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  1. #1
    Senior Member lowbike's Avatar
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    Rails to Trails support

    Hello:
    Please take a moment of your time to read and sign this Rails to Trails support petition.

    http://support.railstotrails.org/sit...Recovery_to_BP
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  2. #2
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    Houston has some rails-to-trails. I dig them.

  3. #3
    ---- buzzman's Avatar
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    Thanks for the post.

    I've ridden many of the rails to trails like the Ashuwillticook, the Norwottuck, the Cape Cod Rail Trail and the Minute Man and found them welcome respites from the road and extremely scenic- and they've gotten me where I wanted to go.

    I use the Ashuwillticook as part of an 80 mile loop up Mount Greylock and I make just as good, if not better, time on it than on Rte. 8 which is my road route

    I'll be curious if this thread gets much life in this forum. Posters in A&S seem far more interested in never ending debates on wearing helmets and "taking the lane" than in projects that might actually improve the cycling environment.- sorry to be such a cynic maybe I'll be proven wrong.

  4. #4
    Woody mountbkr's Avatar
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    I support my local rails to trails . I often wonder as I ride zig zag pattern around the human obstacles that wear head phones walking the trails do the same? RAnt
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    ---- buzzman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountbkr View Post
    I support my local rails to trails . I often wonder as I ride zig zag pattern around the human obstacles that wear head phones walking the trails do the same? RAnt
    Rails to Trails are a success and therefore popular. The downside, of course, is that faster moving cyclists can have varying degrees of frustration when using the trails.

    Solutions include:

    1) Build more trails. Right now the limited # of trails means lots of people travel, often by car, vast distances to use a few trails that are on average only 3- 15 miles long and they do this all on the same sunny, warm weekend.

    2) Use the trails at off hours or in less than ideal weather. Early mornings can be great. Mid-week is great. For the less faint of heart nighttime riding on a rail to trail can be fantastic- watch for animals crossing! A drop of rain, a gust of wind, an overcast sky can clear a bike path like yelling "fire" in a crowded theater.

    I've ridden the Cape Cod Rail Trail as part of an annual Provincetown loop I do every Memorial Day Weekend. About mid-day, in good weather, sections of the trail get real crowded (around Nickerson Park). I make an attitudinal adjustment, slow my pace and carefully negotiate my way through the masses. If it's too much I could always opt to ride with the equally insane Cape Cod traffic on Rt. 6 or 6A- but it's never been bad enough for me to take that option.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Denny Koll's Avatar
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    Great thread.

    I signed and I support my local trails.

  7. #7
    Senior Member MrCjolsen's Avatar
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    How about using the rails to run passenger trains?

  8. #8
    ---- buzzman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrCjolsen View Post
    How about using the rails to run passenger trains?
    I'm with you and so is the Rails to Trails conservancy. Rails to Trails often use abandoned rail pathways that would not be possible to return to it's original purpose. Those trails that are created on rail beds that have potential re-use for rail transit are preserved by converting them to bike paths and maintaining those rights of way that could offer a railway alternative should it be desired in the future.

    You would be hard pressed to find many mass transit opponents among the Rails to Trails advocates.

    I suggest you visit their web site.

    You might be interested in the Rails with Trails concept. Where the bike path runs alongside existing rail lines so that cyclists have the option of stopping at a station and boarding the train (with the bike or leave it at the station).

  9. #9
    -=Barry=- The Human Car's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrCjolsen View Post
    How about using the rails to run passenger trains?
    Rails to Trails spoke here recently and one initiative that they are trying to push is joint use, that is a trail and a rail line side by side. It's a cool concept, one that I hope to hear more people adopting in the future.
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  10. #10
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    I agree. Charleston is something of a railway hub, with lots of old abandoned or semiabandoned lines that used to serve the area coal mines; many of the lines that are still active once had more sets of rails than they do now; you can see that the railbed is at least twice what is necessary for the still active lines. Hence, to run a bike/ped path on the unused portion of the railbed would be relatively easy.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrCjolsen View Post
    How about using the rails to run passenger trains?
    The reason I do not support Rails to Trails.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feldman View Post
    The reason I do not support Rails to Trails.
    Part of the purpose of Rails to Trails is to use the rail corridors for SOMETHING. Usually the land is deeded to the railroad on the condition that it be used for transportation; once it is abandoned, it reverts to the owner and is lost forever as a transportation corridor. Using the corridor as a trail is that it can be preserved as such and if ever needed for trains the rails can be re-layed. It is called "railbanking," and here is a more fulsome explanation: http://www.americantrails.org/resour...lbankwhat.html

    Rails to Trails does not seek to convert active rail corridors to trails; it seeks to preserve abandoned corridors by using them for bicycle/pedestrian/equestrian trails against future need.

