Wednesday, October 15, 2008

American Tobacco Trail - potential threat to CR?

I received the following in an email from Bill Bussey who works for the Traingle Rails to Trail Conservancy. The information highlights the threat of trees being cut down along the ATT behind CR:

On Wednesday October 22 there will be an American Tobacco Trail Phase E Design (everything but the I-40 bridge) Public Meeting 7 to 9 pm City Council Chambers 101 City Hall Plaza.

This is your chance to offer input on design of the trail itself. Click on the web link for more information on this meeting or on the design of the trail itself.

We've been told by Mr. Lee Murphy, Durham Special Projects Engineer, in no uncertain terms that the ATT south from NC 54 to the Chatham County line will be a 10 foot-wide asphalt surface with 2 foot compacted granite screenings shoulders with an additional 5 foot-wide grass shoulders. Thus, it will look exactly like the current ATT north of I-40.

Based on that trail, and the trail currently under construction south of New Hope Church Road in Chatham County, there will be a lot of trees cut. The trail behind many of your homes will be much more open.

Several of your residents we've spoken with have expressed that they would prefer to see it remain the way it is now, or have a compacted granite screening surface.

Thus, you may want to express your concerns about these issues. While construction of the ATT with some sort of improved surface is a certainty, there may be some flexibility in design if residents are concerned about it to let City staff know.

City staff have heard from TRTC that we would prefer that as few trees as possible be cut, particularly in the areas behind Chancellor's Ridge where there is a significant canopy. However, I feel that these concerns have fallen on deaf ears.

It would be very helpful if Chancellor's Ridge residents and residents in other neighborhoods along the trail such as Eagles Point, and others, could come to the meeting and let staff know what you think. If you have contacts in nearby neighborhoods, please pass this along.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks for your attention to this. And thanks for your support of the American Tobacco Trail. Your connection bridge is still looking good and is a wonderful landmark and meeting place along the trail.

Happy Trails,

Bill Bussey
Triangle Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
919 545-9104

--- Please if you can make it to the meeting voice your concerns - let the city know that we do not want the trees to be cut down - the trial is wide enough!

Shane Kirk
President, CR HOA


DurhamDave said...

Hi, Please consider this trail development to be a "treat", not a "threat." The 2 most likely outcomes of the ATT's completion will be: (1) A more versatile, multi-use surface (baby strollers for example), and (2) improved resale values with this "lifestyle amenity" so convenient to your homes. Paths to the future, Dave.

Anonymous said...


It would be a treat only if they do not cut down the trees. There is no reason to propose cutting any of the trees. The trail surface is plenty wide enough now to support a different, more stroller friendly surface without sacrificing the buffer.

By the way it is a buffer that we paid $18,000 in lot premiums for when we purchased our house - to us (and others who paid similar premiums) it will be an instant degradation in property value if they decrease the buffer by cutting the trees.

I am certain that most homeowners along the trail would prefer the buffer to be left as it is. Improve the surface but leave off the grass and extra gravel on the sides if you have to but leave the beautiful canopy of trees that nature has provided.