rail-trail report
With less than one acre
of open space per 1,000 residents, the people of
Compton, Calif., have few opportunities to incorporate physical activity in their day-to-
day lives. And so improving access to trails and pathways, and the appeal and usability of
those pathways, has been a focus of RTC’s work in Compton since first getting involved
there in 2009.
RTC’sWestern office and our partners in Los Angeles recently initiated a regular
series of community volunteer days to help beautify andmaintain the Compton Creek
Trail.The Compton Creek Taskforce held three cleanup events between November and
January,withmore to come. RTC surveys had earlier identified that concerns about safe-
ty andmaintenance were preventingmore people fromusing this urban trail.
It is terrific to see a community of people who use and care about the trail slowly
coming together,”says RTC’s Manager of Trail Development in theWestern Region, Barry
Bergman.“As we have seen in our other urban project areas across the country, building
this kind of lasting ownership takes time. But in the long term this is how you build a
community pathway that is loved, cared for andwell-used.”
More information:
RTC Highlights
In January, RTC published its much
anticipated study of options
to extend
the western terminus of the 150-mile
Liberty-Water Gap Trail
which cur-
rently runs the width of New Jersey,
from Liberty State Park to the Delaware
River. This relatively short, but crucial,
extension would connect the popular
trail to the Delaware Water Gap National
Recreation Area, an existing trail network
including the Appalachian Trail, and a
number of small communities on both
sides of the Philadelphia/New Jersey
border. Driven by lead author Pat Tomes,
Program Manager at RTC’s Northeast
Office, the study includes a number of
cost-effective and viable recommenda-
tions for building the six-mile exten-
sion, which would greatly increase the
utility, economic impact and reach of
the Liberty-Water Gap Trail. More info:
The Northeast and D.C. offices are
teaming up on an exciting new project
in Camden, N.J. Supported by the
N.J. Conservation Foundation and
the Cooper’s Ferry Partnership,
research and GIS data specialists will
calculate and visually display the
potential reach and broader commu-
nity impact of developing a multi-use
alongside an active transit corridor
in the city. This unique project involves
analyzing the “trailshed” of the regional
trail network surrounding the study
corridor, such as how many households,
and of what types, are connected by the
network, and what kinds of destination
points are accessible by trails. The goal
of this work is to develop a new trail
system metric to quantify the impact
of a better connected trail system.
The Director of the Northeast
Regional Office, Tom Sexton, travelled
to Vermont, N.H., to lend his two
decades of trail building experience
to proponents of a new trail project.
Sexton spoke to the Western Vermont
Greenway Conference on the economic
impacts of rail-trails, offering experien-
tial and statistical evidence to assist the
local group
in their efforts to create a
mile trail from southern Vermont
to the Canadian border
Thanks to the William Penn
Foundation, RTC will be able to
continue its excellent work promoting
trails and cycling in Camden, N.J.
In December, the Philadelphia-based
organization announced it would provide
$110,000 to
continue the CYCLE pro-
gram, which enables young Camden
residents to be bike-mobile and helps
them explore their city
The community of
Aquidneck Island,
R.I., has called on RTC to examine the
feasibility of a rail-with-trail along a
line currently used for tourist service
In December, RTC’s Manager of Trail
Development in the Northeast, Carl
Knoch, led a public presentation for the
Aquidneck Island Planning Commission
and Bike Newport on the viability of
rail-with-trail projects. Carl has also
been working with transportation plan-
ners in Rockingham County, N.H. to
develop an acquisition strategy for 10
miles of a disused Pan Am Railways
corridor between Portsmouth and the
Massachusetts line.
In California, RTC’s Director of the
Western Region Office, Laura Cohen,
has been leading a push to ensure the
state government adequately invests in
new trails, bike lanes, sidewalks and
greenways. Over the past few months,
Cohen has been leading a coalition
of statewide groups in
meetings with
Governor Jerry Brown on the need
for better active transportation
infrastructure in the state
RTC’s Midwest Office has been
working with local leaders in Cleveland,
Ohio, on
a feasibility study for an
extension of the Morgana Run
The Morgana Run was
completed as part of RTC’s Urban
Pathways Initiative, and in the years
since has become a catalyst for a
booming bike and trails culture in
this wonderful rust belt community.
Elsewhere in Ohio, the Midwest
Office has been helping Franklin County
MetroParks and the Ohio Department
of Transportation on gathering public
input and planning for the
sections of the proposed Camp Chase
Rail-Trail in Columbus
This 11-mile
rail-trail is a key part of the rejuvenation
of this growing city.