not yet up. This is part of our new
Volunteering <http://triangletrails.org/VOLUNTEERS.HTM> page. He's also
put up a page with links to previous American Tobacco Trail News
<http://www.triangletrails.org/ATT-ARCHIVE.HTML> as well. Check out the
News <http://triangletrails.org/NEWS.HTM> page at www.triangletrails.org
for more info and the latest news.
American Tobacco Trail Set to Receive Funding in Federal Omnibus
*We are still hoping to find out more info about the ATT receiving just
under $1M in the Federal Omnibus Spending Bill, apparently signed by the
President on December 8, 2004.
Ms. Howard of Representative David Price's office
<http://price.house.gov/> notes that funds for the ATT would be
distributed by NCDOT and perhaps other state agencies. They probably
become available locally toward the middle of 2005. We'll keep you
informed about this as we gather more news.
We hope that Durham and Chatham counties will agree to split these funds
in an equitable manner between themselves. While we support Durham's
desire for additional funds to complete a "better than bare bones"
bridge across I-40, and for completion of the trail to the county line;
we also hope that at least some of these funds will be used for at least
one major ATT project (a bridge deck perhaps?) in Chatham County, in
which other than for TRTC's clearing and maintenance efforts, have not
yet started construction at all. You can rest assured that TRTC will
assist in any way we can in this effort.
*Funding in Six Year Transportation Bill *
Representative Price has also requested additional funding for the
American Tobacco Trail in the upcoming 6 Year Transportation Bill. This
bill has been postponed several times already with funding carrying on
at previous years levels. This past week, Ms. Howard was working on
reapplying for these funds, as was requested by congressional staff. We
appreciate her efforts, as well as the efforts Allsion Carpenter, the
Durham Pedestrian-Bicycle Planner, and new Chatham County Planner Jason
Sullivan, as well as other municipal staff. I had the pleasure of
meeting with Jason on Friday, and he was very supportive of the ATT.
We hope that the 109th Congress passes, and the President signs, the 6
Year Transportion Bill to include sufficient and increased funding for
alternative and muscle powered transportation projects like the American
Tobacco Trail. Offering safer and greater numbers of linked muscle
powered transportation facilities will help to reduce pollution and
increase the level of physical fitness, not to mention bring neighbors
*TRTC Info Booth a "Must See" Stop at NBC 17 Health and Fitness Expo
*For the second year in a row, TRTC <http://triangletrails.org/> set up
an information booth at the NBC 17 Health and Fitness Expo
<http://www.nbc17.com/healthandfitnessexpo/index.html>, held on February
12 & 13 at the Raleigh Convention Center. Over 35,000 attended this free
and open to the public event.
In addition to our booth, we gave presentations and answered questions
on the American Tobacco Trail and the East Coast Greenway
<www.greenway.org>. It was great to meet many folks who had actually
used the American Tobacco Trail. The number of folks who say they have
walked or ridden on the ATT has noticeably increased each year at each
event. Thanks for getting out and enjoying the American Tobacco Trail.
*TRTC Volunteers Continue Work on Parking Facility *
After demolishing the structures and recycling a lot of materials, we
continue to clean and clear the brush from the site. We have received
one bid/estimate from at least one grading contractor to grade the site
and build the parking area. If you have any recommendations of good
grading contractors we should talk to, please email Bill Bussey.
<mailto:americantobaccotrail at earthlink.net>
*We need help of lots more folks and volunteers* to help clear the brush
around the grounds as well as other parts of the project.
*Scouts and other volunteer groups are especially welcome and needed! *
Thanks to a grant from the National Recreational Trails Fund
<http://www.ils.unc.edu/parkproject/trails/grant.html>, and assistance
from the Triangle Greenways Council, <http://www.trianglegreenways.org>
which owns the property, TRTC <http://www.triangletrails.org> is
constructing this 12-vehicle parking area for public access to the
American Tobacco Trail. The facility will allow for equestrian and pet
access, but will be too small for equestrian trailer parking. When
completed, it will be donated to the City of Durham Parks and Recreation
Dept. for use by the public for years to come.
A grant from REI <http://rei.com/> will allow us to connect this
facility to the ATT with a short bridge.
This will be an important project for TRTC over the coming months.
Please come out and help us out any way you can. Your monetary
contributions or contributions of time will help us complete this
*ATT Fence Damaged at Scott King Road*
A fence built by Duke Energy to help control vehicular access to the
American Tobacco Trail and Duke Energy property at the Scott King Road
trailhead was vandalized recently. Emergency repairs were completed by
TRTC volunteers. However, this damage will require expensive repairs.
We'll be completing this repair over the next month or so.
*Construction of Phase II of the ATT in Wake County Underway*
Construction of Phase II of the American Tobacco Trail in Wake County is
nearing completion. Most of the trail is complete, but is not yet open.
Construction on the parking facility at White Oak Church road is
underway, and barring bad weather, which has delayed construction;
should be complete by March. The new restroom facilities will not be
complete until after April or so.