  13. #13
    I fear angry birds Santaria's Avatar
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    I have only lived here in Brownsville now for like a month. One of the first negatives I heard from co-workers here was that it was ill-advised to commute via bike. There is a larger than normal ratio of bike-related deaths due to drunk drivers, etc.

    I was really upset, until I found out about the rails to trails program here. Apparently when they tore out the North-to-South rail line, they replaced it by paving it into a two-lane bike path that travels literally behind my backyard all the way to the block across from my work. Needless to say, I use that trail every single day now and really appreciate it. I get off work late, and riding at 11 p.m. on streets that are narrow, combined with the way people drive here had me VERY edgy.

    +1 for the initiative, and I hope they continue to adapt abandoned rail lines into productive trails for bikes AND pedestrians.
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  14. #14
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    There are rails to trails in Maine in very nice locations I hope thay servive developement./Kenkayak

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santaria View Post
    I have only lived here in Brownsville now for like a month. One of the first negatives I heard from co-workers here was that it was ill-advised to commute via bike. There is a larger than normal ratio of bike-related deaths due to drunk drivers, etc.

    I was really upset, until I found out about the rails to trails program here. Apparently when they tore out the North-to-South rail line, they replaced it by paving it into a two-lane bike path that travels literally behind my backyard all the way to the block across from my work. Needless to say, I use that trail every single day now and really appreciate it. I get off work late, and riding at 11 p.m. on streets that are narrow, combined with the way people drive here had me VERY edgy.

    +1 for the initiative, and I hope they continue to adapt abandoned rail lines into productive trails for bikes AND pedestrians.
    An excellent example; if it hadn't been so converted, developers would have built over it and if there were ever any need for it again as a rail line it would have been difficult, if not impossible, to rebuild it. Now, on the other hand, if they ever need to reactivate the line it will be (relatively) simple to re-lay the tracks.

    It is interesting, though, that your trail is not listed on the Rails to Trails Conservancy's database: http://www.traillink.com/TrailSearch...wnsville&sp=N; it shows several such trails in Texas, but none in Brownsville.

  16. #16
    I fear angry birds Santaria's Avatar
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    I noticed that too when I looked at the database.

    I did some digging around the newsroom (obviously a great source for historical data) and nobody seems to know what entity (beyond the city and county) worked on the project.

    Someone DID however give me a map associated with the trail that shows all the historic battlegrounds associated with the route. My conclusion that it had to be a railroad line (before I even asked around) was that the path runs between commercial builds which all seem to have abandon railroad and docks. There isn't enough room for an actual road between them, only this path. Also, they bridges are still intact along the route, and they're very aged and 'railroad-ish.'

    I'm not sure they could easily be retracked either, because they've paved this 10-12 foot pathway.


    Resaca de palma is one of the historic civil war era battlefields that this pathway crosses through.

    On another interesting note here, they've actually built most of the major roads here that run east and west with bike lanes. I'm very curious where the city is going with this, and will keep people informed.
    THE DEVIL

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  17. #17
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Santaria View Post
    I noticed that too when I looked at the database.

    I did some digging around the newsroom (obviously a great source for historical data) and nobody seems to know what entity (beyond the city and county) worked on the project.
    Do you know if there is a name for this trail?

    I'm not sure they could easily be retracked either, because they've paved this 10-12 foot pathway.
    Actually, it wouldn't be that hard (relatively speaking) to tear up the paving, drop ballast on the right of way, and put tracks on top. It would take some doing, and would be expensive, but it would be quite possibly. (Most of the men on my mother's side of the family were with the old Nickelplate & Virginia Line, and I absorbed quite a bit of railway lore growing up.)

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