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Bring me all of your dreams,You dreamer, Bring me all your Heart melodies that I may wrap them in a blue cloud-cloth away from the too-rough fingers of the world. -Langston Hughes

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TOTAL POPULATION: 1255

OLD NORTH DURHAM NEIGHBORHOOD TOTAL POPULATION: 856

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DURHAM. ID AERIAL VIEW DURHAM CENTRAL PARK

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DURHAM BELT LINE TRAIL MASTER PLAN

ADOPTED BY THE DURHAM CITY COUNCIL ON AUGUST 6, 2018 MAYOR STEVE SCHEWEL MAYOR PRO-TEMPORE JILLIAN JOHNSON VERNETTA ALSTON JAVIERA CABALLERO DEDREANA FREEMAN MARK-ANTHONY MIDDLETON CHARLIE REECE

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Thank you to all of the residents, business leaders, developers, stakeholders and staff that participated in the Durham Belt Line Trail Master Plan through numerous meetings, events, survey responses, and interviews. Special thanks to those who participated as project advisors, plan reviewers and committee members.

PROJECT CONTACT AND STAFF DALE MCKEEL

BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN COORDINATOR CITY OF DURHAM 919.560.4366 EXT 36421 DALE.MCKEEL@DURHAMNC.GOV

ELLEN BECKMANN TERRY BELLAMY KEITH CHADWELL THOMAS DAWSON ROBIN DIXON BO FERGUSON BILL JUDGE KAREN LADO LISA MILLER ANDRE PETTIGREW BRYAN POOLE STACEY POSTON

HENRI PROSPERI JINA PROPST NIA RODGERS LINDSAY SMART ANNETTE SMITH BRIAN SMITH MEAGAN WALSH ANTONY WAMBUI SCOTT WHITEMAN SANDRA WILBUR PATRICK YOUNG

STEERING COMMITTEE MEMBERS CHA’SSEM ANDERSON HAROLD HIGGINS NILES BARNES MARK HOUGH JESSICA BROCK PETER KATZ BRIAN BUZBY DAVID KEILSON ALISON CARPENTER JOHN MARTIN DAVE CONNELLY DREW MEDLYN CHRIS DREPS ROBERT MEEHAN EMILY EGGE PATRICK MUCKLOW ROB EMERSON ZACH PRAGER BEN FILIPPO DAVID PROPER MATT GLADDEK NEILL SHERRON JOHN GOEBEL NICOLE THOMPSON DEANNA HALL KATHRYN ZERINGUE RICHARD HANCOCK

This material is based upon work supported by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) under Grant Agreement P-14. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the Author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the FHWA.

PROJECT TEAM

Prepared for the City of Durham By Stewart with Support from Ratio, Urban Three, and NC State College of Design. (2018)

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TODD DELK JAKE PETROSKY KRISTY JACKSON ED LYNCH STEPHEN FABER JACKIE TURNER ELIZABETH ALLEY

ERIC DOMONELL CHARLEY LEWIS JENNIFER WAGNER MARK SHAWL MICHAEL BATTS BETSY LOEB

ANDREA HAYDON MATT ZETZL

JOSEPH MINICOZZI CATE RYBA JOSHUA MCCARTY

KOFI BOONE


DURHAM BELT LINE

TRAIL MASTER PLAN

TABLE OF CONTENTS

OVERVIEW & CONTEXT 4 VISION 6 Precedents, Outreach, Summary of Input, Vision, Goals and Guiding Principles, Big Ideas, Overall Concept

CORRIDOR ANALYSIS 24 Plans and Initiatives, Benefits and Impacts, Historical Context, Existing Conditions

DESIGN 42 Trail Design, Character Areas, Cross-Sections, Connections and Wayfinding, At-Grade Crossings and Bridges, Open Space & Redevelopment, Natural Systems, Housing & Equity, Linear Park Section, Restoration and Preservation Section, Neighborhood Character Section

IMPLEMENTATION 88 Phasing Overview, Design, Corridor Prep, Cost Estimate, Programming Strategy, Operations and Maintenance Strategy, Trail Oriented Development and Housing & Equity Strategies

DESIGN PALETTE 112 Hardscape and Materials, Furnishings, Lighting, Interpretive Strategy, Plantings DURHAM BELT LINE Trail Master Plan |

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OVERVIEW & CONTEXT The Durham Belt Line is a rail trail and linear park that has the potential to fuel the next stage of transformation in downtown Durham and serve as a crown jewel of the City’s parks and greenway system.

WHERE WE STAND TODAY

The Conservation Fund recently acquired two miles of inactive railroad rightof-way that runs from the area around Avondale Dr to northeast of the Durham Amtrak Station at West Chapel Hill St, forming a crescent around downtown Durham. It ends two blocks from the American Tobacco Campus and the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, the northern terminus of the American Tobacco Trail (ATT). The existing railroad bed and right-of-way is planned to be converted to a multi-use trail which will weave together different types of green spaces. The trail will serve to connect the Duke Park, Old North Durham, Trinity Park and Pearl Mill Village neighborhoods to downtown Durham, transit options, and jobs throughout the Triangle.

REGIONAL CONTEXT

Once constructed, the Durham Belt Line Trail will be part of a growing countyto-county trail spine that will extend 50 miles. A multi-use trail is envisioned to stretch from the Durham-Person County Line in the north to Harris Lake County Park in Wake County to the south via the Roxboro Rail Trail (future), Goose Creek Trail (future), Durham Belt Line Trail (planned), American Tobacco Trail (completed) and New Hill Holleman Rd Sidepath (future). It will likely serve as a segment of the East Coast Greenway, a 3,000-mile trail that connects Maine to Florida. The trail will function as a linear park and “green” spine through the heart of downtown Durham, while providing a destination in itself for everyone to enjoy.