This section will run from the current end of the trail at Wimberly Road
about 1.5 miles north to a new trailhead on White Oak Church Road. This
facility will be equipped with composting toilets and equestrian and bus
parking. Also being constructed are composting toilets for the existing
New Hill-Olive Chapel Road Parking area. These additions will be very
much welcomed by all trail users.
Wake County Parks ATT Manager Tony D'Amico reported that both the trail
and parking area north of Wimberly Road are construction zones and thus
*not open for use*. They have not yet been turned over to Wake County by
the contractor. He says for your own safety, *please do not access* the
White Oak Creek parking area, or the portion of the trail between the
Wimberly Road trailhead north to the future White Oak Church Road
trailhead, while under construction.
Hours of operation in Wake County are daily 8 a.m. to an hour before
sunset. Right now, the ATT closes about 6 p.m. Check the sign upon
entering the parking areas to verify closing times. If the gates at the
trailheads are closed, the trail is closed.
Also, please be sure to check out the trail information kiosks just
installed at the trailheads. Here you'll find information to make your
ATT experience more enjoyable.
For more trail information and comments, contact the American Tobacco
Trail manager, Tony D'Amico <mailto:Tony.D%27Amico at co.wake.nc.us> or
Debra Bradsher <mailto:Debra.Bradsher at co.wake.nc.us> at 919 387-2117
*Wake American Tobacco Trail Workday, Saturday, March 19, 2005 10-Noon
*Wake County ATT Staff are running a workday to clean up any trash or
brush on the trail corridor on Saturday, March 19, 2005 from 10 a.m. to
noon. Meet at the new White Oak Church Road trailhead (directions
below). Bring gloves, comfortable shoes, and clothing appropriate for
the weather. Drinks and snacks will be provided!
Call 919 387-2117 and let them know you are coming. If no one answers,
please leave a message.
Programs on the ATT in Wake*
>From the Wake County Parks Newsletter, this is an upcoming program on
the American Tobacco Trail in Wake, led by Wake County Parks staff.
These programs (more to come!) are excellent ways to get to know better
the ATT and natural areas it passes through! All meet at the New
Hill-Olive Chapel Road Parking facility (directions below) Call the
387-2117 for more info. We applaud Wake County Parks for fully utilizing
the American Tobacco Trail by offering staffed programs.
/*Bike Trail Ride*
Saturday, April 2, 10-11 a.m.
Bring your bike to the ATT for a 2-mile trail ride. You'll also learn
about bike safety and the proper trail etiquette to apply with different
types of trail users. /$2/person or $5/family, for all ages/
/Directions to New Hill-Olive Chapel Road Parking Facility
There are two trailhead parking areas on the Wake County portion of the
ATT. The principal parking area is off of New Hill-Olive Chapel Road,
two miles south of US 64. From Raleigh, Cary and points east, go west on
US 64 to the NC 751 traffic light. Turn left or south onto New
Hill-Olive Chapel Road. Go two miles, crossing a bridge over Beaver
Creek. Just past the bridge, see the blue Wake County Parks sign, turn
left into gravel drive and go through the gate. Note closing time sign
at entrance. If gate is closed and locked, trail is closed.
This trailhead is the largest trailhead currently planned and is
designed to handle equestrian, bus and personal vehicle parking.
>From Durham and points north, go south on NC 751 to the US 64 traffic
light. Go straight through the light go two miles to the gravel drive on
the left shortly after the Beaver Creek bridge.
>From Pittsboro, Jordan Lake and points west, go east on US 64 to the
NC 751 light. Turn riight or south, go two miles to the gravel drive on
the left shortly after the Beaver Creek bridge.
>From the South, take US 1 to the New Hill/Harris Lake Park exit. Go
north on New Hill-Holliman Road to the intersection of Old US 1. Go
straight onto New Hill-Olive Chapel Road approximately 3 miles, crossing
the New Hope Valley RR tracks. About a 8/10 mile beyond the tracks, turn
right into the gravel drive which leads to the parking area. See the
Blue Wake County Parks sign. If you cross the Beaver Creek bridge you've
gone too far.
*Directions to Wimberly Road Parking Facility
*The other parking area on Wimberly Road is designed for only personal
vehicle parking because it isn't large enough to safely accomodate
equestrian trailers. If you want to park your equestrian trailer please
go to the New Hill-Olive Chapel Road trailhead.
To access the Wimberly Road trailhead from Raleigh, Cary or points east,
take US 64 west to Jenks Road on the right. See the Citgo convenience
store at this intersection. Go 1/3 mile (mileages are approximate) to
the first left. Turn left onto Wimberly Road. Go approximately 1 mile
passing the Cary-Apex Water Treatment plant, and crossing the White Oak
Creek bridge. The trailhead is located on the right.
>From Durham and points north, go south on NC 751 to the US 64 traffic
light. Turn left onto US 64. Go approximately two miles to Jenks Road on
the left. See Citgo convenience store. Follow above directions.
>From Pittsboro and points west, go east on US 64 to the NC 751 light.
Go approximately 2 miles past the light to Jenks Road on the left. See
Citgo convenience store. Follow above directions to trailhead on
*Directions to Brand New White Oak Church Road Parking Area (Not Yet Open!)
*The new White Oak Church Road parking area, is currently not yet open.
