Sunday, January 31, 2010

Rails to Trails

Several years ago, the city of Columbus made a commitment to its citizens to build a walking/biking trail on the site of an old Norfolk-Southern rail line. Having been decommissioned years ago, the rail bed was the perfect location for a pathway of this sort. The path covers a distance of a little more than 10 miles and is a handy link between northeast Columbus and the Riverwalk downtown. Currently in phase 2 of a 3 phase project, the city is soliciting suggestions for a name for the trail but for now I'll call it:

Columbus Rails to Trails Pathway

I spent a little time on Saturday walking/jogging on a portion of the trail adjacent to Columbus State University and Hardaway High School. It is a really nice development. I congratulate the developers of this project for the first class work that has been done. Like any new idea, its inception/progress has not gone without detractors. Because of the nature of the rail bed on which it is built, it crosses several roads on its winding journey from the hills east of Columbus to the Chattahoochee River. Sure, there is potential for dangerous interaction between pedestrians and motorists but if one is to run/bike on any street, that is going to be the case. In response to those negative comments, a friend of mine has commented, "If you don't want to put up with the traffic concerns, run on a treadmill."

Most of the course is well off the main traffic flows through town and offers seclusion and an opportunity to experience the outdoors right in the middle of town. As the path approaches the downtown area, it is much less in the cover of trees but still offers a smooth, level and protected place to exercise on foot or on two wheels.

Much of the trail east of town is unfinished at this point in time but I have every intention of covering the distance from start to finish as soon as my running is back in full swing.

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