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MASTER PLANNING PROCESS

The recommendations outlined in the Durham Belt Line Master Plan are meant to guide the next phases of the project which include a detailed design phase and eventual construction. While many of the recommendations are focused on the design of the trail, policy recommendations are included to guide implementation of the overall vision and ensure that the project benefits all of Durham. The Master Plan identifies a conceptual design that will maximize social, cultural, economic and health benefits of public and private investment along the trail. Objectives included determining the trail cross-section, access points, opportunities for historic preservation, placemaking, and development along the trail.

MASTER PLAN SCHEDULE TASKS

1 Vision Phase 2 Corridor Evaluation Phase 3 Design Analysis Phase 4 Community Analysis Phase 5 Community Outreach 6 Master Plan

DESCRIPTION Project Kickoff Greensboro Downtown Greenway Tour Data Collection and Mapping Bridge Inspections Alignment and Crossing Alternatives Structure Rehab and Crime Prevention Recommendations Connectivity, Public Art and Placemaking Recommendations Environmental Justice Evaluation Economic and Health Impacts Trail-Oriented Development Recommendations Stakeholder Meetings Walking Tours and Pop-up Meetings Steering Committee Meetings Online and Social Media Engagement Presentations to Boards Draft Master Plan Revisions Final Plan Submittal


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VISION FOR RECREATION


The idea of transforming this old, overgrown railroad into a rail trail was first championed by the Durham Open Space and Trails Commission in the 2001 Trails and Greenways Master Plan. This plan builds on past efforts and captures recent stakeholder and public feedback to craft a vision for the Durham Belt Line Trail. The vision is inspired by urban trails and public spaces elsewhere in the country, the history of the corridor, the emerging era of innovation in downtown Durham, and a response to the unique conditions along the corridor.

(rek-ree-ey-shun; u) 1: A pastime, diversion, exercise or other resource affording relaxation and enjoyment 2: The act of creating anew

DURHAM BELT LINE Trail Master Plan |

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PRECEDENT PROJECTS The vibrant green space which will define the Durham Belt Line Trail is intended to take people on a journey through the city. Several innovative linear park and multi-use trail projects are precedents in design to inspire opportunities for the Durham Belt Line Trail. Ideas from these projects to help influence the master planning process include:

»»Separation of trail users »»Adaptive reuse of materials »»Allocation of physical space »»Reconnection of the urban fabric »»Integration of public art and history »»Restoration and management of environmental resources »»Placemaking opportunities »»Economic revitalization efforts

GREENSBORO DOWNTOWN GREENWAY

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Defining moments in the city’s cultural heritage, the Greensboro Downtown Greenway links the community with art, history and recreation. cornerstones of public art recognize the unique qualities of The Gate City

This urban walking and biking trail creates an urban loop around downtown Greensboro. Art installations are incorporated into the greenway and connecting parks. When completed, the loop will serve as a hub for trails extending in all directions from Greensboro’s downtown. The route was established based on the availability and usage of nearby land parcels, including an underused rail corridor. The project has resulted in $215 million in private investment along the greenway to date.

»»4-mile loop developed around the center city with a completion goal of 2018 »»Typically 12 ft wide with buffers between the trails and roadways »»Projected cost is $36 million ($10 million in private funds and $26 million in public funds) »»$25 Million in funding secured including $10 million from foundations, corporations, businesses, civic groups, and individuals

»»$100,000 National Endowment for the Arts grant to restore and up-fit an abandoned railroad underpass 8


VISION

PRECEDENT PROJECTS

THE ATLANTA BELTLINE

The Atlanta BeltLine is a comprehensive revitalization effort envisioned in a Georgia Tech master’s degree thesis project submitted to city officials in 2001. The loop aims to connect Atlanta neighborhoods via multi-use trails, modern streetcars and parks – all based on abandoned railroad corridors encircling Atlanta. The plan includes workforce housing, public art, environmental clean-up and historic preservation. Two partnership organizations, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc and The Atlanta BeltLine work together with the community to bring the project and programing to life. As of 2016, four of the trail segments are open with two under construction. Upon completion, the Atlanta BeltLine project is imagined to have created:

»»22-mile transit system (streetcar) and 33-mile trail network »»1,300 Acres of new and 700 acres of restored green space »»Goal of 28,000 new housing units (5,600 affordable) »»30,000 permanent jobs and up to $20 billion in projected

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economic development

»»Linkages to more than 40 Atlanta neighborhoods »»Four sections open, interim hiking trails accessible to the public until funding is available

»»$4.3 billion cost estimate »»$53 million in private philanthropic donations to date

Source: beltline.org

acres of environmental remediation to date

Fourth Ward Park, opened in 2011, provides a key link in the Atlanta BeltLine and amenities for all ages. It also saved the City $15 million versus a traditional stormwater tunnel system.

Source: Atlanta Magazine, “How to Throw the Ultimate BeltLine Lantern Parade Party”

DURHAM BELT LINE Trail Master Plan |

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THE HIGH LINE The High Line, a once-elevated freight rail line, has become an international model of adaptive reuse and placemaking through its transformation into a “park in the sky.”

5 Source: thehighline.org

»»1.45 Miles of elevated linear park »»Planting beds have an average depth of 18” for soil and drainage

»»More than 450 public programs and activities annually

»»Cost of $187 million ($44 million

raised by Friends of the High Line and neighboring developers)

million visitors annually, more than twice the annual attendance at Yankee Stadium

In 1934, the High Line opened to trains which carried goods to and from Manhattan’s largest industrial district. The planning framework for the High Line’s preservation began in 2002 with an open ideas design competition. The High Line was constructed in three sections from 2009 to 2014 inspired by a tree-lined walkway (the French Promenade Planteé ) in Paris. Seating elements include the park’s signature “peel-up” benches and river view sun deck chaise lounges. Native plantings were used along the trail’s length. The success of the High Line has inspired cities nationwide to reimagine unused or underutilized infrastructure as public space and has spurred $2 billion in private real estate development in districts that lie along the line. Friends of the High Line oversees maintenance, operations and programming for the space.