However, the March 19 Workday will meet there.
>From Raleigh, Cary or points East, follow the directions above to the
Wimberly Road Parking Area. Instead of turning right into the Wimberly
Road Parking area, go straight on Wimberly Road about a mile until it
ends at a T with Green Level Road. Turn Right onto Green Level Road. Go
about a half a mile and take the first left onto White Oak Church Road.
Go about 7/10 north on White Oak Church Road. Cross the trail and turn
right at the blue American Tobacco Trail sign into the parking facility.
>From Durham and points north, go south on NC 751 to Lewter Shop Road.
This is also NC Bike Route 2. This is the second left past New Hope
Church Road, where you'll see a Citgo convenience store on the left.
Turn left onto Lewter Shop Road. Go approximately 2 and a half miles to
White Oak Church Road on your right. Turn Right onto White Oak Church
Road and drive south approximately 3/4 mile to the blue American Tobacco
Trail sign on the left. Turn left into the parking facility.
>From Pittsboro and points west, go east on US 64 to the NC 751 light.
Turn left or north on NC 751 towards Durham. Drive north approximately
2.5 miles to Luther Road. Turn right onto Luther Road. Drive
approximately 1.8 miles on Luther Road to Green Level Road. Turn right
onto Green Level Road. Drive approximately 1.2 miles on Green Level Road
to White Oak Church Road on the left. Turn left on White Oak Church
Road. Go about 7/10 north of White Oak Church Road. Cross the trail and
turn right at the blue American Tobacco Trail sign into the parking
*No Roadside ATT Parking in Wake County*
Please do not access the trail by parking on Goodwin Road or Olive
Chapel Road. The Goodwin Road crossing is in a neighborhood and the
trail is adjacent to a driveway used by several families. If you park on
the driveway or the trail, you will be towed, as well as make a lot of
people unhappy. Olive Chapel Road is a heavily traveled, fairly high
speed, narrow road where there is no formal parking area. It is
hazardous to get in and out of your vehicle here alongside the road.
/Please use the above mentioned parking areas which are conveniently
located, safe and dedicated to trail use./
*TRTC Can't Do It Alone*
TRTC and other governmental organizations working on the ATT have
received grants in the past from Carolina Tarwheels Bike Club
<http://www.tarwheels.org/> , Durham
Open Space and Trails Commission
NC State Adopt-A-Trail Program
Community Foundation <http://trianglecf.org/>, Whole Foods Market
<http://wholefoods.com/stores/durham/index.html>, REI <http://rei.com/>
and* *National Recreational Trails Fund.
The City of Durham and Wake County have received major funding from the
Federal Transportation Enhancements Program
<http://www.enhancements.org/> administered by the NC Dept. of
Transportation Bike/Ped Division.
<http://www.ncdot.org/transit/bicycle/default.html> TRTC is grateful to
both of these organizations for helping to build the American Tobacco Trail.
Wake Stone Joins TRTC Corporate Partners List
*We are delighted that Wake Stone <http://www.wakestonecorp.com/> has
joined the ever growing list of companies who have made in-kind
donations to the Triangle Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. Mr. Jeff Mann of
Wake Stone donated 2 loads of gravel to TRTC's trail maintenance and
management projects in southern Durham and Chatham counties. These
donations came at a *very opportune* time as we really needed this
gravel to fill in both long term and more recent ruts and holes on the
trail so that they can be used safely by trail users.
Thank You Jeff and Wake Stone for your generous contribution.
If your company can help TRTC with an in-kind or even cash donation,
please contact <mailto:americantobaccotriail at earthlink.net> us
We welcome these and all contributions which we'll use to continue our
construction, maintenance and management activities which have opened
the ATT in southern Durham and Chatham counties for *safe public use
NOW* instead of having to wait four or more years for the governments to
build, open and manage the trail.
Shared Use Trail Etiquette
While many of you know to say a quick hello when meeting or passing
fellow trail users, a lot of you may not have been on greenways or
trails used by horses.
The key thing to remember is that "Wheels Yield to Heels." Bicyclists
and other wheeled users yield to those on either two or four feet!
Hikers should yield to equestrians. If you aren't sure what to do, stop,
and let the equestrian pass. Feel free to ask the horse rider what you
should do. Most folks riding horses will gladly chat with you about
If you meet a trail visitor on horseback while they are crossing a
bridge, or while they are in the tunnel, stop and let them completely
cross or exit before you enter or cross.
While many horses are fine in confined spaces with others, some may not
be as comfortable in proximity to strangers on/in these places. Slow
down and wait a few seconds and let them clear. Everyone will enjoy the
trail a lot more. Don't forget to say hi to the rider!
If you overtake a horse, cyclist, walker or runner from behind, make
verbal contact with the trail user."On your left" will generally do it.
A quick "thanks" after passing is always a good idea.
If you come across park staff or volunteers doing work on the Wake
County or southern Durham portions of the ATT, first, catch their
attention, and indicate you want to pass. For your safety, stop until
they give permisson to pass. They may have to move or stop what they are
doing to allow you to safely pass.
This is particularly true when the workers are working with motorized
machinery. They may not hear your approach because of the noise of the
machinery they are operating. If they don't see you, wave your arms a
bit until they acknowledge your presence and motion you to pass.
