July 2010

Public Hearings for Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor

Public hearings are being held during July to seek public comments on the Tier II Env. Impact Statement for the Richmond to Raleigh portion of this corridor. As we have reported earlier, the completion of this corridor will result in a wider and straighter corridor than at present and one that includes a designated lane that can be used to develop a future trail. In  North Carolina, current transportation policy foresees that the development and construction of rail-with-trail projects will be the responsibility of city and county governments. While this policy allows local initiative and local decisions on trail widths and surfaces, the resources required will be substantial and development may be extended for many years. If you support having rail-with-trail on this corridor and would like to see the State of North Carolina have a leading role in trail development on this corridor rather than leaving all development to cities and counties, please consider attending one of these hearings to express your views. Here is the link to the SEHSR page showing upcoming times and locations. As part of the Environmental Impact Statement process, NC DOT is also seeking public input through a short on-line survey. Please spend a few minutes to complete this survey and let the State know you strongly support this and want DOT and other State agencies to take an active role in getting trails planned and constructed from the VA line to Raleigh.


AL Capehart and Carrie Banks, our new Executive Director, attended the 7-26 meeting in Raleigh and provided input on rail-trail interests and issues. If you are a Facebook user, please check in with NCRT's Facebook page for updates on the high speed rail corridor and other areas we are involved in.

Recent Articles on High Speed Rail

DOT to Examine Alternate Routes for High Speed Rail

Resident's Thoughts on Impacts from 7/13 Meeting at Norlina

Residents Give Input at 7/26 Meeting at Raleigh

Deadline for Comments on SEHSR Extended to September 10

Background on Hearings

Ecusta Trail Group Has Incorporated and is Seeking Non-Profit Status

The Friends of Ecusta Trail has been incorporated and 501(c)(3) status is being applied for. A website is under construction and press releases have been prepared for a widespread announcement of the organization and its plans for an 18 plus mile rail-trail on the discontinued Norfolk Southern RR rail corridor. Efforts are underway to add to the number of local units of government publicly endorsing the trail. Please contact NCRT's Mike Domonkos for info on status.

West Pender Rail-Trail Alliance Incorporates, Seeks Non-Profit Designation

The Alliance met April 12, June 7 and June 21 in the Pender County Tourism Development Office in Burgaw. Susan Bullers, the Alliance Chair, reports that the Alliance incorporated under NC law, established a bank account and through recent fundraisers has raised enough to pay for the IRS filing fees for the 501(c)(3) status. Using two donated bicycles from Wilmington’s Two Wheeler Dealer and $5 raffle tickets the Alliance raised over $1K and celebrated at the Burgaw Blue Berry Festival.

Executive Director Starts Work at North Carolina Rail-Trails

After a several month search and a good number of interviews NCRT's Board is pleased to announce the hiring of their first paid position. In early July Carrie Banks became the first executive director of North Carolina Rail-Trails. Carrie is the 9th generation of her family to call Ashe County, NC home and currently resides in Carrboro. She received her Master’s of Science from North Carolina State University in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management in May 2010. She was awarded the NC Tourism Education Foundation’s 2008 Tourism Student of the Year award at the North Carolina Governor’s Conference on Tourism. Carrie also holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies, with honors, from UNC-Chapel Hill. Between 2002 and 2007, Carrie was the conservation coordinator for the North Carolina Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, where she worked with the protection staff acquiring thousandsof acres of land for conservation. For the next several weeks, Carrie will be meeting with individual Board members to learn more about our goals and objectives and later will be meeting with staff from our non-profit partners. If you need to reach Carrie, her contact information is listed on our Board of Directors page.

General Assembly Retains Funding for Adopt-A-Trail Grants

Great news! The General Assembly just passed a budget that retains full funding of $108,000 for the Adopt-a-Trail program, despite the extremely tough financial situation faced by state government this year. Over the years several of our rail-trails have been improved through these grants and we have been strong supporters of the program. Thanks for your help in telling legislators about the value of the program. Legislators did report they heard from constituents, and that really made a difference in such a difficult year. Please take a moment now to thank your legislators for supporting the program. They will appreciate it, and it will help stengthen the support for future funding. Here is contact information for House members and Senators.