11TH STREET BRIDGE PARK The 11th Street Bridge Park will be the Washington D.C.’s first elevated park over the Anacostia River. The design process included a competition and hundreds of stakeholder meetings. An Equitable Development Plan was created to outline a multi-year strategy for community stabilization in advance of construction. The equitable development plan focuses on housing, jobs, education and transportation equity.

9 Source: www.bridgepark.org

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experts appointed to an Equitable Development Task Force to help shape an Equitable Development Plan and convene a series of stakeholder and neighborhood meetings.


VISION

PRECEDENT PROJECTS

THE 606

“The 606” is a linear trail and park network repurposed from an abandoned elevated rail line that formerly served a manufacturing district of Chicago. The trail was made possible through a publicprivate partnership between the City of Chicago, Chicago Park District and The Trust for Public Land. Opened in 2015, the trail runs through four neighborhoods and integrates small parks, historic features and heavily landscaped garden “rooms”. The trail was built 14 feet wide to accommodate a range of users and includes a blue rubberized running path. Rotating installations of temporary public art are made possible through a seasonal artist-inresidency program. Visitors create their own experience through the biking trail, running path, giant park, or outdoor art gallery. What distinguishes The 606 from other projects is its integration with other community destinations and different types of outdoor space.

The 606 includes six neighborhood parks at ground level, a “wheel-friendly” event plaza, an observatory, art installations, educational programming and connections to four neighborhoods that were once physically separated.

Source: University of Illinois, Chicago

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miles of art and green space as the backbone of a parks and trails network

INDIANAPOLIS CULTURAL TRAIL

This world-class urban bike and pedestrian path connects neighborhoods and supports healthy living and public art. It traverses nearly every major cultural and entertainment venue in the downtown area – from the Indiana State Museum and Indiana Repertory Theater to the City Market. The trail has resulted in significant economic development – hundreds of millions of dollars in new commercial and residential developments surrounding the pathway have coincided with the trail’s progress.

»»25,400 Square feet of stormwater planters »»7 Public art projects along the trail and 86 bike racks »»8 Miles connecting six cultural districts »»$63 Million cost (private funding totaling $27.5 million) Connecting five centrally designated cultural districts in the heart of Indianapolis, the Cultural Trail allows human-scaled exploration of the city for locals and visitors alike.

Source: downtownindy.org

$1B

increase in property values within 500 feet of the trail since 2007

DURHAM BELT LINE Trail Master Plan |

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OUTREACH Engagement activities were a key part of the overall process for developing the Durham Belt Line Master Plan. Active community outreach engages stakeholders throughout the entire timeline of the project. Concepts were shared in a variety of formats giving opportunities to provide feedback and shape the vision for the trail.

STEERING COMMITTEE

Project vision and guidance was provided by a large multidisciplinary steering committee that met six times during the master planning process.

PEER PROJECT WALKING TOUR

The steering committee, city staff and project team visited the Greensboro Downtown Greenway, to gather information and learn about the process to develop the project.

SURVEYS

Two online public input tools solicited feedback in fall 2017 and early summer 2018 to get input on the vision, goals, potential usage, design, and policy guidance.

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“Durham’s vitality is built upon the health of our residents and the capacity of our community to foster and enhance the well-being of every citizen.” - Phillip Freelon

PUBLIC OPEN HOUSES

Two highly interactive public meetings were held to share information on the project. Creative ideas for public input included a sketching station and story-kiosk which recorded video of citizens expressing ideas for the Belt Line.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

Project team members interacted with Durham citizens and visitors to get feedback at existing events, including the Farmer’s Market and Durham Centerfest.

STAKEHOLDER CONVERSATIONS

Targeted small group discussions were led with primary project stakeholders early in the planning process to identify concerns and opportunities to help shape the plan. These groups included representatives from arts, neighborhoods, business, health / wellness, and history stakeholders.


VISION

OUTREACH

OUTREACH TIMELINE ACTIVE COMMUNITY OUTREACH

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NOT JUST A TRAIL This

word cloud created from comments from the survey and public meetings show clearly that the Belt Line needs to be a park in addition to being a well-lit trail. DURHAM BELT LINE Trail Master Plan |

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SUMMARY OF INPUT SAFETY AND SECURITY

A primary concern from stakeholders, citizen input, and neighbor conversations is for the trail to be a safe, secure, and well-used community space. Pedestrian-scale lighting, visibility, frequent access points, and minimal interaction with motor vehicles are desired as strategies to enhance safety and security (both real and perceived) on the Belt Line.

EQUITY

Many citizens expressed concern over potential increases in property values along the trail and an interest in ensuring equitable access by preserving or increasing access to affordable housing in neighborhoods nearby. This theme was expressed in both public meetings and in the survey results.

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TRAIL CHARACTER

Connections to nature and the ability to “get away from it all” with integration of greenery and natural beauty were important across citizen and stakeholder groups. Desire for “epic trees” and shade were also consistent across the public input.

Source: Chris Ford (Flickr)

Source:VisitGreenvilleSC

Source: Fitch Architecture and Community Design

Source: LafitteGreenway.Org


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Stakeholder Group Conversations

VISION

OUTREACH

Steering Committee Meetings Responses to Surveys

Pop-Up / Community Events Attendees at 2 Public Open Houses

Source: Rundell Ernstberger Associates (Designer)

TRAILSIDE AMENITIES

A wide variety of features along the trail were described in the public input. Frequently requested features include:

»»Access to drinking water and restrooms »»Seating areas for resting and enjoying others using the trail

»»Separation and adequate trail width to allow Source: LiveGrowPlayAustin.com

for a wide variety of trail users (strollers, walkers, joggers, runners, bicyclists, and people with mobility assistance devices) to safely share the trail with each other