You'll no doubt see some horse droppings on this portion of the trail.
Step or ride around it just as you do the occasional fallen branches or
mud puddles. The trail surface is a minimum of ten feet wide, and
sometimes more than that (we measured!) so it is easy to find room to go
Keep in mind that unlike dogs, cats (and people!) droppings, horse
droppings are plant based. It will go away quickly after a rain.
There is now a group of primarily equestrian volunteers who are
patrolling the ATT in Wake on a regular basis. These volunteers are
spending time off their horses so that all of us can better enjoy the
trail. Their job is to remove horse dung from the trail surface, pick up
the occasional litter, answer questions about the ATT and help serve as
additional eyes on the trail. They wear distinctive blaze orange vests
with "Volunteer" printed on the back and will probably have a dust pan
in their hands!
Please* thank them* for their service. Don't forget you can help too by
packing your trash out and picking up and packing out at least one piece
of trash, removing a fallen limb or kicking away some dry dung, on your
trip to the ATT.
Of course, if you see anything of interest, or have any comments or
questions feel free to contact ATT Manager Tony D'Amico at
Tony.D'Amico at co.wake.nc.us , or me, billbus at gte.net and I'll pass it on.
*The American Tobacco Trail is Outside*
/*Duh!*/ Every effort will be made to keep the ATT clean and safe by
staff and volunteers. As an ATT user, you can do your part as well by
taking your trash home with you and respecting your fellow trail users.
However, do note that part of the experience of a rural trail, and for
being outside in general, are the occasional horse droppings, downed
limbs, rough weather and bugbites. Take precautions for the things you
can - like bug and tick bites, hydration and the weather (Is it
drizzling? Is it cold?, Is it hot?) - and enjoy the American Tobacco
Trail for the experience and treasure that it is.
Trail Etiquette Continued
Bring along a friend to enjoy the trail with you.
The ATT is only open during daylight hours.
Say hello or at least offer a nod to fellow trail users. We've found
that folks who use trails are about the friendliest folks around.
Don't use the ATT at night because unless you are a licensed hunter, it
Bring along a cell phone if you have one.
If you see any suspicious behavior, contact 911 or Tony D'Amico at 919
Don't leave valuables in parked vehicles.
Don't carry much cash or valuables with you.
Bring water with you. Currently there is no water available at trailheads.
Stay on the trail.
Take it slow and enjoy the scenery. Seven miles from end to end, and
back, can take an hour and a half on a bike, and three hours or more on
foot. On the paved ATT in Durham, it is a 13 mile round trip! Add
another 3 miles if you do the Riddle Road Spur! If you aren't
experienced or in shape yet for these hikes or rides, do a shorter trip,
and save the rest to explore later.
Remember, the more we use the American Tobacco Trail and other greenways
throughout the Triangle, the safer they will be. Crime doesn't like crowds.
Also, the more we use the ATT and other area greenways, the better shape
and fit YOU will be!
Again, we encourage all trail users to bring along a plastic grocery bag
to pick up trash when using the ATT or any trail in the Triangle. Put a
few in your daypack. You'll find trash cans located at many trailheads
on the ATT in Wake county and in Durham. These are soon to come in
Chatham! If everyone *picked at least one piece of trash *on their visit
to the ATT, the ATT would soon be *spotless*. Please keep the ATT clean
*TRTC Opens A Store*
Speaking of stores, a great way to help the American Tobacco Trail is to
purchase ATT and TRTC logo items from our new store. Please visit
http://www.cafepress.com/trtc and check out the items we have listed
there. These are made and shipped to order. I ordered a golf style
shirt, a license plate frame and a sticker and am very satisfied with
the quality and service. I'll be ordering more soon! On neat feature
added is that you can easily track your order on the site. We hope this
will be of service to our members and trail users. Show your pride in
the ATT! Please let us know what you think and feel free to suggest any
items you'd like to see at our store.
If you or your organization would like to get a shop at your own, please
check out the home page of the site. Please access the information site
at : http://www.cafepress.com/cp/info/storeref.aspx?refby=trtc and tell
them you heard it from TRTC.
*Durham Trail Maps
*There are maps of the ATT and other Durham Greenways available online
for printing and download at the Durham Parks website:
*I-40 Bridge Project Update* /*
The most frequently asked question we get at our recent information
booth and tables at Festival for the Eno
<http://www.enoriver.org/festival/>, at the Durham Earthday
<http://www.durhamearthday.org/> and recently at Whole Foods Market in
Durham <http://www.wholefoods.com/stores/durham/index.html> is: 'When
will they finish the ATT (or Bike/pedestrian) bridge over I-40?" Our
answer - two years, though I've been saying that for the past four years!
The last *update* we have is that the process to begin planning for this
bridge begun moving again. Apparently, the NCDOT Bicycle-Pedestrian
Division will be the "Lead Agency" at DOT on this project. Next stop is
the City of Durham lawyers to look over the agreements necessary. That
may take awhile! However, we'll let you know as the process moves forward.
