$1 million per mile: Wake County plans to double greenway
Posted May 8
Wake County has a plan to almost double the miles of greenway trail that residents enjoy, but the hard part is determining how to pay for it. Present, future: Wake County greenway map
County leaders are looking to add 274 miles to the existing greenway at a cost of about $1 million per mile. The plan would connect individual communities across the county and tie into other communities like Durham and Creedmoor.
Mike Thompson, a regular user of the Lake Johnson trail in Raleigh, can see the benefits.
"I wish there were more trails in the area like this one," he said.
Marcia Binkerd was out for a walk Monday enjoying the weather.
"Nature is just a healing place, and I think it is really good to get out every day and get the fresh air, the trees, the green," she said.
Chris Snow, director of Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space, hopes people will see the expansion as an opportunity to use the trails for more than fitness.
"With the growing population in this area, greenways and trails could be used as commuter routes. It could help you get to the store or to school or to work, so all of those things are good things," he said.
But he acknowledges that more miles of greenway do not come cheap.
"It could be a pretty expensive plan," Snow said.
Wake County must budget for land, boardwalk, bridges and environmental concerns. It could take up to 15 years for the plans to come to fruition once they figure out the funding. County commissioners will consider a bond, possible tax increases and partnering with some neighboring city and towns.