»»Areas for play, especially those that allow for

interaction with nature and community gardens

»»Design that emphasizes water, including

stormwater, streams and/or an interactive water feature such as a splash pad

»»Paved and unpaved surface types to attract different types of trail users

»»Public art to celebrate the history, creativity and Source: University City District

stories of the people and neighborhoods along the Belt Line

CONNECTIONS

Source: Fitch Architecture and Community Design

Access to other trails and destinations was a key theme throughout the input process. Thinking toward the future, the Belt Line is part of a 40+ mile continuous public trail that will provide transportation, health, recreation, conservation, economic development, and tourism opportunities. Making a connection to the existing Ellerbe Creek Trail and the American Tobacco Trail while preparing for a link to the future Goose Creek Trail are key to this long-term vision. DURHAM BELT LINE Trail Master Plan |

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VISION & GOALS VISION

Based on steering committee and public input, the vision statement below was created to provide direction to the development of the Master Plan. The Belt Line is envisioned to be a signature multi-use trail and linear park that connects and engages locals and visitors.

The Belt Line will be a vibrant green space connecting communities to the heart of Durham.

Canal Park Washington D.C. Source: David Rubin | Land Collective

GOALS

Desired outcomes of the project include:

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Create a safe and attractive trail that provides key connections for a variety of users with both recreational and transportation needs

Incorporate engaging, innovative design and inspirational public space that is uniquely Durham

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Improve quality of life by increasing access to green space, restoring the environment, and showcasing art, culture and history

Enhance and preserve communities along the trail and ensure equitable access


VISION

GOALS AND GUIDING PRINCIPLES PRINCIPLE 2: ENGAGING PUBLIC SPACE

»»Create a signature multi-use trail and linear park that serves resident and visitors

»»Create an amenity for the whole community »»Design formal and informal public spaces that

are activated and utilized by all ages throughout the day

»»Provide ample seating »»Honor the history of the Warehouse District and surrounding neighborhoods

»»Integrate art and culture in the design of the trail and associated public spaces

PRINCIPLE 3: RECREATION AND ECOLOGICAL ENHANCEMENT

»»Improve access to recreation options for neighborhoods adjacent to downtown

GUIDING PRINCIPLES

Guiding principles elaborate on key elements of each goal. These principles are meant to inform the design of specific segments of the Belt Line.

PRINCIPLE 1: SAFETY AND CONNECTIVITY

»»Accommodate a variety of users and high levels of traffic »»Improve connections to neighborhoods, transit, jobs,

»»Integrate a functional and sustainable landscape that will provide a lasting contribution to the City’s tree canopy and natural systems

»»Seek opportunities to retain and treat urban stormwater runoff

»»Restore natural communities along the trail

through native plantings, stream and wetland restoration, and removal of invasive species

regional trails, and key destinations

»»Emphasize safety for trail users through trail design,

lighting, safe at-grade crossings and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles

PRINCIPLE 4: QUALITY REDEVELOPMENT AND NEIGHBORHOOD PRESERVATION

»»Support well-designed redevelopment that activates the trail edge and supports the financial health of the city

“The Belt Line should be a destination that connects destinations.” - Steering Committee member

»»Anticipate growth pressure and support policies and programs that preserve communities

»»Encourage quality affordable housing in the vicinity of the trail

DURHAM BELT LINE Trail Master Plan |

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BIG IDEAS

“Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb, that’s where the fruit is.” - H. Jackson Brown Jr.

The vision for the Belt Line includes a realization of a big ideas. These include new opportunities for public space, quality redevelopment, preservation and restoration of natural systems, equitable housing, open space access improvements, and transportation connections.

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City-owned land between Main St and Morgan St presents an opportunity to create a large scale Urban Park. New plazas could be integrated with new development between Fernway St and Corporation St. An overlook and pocket park opportunity could be explored where an existing viewshed of the downtown occurs on a historic trestle. Natural areas in close proximity to the Belt Line include the Ellerbe Creek Stormwater Restoration Project site, Strayhorn Springs Natural Area, and land owned by the Duke Park Preservation Initiative.

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The trail will support redevelopment of significant tracts of underutilized and abandoned industrial properties. “TrailOriented Development” leverages investments in cycling and pedestrian infrastructure to offer a car-free lifestyle and transportation choices to people seeking more physically active and environmentally sustainable modes of getting around. Real estate developers are increasingly responding to consumer interest in living near parks and greenways. Development opportunities occur within the Innovation District, and near City Place, Erwin Oil, Washington St and Avondale Dr. Opportunities exist to inform how these properties are developed with “front door” uses and active edges adjacent to the trail and to capture the economic benefits for long-term maintenance and funding.

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BIG IDEAS

NATURAL SYSTEMS VEGETATION

Many plants in disturbed areas along the rail corridor are not native to Durham. Invasive, exotic species such as kudzu compete with natives species and can reduce biodiversity. Restoring the ecosystem back to a native condition includes the removal of invasive species. These can be replaced with native natural communities and non-invasive ornamentals. The Belt Line corridor provides an opportunity to conduct selective reforestation activities in the 17 acres of right-of-way. It also presents a chance to restore the prairie habitat that once existed in this area of North Carolina but is now increasingly uncommon. This would reinforce the meadow condition currently present along sections of the corridor that provides views of downtown, and bring pollinators to the landscape. ST NIAL

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Ellerbe Creek has been categorized as an impaired water body. Durham needs to take steps to reduce sources of pollution in the creek as state regulations require that excess nutrients be removed from the system. The Ellerbe Creek wetland restoration project is anticipated to remove a significant amount of nitrogen and other pollutants. Bioretention and other green infrastructure improvements can be used to supplement water quality treatment by treating water prior to flowing into the Ellerbe Creek. Several options will be explored for the trail in later chapters.

