2006 Conference - Building Trails for a Healthier
Four Points Sheraton, February 17-18 2006
and Strengthening Your Coalition (PDF 120k)
Property Values, Trail Opposition & Liability
Issues (PDF 1.6m)
Finding Funds (PDF
Wesley Delk, Grants Specialist, Gateway Area Development
Sponsors: University of KY Prevention Research Center,
KY Transportation Cabinet, Conservation Fund, Pedal Power,
Pedal the Planet, CDP Engineers, Inc. , Advanced Drainage
System, Wild Oats, Cave Run Bicycle & Outdoor
Shop and the Sierra Club - Bluegrass Group.
62 people came out
a very snowy day with slick icy roads and made the 2006
Conference "Building Trails for
A Healthier Kentucky" a very good synergistic meeting
with lots of optimism for the future of railtrails.....
If we work at it.
The conference began on Friday with a Bike Education Class
taught by Steve and Cheryl Wyatt. Steve and Cheryl are
certified League of American Cyclist Instructors and were
very patient with the class. After several hours of class
room instruction they took the class outside to practice
riding skills. Once those skills were mastered the next
adventure was to go onto Newtown Pike and Citation Boulevard.
Neither of these streets is conducive to beginner cyclist
but everyone survived and had a memorable experience. Two
of the class were pictured in the Lexington Herald Leader.
On Saturday it snowed
fast and furious and driving was treacherous in the morning.
Yvette Rollins of the Indiana Horse Council, Carol Whipple,
a consultant to Kentucky’s “Community
Partnerships for Protecting Children” and Colby Wagner
of the “Save the Children” program could not
In the morning Dave Adkisson, President of the KY Chamber
of Commerce gave us a positive view of how trails lead
to better communities. In the morning Dave Adkisson, President
of the KY Chamber of Commerce gave us a positive view of
how trails lead to better communities. He described how
Owensboro received one of the first Transportation Enhancement
grants for construction of the first Greenbelt Park trails.
He described the difficult time selling the public on the
value of such a project to the community, however now several
local residential and commercial developers use their close
proximity to the Greenbelt as a marketing appeal. Then
Judge Kirtley of Muhlenberg County walked us through how
his small community built and now are using their trail
more than they ever imagined.
Dan Burden of “Walkable
Communities, Inc. challenged our thinking about community
development giving examples of the multiple benefits
of walkable communities particularly when we suffer from
diseases of inactivity and life style and with gasoline
becoming more expensive. Trails and greenways are a major
part of his walkable communities. He illustrated how
roads become less effective in moving traffic with more
lanes and how a safe road is a road not designed for
speed. Two lanes and a turning lane appear to be optimal.
For more information go to his website www.walkable.org.
Regina Hall of the Big Sandy ADD reported that a price
had been placed on the Dawkins Line of $500,000 for which
R.J. Corman would sell the line to the three counties of
Breathitt, Johnson and Magoffin. The ADD first submitted
a letter of intent for a grant for a feasibility study
and after being invited to do so have submittedt a full
application to the Economic Development Administration.
They have received good support from the County Judges
who have agreed to do a $3000 match from each county. The
Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) will be approached
to help with the purchase. Corman has already removed or
is in the process of removing the rails and the ties. Opposition
to the trail she believes comes from misunderstanding about
the trail and who would use it. She described an entrepreneurial
center that has created a small business incubator in Johnson
County. Small business can apply for loans, have low rent
and share common facilities for three years and then hopefully
more out into the community. The incubator would be available
to provide support to small business owners who would like
to develop businesses along the trail. They plan to do
more presentations in the community to dispel negative
myths and are thinking of how to do a trip for local people
to go to the Virginia Creeper to see how a trail might
develop. A person from the audience raised the interesting
comparison of how much it would cost to build the roadbed
for 32 miles that Corman is willing to sell for $500,000.
I hope someone works that up and sends the figure to me
and also how they got it. The assumption is that today
the cost of building a railtrail from scratch would be
much more than the current asking price.
Dr. Terry Brooks
reported on the "Kids Count Data" and
gave us some sobering news. KY has gone from 37th to 42nd
in ratings of the health care of our kids. The drop from
37th to 42nd was the worst drop by a state in one year.
There was a decline in 62% of the indicators measured.
39% kids in KY live in a home without a parent with a secure
full time job and 25% live in poverty. The most positive
result is that KY "did not get worse" in some
categories. There was a decline in teen pregnancies and
a reduction in the school drop out rate. More info on the
health of KY's kids and suggested policy can be found at
the KY Youth Advocates website: kyyouth.org. Dr. Aaron
Beighle of UK talked of the necessity of having physical
activity for children.
A challenge award of $300 to be given to the non profit
group along the Lexington Big Sandy Corridor whose county
or city opens the first mile of railtrail along the corridor
was announced. The donation is be used for improvements
to the trail. It appears that Lexington will be able to
get under construction this year and so KRTC will offer
this incentive to the next community that can complete
another section of the Lexington Big Sandy. The award is
provided by Dr. Glen Proudfoot, an emergency room physician
in Somerset who was raised in Rowan County. KRTC invites
other RT supporters to match or add to Dr. Proud foot's
contribution. It is a tangible way of showing support for
the Lexington Big Sandy RT.
Larry Ridenour spoke
briefly about the upcoming "nuts
and bolts" workshop for the Lexington Big Sandy Railtrail
to be held in Morehead April 1st. Details on the KRTC website.
Martin Schickel spoke
first hand from his experience of running a business
on the "Loveland Trail" of
the Little Miami Trail in Ohio. The trail can not be the
sole sustainer of most businesses but it is a positive
amenity that attracts business. A developed trial has fewer
problems associated with it then an abandoned corridor.
He spoke from first hand experience about the increase
in property values and businesses and the decline in vandalism
associated with the Little Miami Trail.
Joanna Hinton, Executive
Director of Preservation Kentucky gave a talk entitled "Historic Preservation, It's
not just about Buildings anymore" and essentially
invited railtrail and greenway projects to pursue historic
preservation grants. See http://www.preservationkentucky.org/index.asp
Crystal Ducker, the Executive Director of the Office of
Transportation Enhancements walked us through how to submit
applications for TE funding. See http://www.tea21.ky.gov/app/.
. Lisa Rainey Brownell reported on her trail interviews
that document how communities value their trails. It was
good to see Lisa again; she was part of the team that did
the abandon railroad corridors study for Kentucky and is
a UK Doctoral Candidate in Geography. In all it was a very
good conference which should have a ripple effect across
If you have additional
remembrances of the conference you would like to share
please send to: DixieMoore@insightbb.com