SEHSR Mtg in Raleigh Monday 7/26/2010

There will be a public meeting Monday evening in Raleigh on the Raleigh to Richmond section of the high speed rail + Greenway.
Meeting Details:

Comments also accepted online:

The trains will probably be hybrid (NOT all-electric).  They will make 4 roundtrips daily Charlotte⇄Raleigh (via Hillsborogh & Durham), plus 4 roundtrips daily Charlotte⇄Washington DC (via Hillsborogh, Durham & Raleigh).

Between Raleigh & Charlotte, the SEHSR and any associated greenway will closely follow the current Amtrak NCRR route, with slight realignments to widen curves.  The DEIS states, "the greenway will typically follow the old, unused rail right of way when the rail alignment is on new location."

Between Raleigh & Richmond, the plan takes a more direct route, following US-1 through Wake Forest, Youngsville, Franklinton, Henderson, and Norlina (instead of Rocky Mount).

The trail creates tourism opportunities in all communities along the route, even those unserved by the train.

Paralleling the rail corridor makes a lot of sense for trail users as it provides a route with minimal cross-traffic and connecting to highly desirable destinations.

Section 2.4 "Multiuse Greenway Concept" states:

In December 2006, Virginia’s Department of Conservation and Recreation
(DCR), and representatives of Dinwiddie, Brunswick, and Mecklenburg counties
voiced their support for a multiuse Greenway Concept associated with
the SEHSR corridor and its inclusion in the SEHSR Tier II DEIS. The
North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)
also voiced its support for an extension of the Greenway Concept south
into North Carolina and terminating at the Neuse River, north of
Raleigh, NC. The advantage of including the Greenway Concept in the
SEHSR study is that the potential environmental impacts, both human
and natural, that would result from the proposed greenway can be
determined at an earlier stage in the process. This would allow the
necessary environmental documentation for the greenway to be prepared
so that local municipalities could pursue the construction of the
greenway in their jurisdictions.

The exact location of the Greenway Concept will not be determined
until the preferred alternative for the SEHSR project is selected because the impacts
associated with the Greenway Concept would be too minor to have a bearing on the selection
of a preferred alternative. The potential impacts associated with the Greenway
Concept will be documented document (e.g., Finding of No Significant
Impact) will be prepared for the Greenway Concept.

If construction of the greenway is undertaken by local municipalities,
guidance from the US Department of Transportation will be used and FRA
will be consulted.
For purposes of impact evaluation, the greenway is proposed to have a
30 foot trail “footprint” on a 60 foot ROW. The greenway ROW will be
adjacent to but separate from the rail ROW. The 60 feet should provide
enough room for the greenway cut/fill slopes not to interfere with the
proposed SEHSR construction limits as well as allow for necessary
design adjustments for the greenway. The trail itself will be
approximately 10 feet wide. Problem areas will be identified where
additional ROW may be needed (contained within the current SEHSR study
corridor), and impacts will be calculated for those areas. It is
anticipated that in municipal areas, trail traffic would be redirected
to existing city street ROW and sidewalks or other trail networks as
determined by each municipality. In addition, the trail will utilize
portions of the existing inactive rail ROW not needed for the new rail

The Greenway Concept design will conform to the American Association
of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Guide for the
Planning, Design, and Operation of Pedestrian Facilities (2004) and
the AASHTO Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities (1999), as
well as the NCDOT adopted "Design Guidelines for Bicycle Facilities,"
where possible and practicable.

The SEHSR Greenway Concept has potential to be an important feature of
the state-wide trail networks that are being developed by the states
of Virginia and North Carolina in conjunction with local governments.
Additionally, the SEHSR Greenway Concept may be incorporated into the
East Coast Greenway (ECG), an urban version of the Appalachian Trail
for walkers, cyclists, and other non-motorized trail users. Founded in
1991, the East Coast Greenway Alliance is a non-profit organization
aimed at connecting cities and towns along the East Coast with a
continuous, 3,000 mile long, traffic-free path from Maine to Florida
(Figure 2-7). The ECG is a combination of paved greenways, crushed
gravel paths, urban streets, and rural bike routes. Approximately 21
percent of the ECG was been completed as of December 2008. As stated
on the Alliance’s website, the “Alliance will not own or directly
manage any portion of this trail. Rather, it will be owned and managed
by municipal, county and state agencies. The Alliance works to ensure
continuity and a consistent quality of route” (ECG Alliance, 2008).

The route and ownership of the ECG is determined by each state,
municipality, locality, and community through which it passes.
Therefore, each section of trail is independently
managed and representative of the needs of its respective region.

Comments also accepted online:



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