CO RCO R

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STORMWATER TREATMENT

DURHAM BELT LINE Trail Master Plan |

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BIG IDEAS SEEMAN ST

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Infill Housing Opportunities Park Access (Existing Parks) Park Access Future (With Belt Line Trail) Based on analyzing the number of households within 1/2 mile of the trail, according to Esri ArcGIS Online data, within 800 feet of an existing park before and after the completion of the trail. 2 H+T Index, Center for Neighborhood Technology 1

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HOUSING & EQUITY

When it comes to affordability, location matters. According to the Housing + Transportation Affordability Index, housing and transportation costs are not affordable if these expenses combined exceed 45% of annual household income.2 In areas of Durham within a mile of the Belt Line Trail corridor, the affordability gap is significantly higher. To address these challenges, partnerships and policies can be explored to take advantage of vacant and underutilized land near the trail for new affordable housing. Further, there exists a need to preserve naturally occurring affordable housing in advance of future phases of the Belt Line. Recommendations and implementation strategies related to housing are included in the report, however, ultimately, the strategy for the Belt Line should be part of a much larger policy initiative for the city as a whole. Ensuring equitable access to open space access is also a goal of the Belt Line. After completion of the trail, the number of households with access to open space will increase by 52%1.

Brightleaf Square PE

AB

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VISION

BIG IDEAS

TRANSPORTATION BUS AND LIGHT RAIL TRANSIT

The Durham Belt Line ties directly into the Triangle’s bus and rail system, connecting neighborhoods north of downtown to the regional transit network. At the southwestern end of the trail corridor lies a multi-modal hub comprised of the Durham Station Transportation Center and Durham Amtrak Station. Combined, these two stations are served by 18 local bus routes, four regional bus routes, two intercity bus operators and six intercity passenger trains. GoDurham, with its hub at this station, is used for more than 5.6 million transit trips every year. The Durham Transportation Center is also a primary hub on the planned light rail which is estimated to support 23,000 trips daily by 2035. The Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit Project is a planned 17.7-mile rail line linking North Carolina Central University to Central Durham and the Town of Chapel Hill. To Maine E ast Coas t G re e n w a y Elle r b e Cre e k T ra i l

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Durham Belt Line Trail is recognized as a crucial link between the growing trail networks north and south of Durham. It is also envisioned to provide a missing link in the East Coast Greenway, a 3,000-mile trail that runs down the eastern seaboard linking Maine to Florida. The southern terminus of the trail is a crossroads for travel to and from downtown. A series of new connecting plazas will serve as a primary gateway to downtown and the Durham Innovation District. Roxboro St is a potential gateway from the Duke Park/North Durham Neighborhood and Trinity Ave a primary gateway to Duke Campus.

AN

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NON-MOTORIZED CONNECTIVITY

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DURHAM BELT LINE Trail Master Plan |

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Ellerbee Creek Trail

KNOX ST

DUKE PARK

ACADIA ST

CLARK ST

W MARKHAM AVE

PEARL MILL PRESERVE

EDGEVALE RD

RAND ST

GREEN ST

MACON ST

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URBAN AVE

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The Durham Belt Line is envisioned to be a multi-use trail and linear park that stretches 1.7 miles from Chapel Hill St to Avondale Dr. The trail will have separated surfaces for bicycles and pedestrians, where feasible, from the Ellerbe Creek Trail south to downtown Durham. From the Ellerbe Creek Trail to Avondale Dr, the trail will be a 12ft multi-use trail with a parallel natural surface path for runners. New recreational opportunities, plantings, and other amenities will serve existing neighborhoods and future development.

1/4 mile

Future Pearsontown-Rocky Creek Greenway

12 MINUTE WALK

See Chapter 2 of the Plan for an analysis of the corridor, Chapter 3 for issues and opportunities, Chapter 4 for design recommendations and Chapter 5 for detailed implementation guidance, including programming opportunities for arts and recreation.

1/2 mile

Belt Line PARKING OVERLOOK TRAILHEAD / RESTROOMS ART OPPORTUNITY INFILL HOUSING ACTIVE EDGE OPPORTUNITY

NEW CONNECTION BICYCLING CONNECTION TRAILSIDE PARK NATIVE PLANTINGS GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE BRIDGE / BOARDWALK (STREAM RESTORATION)

DURHAM BELT LINE Trail Master Plan |

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2

24

CORRIDOR ANALYSIS


Constructed at the turn of the 20th century as a rail spur for the movement of goods into downtown Durham. Abandoned in the 1990’s as industries and transportation methods shifted. Reimagined as a trail through the heart of downtown. The Belt Line has a history that presents both challenges and opportunities. A review of what once was, current conditions, and future opportunities helps determine a successful path forward for the Belt Line.

1930’s Street Map Durham Public Works

DURHAM BELT LINE Trail Master Plan |

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HISTORICAL CONTEXT “1890’s Durham suffered from the depression of 1893 and passed through a comparatively static period in its economic history... It remained a town of struggling young factories, bringing into its limits only the minimum number of workers to keep the wheels turning.” Black Business in the New South | Duke University Press

The Durham Belt Line Trail looking west down Trinity St toward present day Ellerbe Creek Trail and historic Pearl Cotton Mill (1930’s) | Duke Forest Archives

TURN OF THE CENTURY 1890

Brodie L. Duke, eldest son of Washington Duke, builds the Belt Line to connect the Duke cigarette factory with the Lynchburg & Durham Railroad. His goal is to provide direct access from the L&D (in which the Dukes were major investors) to the tobacco buildings in downtown Durham, bypassing the NC Railroad line and avoiding scheduling problems and fees.

1891

The first train runs on the Belt Line. Brodie builds Pearl Mill the following year to process cotton.

1900 to 1958

Duke sells the Belt Line to Norfolk and Western Railroad, precursors of today’s Norfolk Southern Railway. The line continues to supply coal to heat homes and businesses. Freight trains move cotton, textiles, tobacco and packaging products. Passenger service with 23 stops on the line between Lynchburg and Durham continues until 1958.

