Posts Tagged ‘bike trails’

Experiencing Rails to Trails

December 20, 2009

Milton Jones, retired Columbus attorney and state legislator, sent us this email.  I think he has some good advice.

By Milton Jones

I know you are aware of the fact that the “Bike” (I put it in quotes for I think many more will walk it than ride bikes) Trail is nearing completion.  There are portions of it which for all practical purposes are already complete, one stretch being from Hilton Avenue to CSU property on  the east side of I-185.  Jeanette and I have walked this section and it is stunningly beautiful.  You owe it to yourself to do so if you can, for I think you will be really impressed.

You can park in the back lot of Hardaway High and access the trail going either way right where it crosses Armour Avenue.  Or, there is a cul-de-sac on west side of Armour where you can park close to Armour Avenue.  Either will put you within 20 or 30 yards of the trail.  Either way you go, either east to just across the I-185 old railroad bridge and back, or west down to Hilton Avenue and back, is about a 20 – 25 minute leisurely walk, and it is spectacular.  Even in the middle of the city, you will think you are in  deep woods.  There is a barrier or screen of trees and vegetation along both sides that with very few very short stretches completely obscures the residences and apartments from the trail. 

 In many areas, the trees are so large they create a canopy effect.  And, the walking is easy.  The trail is paved with a “soft” low impact asphalt type substance and smooth.  (I hope it is recycled tires but do not believe it is)

It is a great way to spend a few minutes close to home, and get into deep woods.

Do it.  You will be glad you did.

Milton

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Rails to Trails Moving Along

January 29, 2009

   

Making room for Rails-to-Trails, removed ties at Burger King on Warm Springs Road

Making room for Rails-to-Trails, removed ties at Burger King on Warm Springs Road

 Rails to Trails is edging closer to reality.  Rick Jones, Columbus City Planner,  told members of the Coalition for Sound Growth that the rails and ties have been taken up, and that the company charged with the removal is paying $500,000  for them.  Bids on construction will be let next month.  He thinks construction can start in May and hopes the trail may be opened early next year.

This news was greeted with enthusiasm by the Collation since the more people who use their bikes to get around the less pollution their cars will add to the air problem in Columbus.  One Coalition member told me after the meeting that she plans to ride her bike the whole 11 miles from Psalmond Road, where she lives, to her job in downtown Columbus.   She said she looks forward to it.

Jack Lockwood, Coalition for Sound Growth, Spencer Environmental Center, Columbus, GA

Jack Lockwood, standing, right top, Coalition for Sound Growth, Spencer Environmental Center, Columbus, GA

And speaking of riding your bike to work,  Jack Lockwood of Environmental Health – West central Georgia District – asked everyone to help promote “Bike to Work Day”  on May 15th.  Can’t you just see those hundreds of bikes parked in the AFLAC and TSYS parking lots!  bike-to-eork_0804

I can remember when I rode my bike darn near everywhere.  I was eleven-years-old and lived in downtown Columbus, which was really jumping with a lot of cars back then so we mainly rode on the sidewalks,  and nobody complained.  After all,  you had to ride on the sidewalks when you “threw papers” on front porches, which everybody had then.   My Columbus Ledger route was on 2nd Avenue.

I remember one Boy Scout bike trip that was 28 miles roundtrip, but that one was on the roads that had some pretty steep hills.   I was sore in unmentional places for days.  I am sure 28 miles is nothing to today’s riders.

Impact of the BRAC Impact Hearing

June 23, 2008

  Last Tuesday evening I got the feeling that most people are still in denial about the huge way our world is changing and how they are going to have to change with it.

 

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  BRAC hearing at Columbus Public Library

 

  At the BRAC impact hearing at the Columbus Public Library, we all were given the opportunity of saying which of our transportation needs should have the top priority when 30,000 new folks with their thousands of cars and trucks move into the area.

 

 

                                          Voting Remote

Casting my vote

 

 

  When five options were listed on the screen, we used our voter remotes to register our choices. After all of the clicking was done, not to my surprise, the vast majority, 53 per cent, clicked on “minimize congestion.”  

 

                                         

 

 

“Add new sidewalks and bike trails” came in second at 22 percent.

 

 The one I clicked, “improve transit service” came in 4th at ten percent, beat out by “repair existing roads” at 12 percent.

 

  Last, and a big surprise to the folks who were conducting the hearing, was “improve access to Fort Benning,” at only 4 percent.  After all, the growth at Fort Benning is the reason for the big influx of people to our area.

 

  One man in the back of the room said he was surprised that “improve transit service” got such a low vote. I joined him in that opinion and said, “Considering the energy future, you have to wonder why people are still talking cars and roads and not mass transit and rails.”

 

  The man sitting next to me joined in with, “When gasoline hits $12 a gallon you are not going to have to worry about traffic congestion. People won’t be driving their cars.” 

 

  Retiring Deputy Superintendent of the Muscogee County School District Dr. Robin Pennock, said, “Solving the traffic congestion problem will take a combination of all of the options on that list.”

 

 

                                          

  Dr. Robin Pennock, Deputy Superintendent MCSD

 

  She was right, in my view.

 

  The BRAC (Base Closure and Realignment Commission) issue is bringing out a lot of other issues that are important to our community. They would be important, even if the

area wasn’t about to grow by about 30,000 people in the next few years.  I’ll be discussing them in future posts.