Durham Parks and Recreation earlier reported that Durham Parks will
finally initiate the process of planning and design for the American
Tobacco Trail bridge over I-40 soon with the delayed start of a
previously awarded contract with Parsons Brinckerhoff
<http://www.pbworld.com/default.asp>*. *Though funds are in place for a
"bare bones" Corten (rust colored steel) bridge, similar to the ATT
bridges over University Drive and Roxboro Street in Durham, it is hoped
that additional funding, such as those requested by US Representative
David Price in the next Transportation Bill in Senate/House conference
committee, or perhaps in the Omnibus Spending Bill, described above, can
be found to build the bridge in a more architecturally significant manner.
TRTC feels it would be good to find additional funding for a better,
"architecturally significant" bridge over I-40. I've written below on
how to write our Representative Price on requesting funds sooner. There
must be other sources of these funds, perhaps private or state, to make
up the differene in the short run. Please feel free to write or call if
you have any ideas.
If all goes well, we should have an American Tobacco Trail bridge across
I-40 in the next two or three years.*
TRTC Continues Construction of Durham South portion of ATT*
TRTC has been working on construction of the ATT from Massey Chapel Rd.
to the Chatham County line. Workdays are scheduled the *first and third
Saturdays* of each month. Meet at 9 a.m. where the future ATT crosses
Scott King Rd. in southern Durham County. For more information on these
workdays contact new Trail Bosses,* Frank Bennett
<mailto:FJB675 at hotmail.com>* and *Curt Devereux
<mailto:devereux at gte.net> . *
Working under a grant from the Durham Open Space and Trails Commission,
and led by *Thad Howard* and others, volunteers have been clearing trash
and brush, improving drainage, filling in holes, installing fences and
traffic control bollards, and making other improvements in order to get
this portion of the trail open sooner than it normally would be without
volunteer help. TRTC has written agreements with both the City and
County of Durham, along with insurance to facilitate this work.
The City of Durham is supposed to eventually take over the management of
this portion of trail when TRTC are finished with this construction.
However, we have recently learned that TRTC will probably be managing
this ourselves on at least an informal basis until the trail is built by
Durham. *Your membership and donations will help us keep this three-mile
stretch of trail open for folks in the rapidly growing southern Durham
area. Your donations also help us on the 3.5 mile section in Chatham
A *BIG THANKS* to everyone who has helped with this effort. Your hard
work helps to s-t-r-e-t-c-h very limited grant funds. Though sometimes
with the rains it is slightly muddy in places, we have made a LOT of
improvement on the drainage of this portion of the trail. Over 20 tons
of trash have been removed in this area as well. It is open during
daylight hours and used by over a thousand folks per month. During all
weekends and most afternoons, the along the road parking area at Scott
King Road is lined with vehicles, including equestrian trailers.
*Please Leash Your Dog on the ATT in Southern Durham
*Due to some recent complaints and concerns, we are now asking that
trail users on the ATT between Massey Chapel Road and the Northeast
Creek trestle in southern Durham please keep their dogs on a leash.
While this rule has always been in effect in all Durham and Wake County
Parks, it has been pretty much overlooked on this southern Durham
portion of the ATT due to a comparative small number of trail users with
However, with increasing trail use by walkers, runners, walkers and
runners with dogs, bike riders and equestrians, we are asking that dog
users maintain control of their dogs at all times by keeping them on a
leash, unless no one else is around. Use common sense here and continue
to enjoy the trail with your pet.
*TRTC's Trail Work in Perspective
*TRTC maintains, manages, makes safe for public use, /*over 6.5 miles*/
of American Tobacco Trail in southern Durham and Chatham counties. This
is more than the combined greenway systems of Apex and Morrisville. It
compares with the Cary Greenway System
<http://www.townofcary.org/depts/prdept/greenway/gwylist.htm>. (I'll add
that like the ATT in southern Durham and Chatham counties, Cary
Greenways do not yet have any dedicated off-road parking facilities!)
This 6.5 miles is also the length of the completed paved urban American
Tobacco Trail in Durham.
If not for TRTC's efforts, and your contributions
<http://triangletrails.org/MEMBERS.HTM>, these 6.5 miles of trail in
Durham and Chatham counties would *not be open at all*, nor would they
be open for more several years in the future.
Over a thousand folks per month happily use the ATT between Massey
Chapel Road and the Northeast Creek trestle. We see these numbers
continue to increase. This past weekend, the Scott King Road trailhead
had as many as 18 vehicles parked alongside the road, with over eight
there on a constant basis. A growing number of trail users are using the
Chatham County sections as well. We do this on a completely volunteer
basis with very little financial or staff help.
*The Job Being Done*
At the risk of tooting our own horn, when you use the trail I think
you'll see we do a darned good job of it! The trail gets mowed. Holes
and ruts are filled. Trash is emptied regularly and is never
overflowing. User conflicts are resolved. Equipment and trail
infrastructure is maintained and cleaned. Questions are answered.
Questions and concerns are fowarded to the appropriate trail owners and
managers. Signage is posted, and a host of other needed activities are
performed. TRTC volunteers do these things because local governments
aren't prepared to do them.