1980’s

26

Norfolk & Western Railroad and Southern Railways join to become today’s Norfolk Southern Corporation. Norfolk Southern ceases use of the rail line giving way to ideas for repurposing the corridor.


CORRIDOR ANALYSIS

HISTORICAL CONTEXT

PRESERVING THE CORRIDOR

2001 The Durham Belt Line Trail is identified in the Durham Trails and Greenways Master Plan. The plan is adopted by the County Board of Commissioners and City Council.

2004 Discussions regarding sale of Norfolk Southern property

begin. Negotiations include the City of Durham, Durham County and State of North Carolina.

2007 City of Durham performs a property appraisal and attempts acquisition negotiations with Norfolk Southern.

2011 The Durham Belt Line Trail is recognized as a crucial link

on the North-South Trail in update to Trails and Greenways Master Plan.

2014 The Conservation Fund, under its NC Urban Program,

begins contract negotiations with Norfolk Southern. The Fund commits financial resources, in-house legal support, and real estate staff to acquire the property on behalf of the City. Durham applies for and receives a TIGER Grant to conduct a Master Plan.

2017 The Conservation Fund purchases the corridor.

Brodie Leonidas Duke (1846-1919) made, lost and made again several fortunes in tobacco, textile manufacturing, commodity investments and land development. He developed an arc of property west and north of 19th-century Durham, including the present-day Duke Park, Old North Durham and Trinity Park neighborhoods.

Pearl Cotton Mill from present day Washington St (1890’s) | Durham County Library, North Carolina Collection

DURHAM BELT LINE Trail Master Plan |

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URBAN AVE

E ll e

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MINERVA AVE

TRINITY AVE

Old North Durham Park

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WILLARD ST

S DUKE ST

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MORGAN ST

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HISTORICAL RESOURCES

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RIGSBEE AVE

HUNT ST

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Durham Central Park

MAR KET CO ST RCO RAN ST

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SEEMAN ST

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NORTH ST

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MACON ST

MAN GUM ST

Pearl Mill Preserve

ACADIA ST

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MARKHAM AVE

AVE

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CORRIDOR ANALYSIS

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History is the study of the past. Heritage refers to

HISTORIC LANDMARKS AND DISTRICTS

The Durham Belt Line Trail traverses four historic districts including Bright Leaf, Foster and West Geer Streets, Pearl Mill Village and North Durham-Duke Park. Trinity and the American Tobacco Historic District lie just adjacent. A number of local historic landmarks and points of interest are also located adjacent or in near proximity to the trail. Additionally, there are places and neighborhoods once connected around the turn of the century, but currently severed by the legacy of rail. These districts have a long history and heritage in need of preservation and protection. They also offer character that can influence the design of the trail itself, amenities with historical context, art installations, and trailside development.

valued objects and qualities such as historic buildings and traditions. Planned Greenways

Local Historic Districts

Historic Downtown Durham National Historic Districts

Foster and West Geer Streets Bright Leaf North Durham - Duke Park American Tobacco Trinity Pearl Mill Village Local Historic Landmarks

Designated Properties Historic Connections

Former Neighborhood Link

Rail Trail, Existing Historic Landmarks and Points of Interest

A B C D E F G H I J

Greenway Trail, Existing

Street Trail, Existing Tobacco Co. Complex Liggett and Myers Street Trail, Planned

Bike Facilities ImperialExisting Tobacco Warehouse Future Bike Lanes

WestÂŹVillage Complex At Grade Crossing g

U !

Underpass

Brodie Duke Warehouses Overpass ! L. O

Future Durham Beltline Property

Bullington Warehouse D-O LRT Alignment Link St (Innovation District)

City Garage and Fire Drill Tower Parks Erwin Oil Railroad740Feet Trestle 0 185 370 Pearl Cotton Mill Tower and Smokestack 1 in = 300 ft

Wood Grocery / Trinity Ave Railroad Bridge Strayhorn Springs

K Gamble House / Dillard House L Mangum St Grocery / 1901 Municipal Limits M Geer Farm DURHAM BELT LINE Trail Master Plan |

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PLANS AND INITIATIVES The Durham Belt Line traverses a dynamic landscape, rich with history, established communities and places in transition from an industrial past to the future of Durham. Numerous plans have and will shape growth, transportation choices, and innovation, and preserve, improve and create public space.

Durham Trails and Greenways Master Plan The trail was included in the 2011 plan as part of the spine of the North-South Greenway, with future connections from the eastern terminus to the Roxboro Rail Trail to the North and Goose Creek Trail to the South. At the southern end, the Durham Belt Line Trail makes connections to the Downtown Trail and American Tobacco Trail.

Durham Innovation District

LONGFELLOW*

The Master Plan for the Durham ID calls for 1.7 million square feet of development within existing and proposed buildings on 15 acres of land just west of downtown. The Durham Belt Line runs through the development and intersects a new primary east-west pedestrian-oriented street linking to Durham Central Park and the Farmer’s Market. Activities and development within and around the Durham ID will influence the design of the Durham Belt Line Trail and vice-versa.

Durham Bike + Walk Implementation Plan A review of the existing and planned bicycling and walking facilities in the plan reveal the need for and implementation of future connections. Improvements on Chapel Hill St, Morgan St, Corporation St and Trinity Ave will provide improved access to the Durham Belt Line.

30

Durham Bicycle Boulevards

DURHAM BICYCLE BOULEVARDS* This community-based initiative provides the City with recommendations for an urban network of bicycle priority streets. Glendale Ave and Corporation St cross the Durham Belt Line as streets identified as part of this network.


CORRIDOR ANALYSIS

PLANS AND INITIATIVES

Downtown Master Plan

DOWNTOWN DURHAM INC*

A framework for connectivity, logistics, diversity and design are established in the downtown Durham Master Plan. A conversion of the downtown loop to two-way traffic, the establishment of retail clusters and collaborative redevelopment all impact considerations for the Durham Belt Line Trail. Improved wayfinding and gateways, as well as the design of multi-functional public spaces were key recommendations.