To the average trail user, these efforts are invisible and seamless. If
you haven't visited these sections of trail yet, do so. Follow the
directions listed elsewhere in this message. I think you'll be
As is usually the case with volunteer ventures, most of these duties are
performed by a small number of individuals who devote a lot of time,
over many years, to keeping the ATT clean, clear and safe. These are the
folks you see the links to in this message. There are many, many more.
All deserve our thanks!
Thus, your financial contributions
<http://triangletrails.org/MEMBERS.HTM> and volunteer contributions
<http://www.rtpnet.org/mailman/listinfo/trtc-volunteers/> are *vitally
important!* If nothing else, get outside and use the American Tobacco
Trail and other trails and greenways this late Winter and Spring. If you
see trail workers, or have to dodge a vehicle, tractor or mower on the
trail, give them a word of thanks. Know that they are working hard to
offer you and the rest of the Triangle something very special.
*For Your Safety...*
Please don't park directly in front of obvious trail or greenway
entrances, in front of trail bollards or gates or where the greenways
and trails obviously cross the road. This can prevent emergency and work
vehicles from entering or exiting the trail if needed.
Also, the future ATT south of Massey Chapel Road accesses NC Wildlife
Resources managed gamelands near the intersection of Massey Chapel Road
and lands surrounding Northeast Creek. The ATT in Wake County also
accesses NC Wildlife Resources managed gamelands. Hunters utilize the
future ATT to access these gamelands.
Hunters, hikers and other trail users can all use the ATT together,
however, it is recommended that everyone take appropriate precautions,
follow any posted signage, stay on the trail unless hunting, and be
aware of potential hunting in this area. Hunting season will continue
through the winter. It is beyond the scope of this newsletter to
describe the hunting season, rules and regulations. For more information
on hunting please go to: http://www.ncwildlife.com .
*How to Help*
If you want to help with this project we start at 9 a.m. at the trail
crossing at Scott King Rd. on the *first* and* third* Saturdays of each
month. As mentioned above, we'll be doing a lot of work at the ATT
parking area on Fayetteville Road, about 2 miles from the Scott King
Road crossing this summer. If you don't see anyone at Scott King Road at
9 or 9:30 on Saturday morning, come on up to Fayetteville Road, where it
crosses over the ATT about a mile south of I-40, and you'll probably see
We'll also be working on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays this late Winter and
Spring on the ATT in Chatham County. Meet at the trail crossing of
O'Kelly Chapel Road at 9 a.m. If you have any questions, contact the
All you need to bring to any workday are work gloves, a snack and water.
Stay for only an hour, or for more than an hour. We need you as long as
you are able. If you have some tools that you want to bring, please
check with the contacts below.
Please contact *Frank Bennett <mailto:FJB675 at hotmail.com> * Hm. 919
851-3992, *Curt Devereux <mailto:devereux at gte.net>* Hm.919-544-3948, or
*Bill Bussey* <mailto:billbus at gte.net> at Hm. 919 545-9104 for more info
on Trail workdays.
/*Flash!*/ *Workday on Eagle Spur Planned for March 13
*We just got permission to do a trail workday on the Eagle Spur on March
13, starting at 9 AM. Rain date will be the following Sunday, March 20.
We'll be doing our usual cutting of downed trees that have fallen along
this 2 1/2 mile fairly rugged old rail bed which dead ends at Jordan
Lake. We'll need two or more experienced chain sawyers, with three or
four a better number to cut the eight sets of downed trees. Bring a
wheelbarrow if you have it. If you have a brush mower, or string
trimmer, and don't mind hiking up to a mile with them, please bring
them. Loppers are also needed. We'll have shovels for the several holes
that need filling along the way.
Don't worry if you can't bring anything. We need folks to move what the
chain saw cuts. Kids are welcome as well. Though we don't let kids get
near chain saw operators, they can pick up and throw off the rail bed
all the sticks, branches and brush, as well as pick up trash, along the
*This is usually one of our most popular workdays!*/* *This is about the
best time of year to experience this beautiful old railroad bed. Come on
out and get-to-know this scenic area.
Meet at start of the Eagle Spur on the now closed Stagecoach Road, 1/4
mile west of NC 751 about 3/4 mile south of I-40 in southern Durham.
>From I-40 go south on NC 751 about 3/4 mile to Stagecoach Road on the
right. Turn right onto the now closed Stagecoach Road and go about 1/4
mile. See the barrier style gates on the south or left side of the road,
and a cable gate on the north or right side. Park on either side of the
road, but do not block any gates.
**I'd rather be Riding on the American Tobacco Trail!*
Please get out and use the ATT and other area greenways and trails.
Enjoying our trails and greenways not only helps your health, it
demonstrates to municipal staff and elected officials and leaders that
these facilities are needed and appreciated.
While you are on the greenways, why not carry along a plastic grocery
bag and pick up at least one piece of trash. If everyone picked up at
least one piece of trash on their greenway visit, our trails and
greenways would be spotless!
*Great News from Chatham County!
Chatham County Parks and Recreation Director Tracy Burnett
<mailto:tracy.burnett at ncmail.net> reports that the ATT is budgeted for
$100 K in Chatham County's Fiscal Year 2006 budget. These funds would be
used to match grants as needed to construct the American Tobacco Trail
in Chatham County. While these funds are subject to the budgetary
process and would have to be approved by the entire Board of
Commissioners, this does represent another commitment from Chatham
County for the American Tobacco Trail.
With this progress it is critical to keep those cards, letters and
emails to Chatham County Commissioners
in order for them to see the need to support the ATT with planning and
other funding. Tell them thanks for the budgetary funding, and urge them
to continue their support for the American Tobacco Trail. For the
commissioners names and addresses see our website at
Also, please contact Congressman David Price
<http://www.house.gov/price/Email_David.htm> and tell him you want him
to do all he can to complete the American Tobaccco Trail in Chatham as
soon as possible. The two trestles over Northeast and Panther Creek's
need to be decked in order to complete the ATT. The trail itself in
Chatham needs to be constructed and signage installed. Unlike Durham and
Wake counties, Chatham doesn't have the large urban constituent base or
lobbyists to ask for his support of Chatham County projects. Thus, your
letters, emails and phone calls thanking him for he has done and asking
him to do all he can for particularly Chatham County, carries
significant weight here.
These two bridges over Northeast and Panther Creeks could be privately
funded as well. Private funds could speed up their construction
dramatically. If you, your company, organization or foundation is
looking for a legacy project with potential naming rights to be enjoyed
by thousands a year for years to come, please contact us
<mailto:billbus at gte.net> and we'll put you in touch with the appropriate
*Chatham Recreation Advisory Board Awards Grant to TRTC*
In a further demonstration of commitment to the American Tobacco Trail,
the Chatham County Recreation Advisory Board in the Fall awarded TRTC
grant funds for up to three gates for additional trail crossings in
*Welcome Jason Sullivan*
We'd like to welcome Jason Sullivan <mailto:jason.sullivan at ncmail.net>,
the newest staff member in Chatham County Planning, to his new duties
here in the Triangle. Jason patiently listened through my "$5 ATT talk"
in office a few weeks back. Jason comes from Burlington where he learned
a lot about writing for the very important DOT Enhancement Grants. Jason
knows there are many possibilities for Enhancement projects here in
Chatham. We just have to ask for them by writing the grant requests!
Welcome to Chatham and the Triangle, Jason.
*ATT Workdays in Chatham County begin again for Winter
*TRTC is running 2nd and 4th Saturday workdays in Chatham County right
now through April.
Want to know more? We have a separate trail workday list which you can
email trtc-volunteers-owner at rtpnet.org to join. You can find We'll keep
those on this list informed of workdays in both Chatham and Durham counties.
If you can drag a limb or heft a log, we need you. You only need work
gloves and appropriate clothing, water and snacks. If you have a chain
saw and want to use it for the ATT, please let us know. If you want to
help at these workdays, find out where the trail goes or want more info,
please contact Bill Bussey <mailto:billbus at gte.net>
On January 23, a couple of us went out and moved cut logs and brush off
the trail. There is still lots more to go.
Last year TRTC <http://www.triangletrails.org> hosted semi-regular
workdays in which we cleared and cleaned the future ATT in Chatham
County. Including the very successful National Trails Day workday with
REI on June 5, 2004, more than 100 people have contributed over 1200
person-hours to clip and clear the ATT of trash, trees, limbs and brush,
as well as remove trash and junk piles, fill holes and do some grading,
mowing the trail surface
We have also done many more informal workdays with smaller groups.
Traffic control gates have now been installed at three road
intersections in Chatham County. However, we still need funds to
purchase gravel to fill mud holes, funds or tractor grader donations to
grade and level the trail surface, cut and move downed trees, among
other things. Your tax deductible contributions
<http://triangletrails.org/MEMBERS.HTM> help here!
TRTC is working with Chatham County Parks to develop a Memorandum of
Agreement about possibly constructing and maintaining on approximately
three miles of American Tobacco Trail in Chatham. Your membership
<http://triangletrails.org/MEMBERS.HTM> and donation dollars will *help
us a lot* here in Chatham. Stay tuned...
*Scouts! Where are You?!
Working on the ATT is an excellent Boy or Girl Scout, or youth project.
As described in the mention of the kiosk and fence construction above,
projects on ATT make excellent Eagle Scout projects, or other community
service project, that will challenge youths to grow in their leadership
and organization building schools.
The ATT is a community resource that will be enjoyed by generations to
come. We welcome youth groups to come help build the American Tobacco
Trail. Even if your group can spare only a morning or an afternoon, we
need you. We can arrange something that will not only help the American
Tobacco Trail, but make your group feel good about their accomplishment
as well. Please contact Bill Bussey <mailto:billbus at gte.net> if you are
interested in getting your Boy or Girl Scout, or other youth group involved.
Wake News *
See LOTS of information above. Trail Volunteers have been organized. For
more info on this contact Wake ATT Manager Tony D' Amico 2112 County
Park Dr. New Hill, NC 27562 919 387-2117 Tony.D'Amico at co.wake.nc.us
<mailto:Tony.D%27Amico at co.wake.nc.us> .