South Ellerbe Stormwater Restoration Project The City of Durham is planning a natural stormwater restoration at the site of the former Duke Diet and Fitness Center, which sits adjacent to the Belt Line. The South Ellerbe Stormwater Project is part of a comprehensive strategy to reduce nitrogen and phosphorous to help improve water quality. The site will be transformed into a natural space that will be an asset to both the community and the environment.

Urban Open Space Plan The plan looks at conservation efforts with focused attention toward the core neighborhoods of the City. The Durham Belt Line is recognized in the plan as an opportunity for linear open space preservation. Further, it is recognized as a primary link for people in urban neighborhoods to other open space corridors.

Durham SmArt Vision Plan

DURHAM & NC ARTS COUNCIL*

The plan provides a guide for developing downtown Durham into a vibrant setting for residents, visitors, artists and businesses – establishing “a cultural quilt of experiences” enriched by green spaces, plazas, bustling avenues, and public art converging to create a shared urban life. The Durham Belt Line Trail is recognized as having an important role of knitting neighborhoods together, bringing people into the downtown area and providing an opportunity for cultural activation.

*

Not a city-sponsored initiative

DURHAM BELT LINE Trail Master Plan |

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ECONOMIC IMPACT COMMERCE and TOURISM

Downtown Durham has been a center of regional commerce for over 100 years. The city was an early center for agricultural trading. The annual pulse of commerce conducted in the City’s tobacco warehouses sustained families of farmers from across the Piedmont. The processing of tobacco and manufacturing of cigarettes fueled the construction of many of the impressively ornate red brick historic buildings in downtown. It also contributed to the rise of many successful Durham families whose surnames and company names are tied to the prominent buildings, streets and institutions that have shaped the City. In the early 1900s, Parrish St was the center of a four-block district known as “Black Wall Street”. The North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company and the Mechanics and Farmers Bank anchored the district that gained praise from national leaders such as W.E.B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington who visited the city. Downtown Durham today is bustling with activity. Renovated historic buildings in the American Tobacco Campus, West Village and Brightleaf Square offer a mix of shopping, restaurants, offices and condos. Storefronts and bars along Main St and Chapel Hill St are active all hours of the day and night. The Geer Street District and its reputation as an all-hours gastronomic hub has extended what has been traditionally thought of as downtown Durham. Increasingly in the center city, the emerging innovation district and north towards Geer St, cranes are becoming a common sight. Local businesses and recent arrivals are choosing Durham for its location, its culture and quality of life. The demand for office space is the primary driver for large-scale investment downtown, although demand for well located housing is also strong. There is over three million square

32

feet of office space currently and an overall occupancy rate of 93%1. There have been 1,600 new housing units built downtown since 20101. If trends continue, Durham County will grow by 39% by 20352. This will mean a demand for an additional 50,000 new dwelling units. Locational preferences are shifting toward walkable, pedestrian-scale environs and the downtown core and close-in neighborhoods fit the bill. The Belt Line has the potential to add to the mix of amenities that businesses and residents find so attractive. Durham is a cultural destination. Art, events, food, history, and sports draw visitors from far and wide. The Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC), American Tobacco Campus, Durham Bulls, Museum of Durham History, farmers market, and Duke Gardens are cultural destinations. Day trippers contributed $374 million to the Durham economy in 20123. In 2001, there were five million visitors to Durham. In 2015, that figure rose to 9.7 million visitors. These visitors had an economic impact of $823 million. The Belt Line, along with future extensions south to the American Tobacco Trail (ATT), will connect a number of destinations and provide a destination in itself. It will be a trailhead for bicycle trips to the ATT, a place for an evening stroll after dinner, and a vantage point to see historical architecture of the Warehouse District and vistas for viewing the evolving Durham skyline. 1 2016 Downtown Durham Master Plan DCHC 2035 Socio-economic Data Projections 2 Durham Day Trippers (Durham CVB)

Downtown represents only 4% of the area of the City, but accounts for 28% of the property value.

- Research by Urban 3 of the Belt Line Design Team


CORRIDOR ANALYSIS

BENEFITS AND IMPACTS

ECONOMICS OF DEVELOPMENT OPTIONS and TRAILS

Tax value productivity in downtown Durham is exceptional compared to every other area of the City. The downtown represents only four percent of the area of the City, but accounts for 28% of the property value. There is efficiency in urban development that is evident by mapping tax value per acre. The map to the left shows tax value per acre for each parcel in Durham County. The tall purple columns in the center of the map represent properties in downtown Durham. A secondary spike due west represents properties on the edge of Duke University’s campus.

Studies show that urban trails have the potential to increase property values for parcels proximal to new, urban trails. An increase in property values of five percent within 1/4 mile of the Katy Trail in Dallas, TX has been documented. Some cities have implemented mechanisms to capture this revenue to help with trail funding or maintenance. $50,000,000

TAX VALUE PRODUCTIVITY PER ACRE FOR DEVELOPMENT TYPOLOGIES

DURHAM COUNTY VALUE PER ACRE

The tax value productivity study conducted as part of the Belt Line Master Plan process shows that suburban development types with fewer stories and more surface parking yield far less economic benefits than more walkable development patterns. See the Appendix for a summary of the tax value analysis. The graph below shows tax value on a per acre basis for suburban style commercial development and a variety of residential and mixed use development types. This analysis shows the potential financial implications of different land use types along the Durham Belt Line. Public and private sector investment in downtown has been substantial. Walkable development types should be encouraged that yield a higher return on investment.