FYI, Tony says the ATT is receiving over 1200 visitors per month, even
during in the winter months. Many of these trail visitors are
equestrians. I counted over fifteen cars and five equestrian trailers
when I drove by the New Hill-Olive Chapel Road Parking area on Sunday
afternoon. These are solid numbers and really demonstrate the need for
more rail-trails like the American Tobacco Trail.
Please feel free to write the Wake County Commissioners
<http://www.wakegov.com/general/commissioners/default.htm> and County
Manager <mailto:dcooke at co.wake.nc.us> to ask staff to purposefully work
with Chatham County and TRTC to connect both the Wake and Chatham
portions of the ATT as a natural surface trail *sooner* or *NOW* rather
Your Membership is Very Important*
Your tax deductible membership <http://triangletrails.org/MEMBERS.HTM>
contributions and donations help us match grants and pay for projects
that help build the American Tobacco Trail. Because of City of Durham
requirements we had to purchase more insurance for our trail workdays.
Unfortunately insurance is a fact of life when doing almost anything
these days. We just got the bill for insurance the upcoming year. Yep,
just like your own personal or property insurance, it went up a
Because of greater than expected challenges with City of Durham
beauracracy, we are experiencing some additional costs related to our
construction of the Chancellor's Ridge trailhead. Your membership and
donations help that effor.
And funding for all Eagle Spur cleanups come completely from TRTC
memberships and contributions.
Right now work in Chatham, from gravel to fill mud holes to any truck
rentals to haul out downed trees is paid for with contributions and TRTC
<http://triangletrails.org/> membership funds. Insurance costs
$1,300/year, a load of gravel costs $250, a days rental of a chipper or
Bobcat is $250, a tank of diesel fuel costs $25, an information kiosk
costs $500-'$1000, brochures are 20 cents each. The list goes on...
Your tax-deductable (we're a 501 (c) (3) corporation ya' know!) cash and
in-kind contributions are very much welcomed to help us fund these
projects so we can continue our work to build the American Tobacco Trail
so you and everyone else can use it NOW.
Please note that the Triangle Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is not a
chapter of, nor does it receive any funds or support from the national
Rails to Trails Conservancy (RTC). RTC has offices in various states,
(unfortunately not, NC) but no chapters. If you join RTC, the Triangle
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and the American Tobacco Trail receives no
funding, nor any help from them. While RTC puts out a great magazine,
and offers a nice website (of which we were the October Trail of the
Month! <http://www.railstrails.org/find/totm/archives/03-10.asp>, only
by joining or making contributions to TRTC can you help build the
American Tobacco Trail, as well as other rail trail projects in our area.
We hope you'll consider joining us as a new member, or renewing your
membership in TRTC. You can even now join or make a contribution online
at our site. So joining is easier than ever!
For a form to join the Triangle Rails-to-Trails Conservancy see our
website at www.triangletrails.org. Or send $25 for an Individual
membership, $35 for a Family, or a donation of any size, along with your
name, address, phone, Email, and Comments on a piece of paper to: TRTC
<http://triangletrails.org/> PO Box 61091 Durham, NC 27715-1091.
Thanks to the many who have recently joined and renewed their
membership! We are utilizing these funds to meet necessary expenses and
other important needs.
*Sign Up Now For The Triangle Greenways Council
Are you interested in greenways advocacy for the Triangle region?
Do you want to keep up with the latest developments regarding Triangle
Would you like to know how to reach the key people in your community who
are working for greenways?
Every other month, TGC's E-Newsletter will deliver:
*The latest news on greenway programs in the Triangle region
*Progress reports on greenway trails under construction
*Links to key organizations and individuals who support, build, and
promote a network of Triangle greenways
*Links to articles and reports about greenways
If you would like to receive the Triangle Greenways Council
e-newsletter, please send an e-mail to: trianglegreenways at yahoo.com and
type "subscribe" in the subject line.
Or to subscribe yourself go to our new Greenway-News listserve
Thanks, and we look forward to informing you about Triangle Greenways!
*Board Members for Worthy Trail Organizations Wanted
*If you've read this far, you must really care about trails and
greenways in the Triangle!
If so, you are a perfect candidate for the Board of either the Triangle
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy or the Triangle Greenways Council. If you
are interested in serving on the Board of one of these fine
organizations, or know someone who might be a good candidate, please
contact Bill Bussey <mailto:billbuss at earthlink.net>.
All we ask is that Board members attend most regularly scheduled
meetings. TRTC meets the first Monday of each month in southern Durham.
TGC meets the 4th Monday of each month in Raleigh, at The Healing Place,
near the State Farmers Market. Serving on one of these boards is a great
way to be of service to the community. We are accomplishing a lot and
working to make the Triangle better! Many of our members have gone on to
bigger and better things! We welcome your participation.
If you'd like to be removed from this list, please email Bill Bussey
at billbus at gte.net or 919 545-9104. You can use this contact info for
more info. You can unsubscribe by following the links to
Whew! There is a lot going on! If you are still with me, thanks for
sticking through to the end. Hope you have fun with the links. Let me
know if I can answer any questions or in any way be of help. Thanks
again for all of your support. See you on the ATT.
Triangle Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
billbus at gte.net
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