$40,000,000 $30,000,000 $20,000,000 $10,000,000 $-

North Durham Costco

15-501 Walmart

North Street Trinity Lofts Duplexes Townhomes

Lake View Mixed Use

West Village Multi-Family

Church + Main Infill

DURHAM BELT LINE Trail Master Plan |

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COMMUNITY BENEFITS BENEFITS OF TRAILS

Trails benefit nearby communities by providing a safe alternative transportation route to services, employment, transit and other neighborhoods. Urban trails and associated public parks also can provide access to green space and recreational opportunities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 30.5% of adults in the City of Durham are obese. Twenty-two percent (22%) of adults get no leisure time activity. Lack of physical activity is a primary determinant of obesity and can lead to increased risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, some types of cancer, poor reproductive health, and poor mental health.1 Studies show access to parks and open space can improve health outcomes. Access to walking and biking facilities adds options that can lead to utilitarian trips and informal recreation. It has also been shown that exposure to parks, greenery and nature can speed recovery times from injury, reduce mental fatigue and alleviate attention deficit disorder (ADD) in children. Parks can help build strong communities by creating opportunities for social interaction and improve quality of life. The Durham Belt Line Trail will utilize 17 acres of railroad right-of-way and pass by several city-owned properties that can be leveraged to create a linear park with a variety of public spaces and programming opportunities. Nearby neighborhoods will benefit from improved access to an alternative transportation facility, increased access to nature and a variety of recreational options. 1 The Health Benefits of Parks,The Trust for Public Land, 2006

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EQUITY PLANNING

Downtown Durham has been shaped by government policies, private investment, and demographic trends. Residents in the eastern and southern parts of downtown have lower than average annual incomes. These areas also suffer from higher crime rates. Socioeconomic patterns can be traced back to redline maps in the early 1900s that singled out predominantly African American communities and reduced access to home loans. Demand for new restaurants, apartments and offices in downtown is spreading outward and into first ring neighborhoods. These neighborhoods house working class families that live in housing that remains relatively affordable compared to other parts of Durham and the Triangle. Recent redevelopment pressures have led to higher property values and concern over gentrification and displacement. An Environmental Justice analysis was conducted as part of the Plan and is included in the Appendix. The study included an analysis of how urban park and trail projects have addressed social issues in communities

This Home Owner’s Loan Corporation map of Durham from 1937 shows predominantly African-American communities in red, signifying areas considered to be too risky for new loans.


CORRIDOR ANALYSIS

BENEFITS AND IMPACTS

across the country. The analysis noted concern over future development demand induced by the Durham Belt Line Trail and potential impacts increases in property values may have on the most vulnerable, especially those needing affordable housing and access to regional employment. Recommendations on how the City can address equity in tandem with the implementation of the trail and future projects are included in Chapter 4.

SAFETY

Safety was a primary concern of stakeholders and public participants in the Plan. Creating a safe environment is essential if nearby neighborhoods are to enjoy the benefits of the trail and associated green spaces. Crime trends were analyzed and mapped along the planned corridor to understand trends. The majority of

crime hot spots in downtown occurred east and south of the corridor. The area around Avondale Dr and the Geer Street District had higher rates of crime than elsewhere. A recent study of crime rates along the American Tobacco Trail (ATT) provided some lessons learned that will influence the design of the Durham Belt Line Trail. This study found that key physical and environmental factors that contribute to trail safety include sense of enclosure, natural surveillance, character of surrounding areas, level of maintenance and sense of connectivity. The study also found that the urban design of the locations where trails intersect public streets will impact safety. A Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) Analysis was conducted that focused on a subset of areas where the trail will cross streets. Recommendations from this analysis are included in Chapter 4 and the CPTED Analysis in the Appendix.

A study of crime rates on the American Tobacco Trail showed that places where the trail intersected public streets had the highest rates of crime.The study also made recommendations on how to create safer trails and public spaces.

DURHAM BELT LINE Trail Master Plan |

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Tax parcel data was analyzed to determine vacant parcels (light green), underutilized parcels (structure values less than land values, denoted as yellow on the map), and built parcels (gray) to understand where areas of potential redevelopment are located. Note that along the southern portion of the trail, vacant parking lots offer possible redevelopment potential. A few areas of redevelopment and infill development exist along the trail, including in the vicinity of Washington St. W

L R A D STON DR BINS IE RO AY JACK REEW AM F DURH

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MAXW

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At Grade or Gently Sloping These sections are at the same elevation as surrounding areas with minimal slope and ideal for larger trailside amenities, linear parks and trailoriented development that activates the edge of the trail and provides multiple access points.

U B

WIL KE AVE RSON

UM EX T S

The elevation of the trail as it relates to surrounding areas influences the design, trailside amenities and adjacent development. The elevation of the railroad bed and the future trail generally falls into the three categories below.

The southern part of the trail, between Chapel Hill St and Trinity Ave, is flanked by commercial, office, and mixed use buildings. At Trinity Ave, the character of the land uses transitions to more residential and institutional with a node of commercial activity near Washington St. A mix of commercial and light industrial use anchors the eastern end of the trail parcel.

MAXW

TRAIL ELEVATION

EXISTING LAND USE

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EXISTING CONDITIONS

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L R A D STON DR BINS IE RO AY JACK REEW AM F DURH

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FUTURE LAND USE

Adopted future land use policies of the City of Durham will influence the land uses and intensity of future development along the trail. The downtown area is in the Design District which encourages vertical mixed use development. The trail corridor east of Washington St is primarily intended to be residential in character.

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Depressed In these sections the trail is lower than surrounding areas and will need to be designed with adequate lighting and sight lines to improve safety for trail users.

JAC K

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Elevated In these sections, the trail is elevated higher than surrounding areas on one or more sides. This condition presents opportunities for overlooks and vistas. Access points will likely be farther apart due to grades.

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MEDIAN INCOME

Median household income is $38,500 for Census Tracts within 1/4 mile of the trail. This is well below the median household income for the City of Durham as a whole ($50,000). Maintaining and increasing affordable housing and providing transportation options are key to maintaining quality of life in the community.

MINORITY POPULATION

The percent of the population in the study area that is Black or African American, Asian, American Indian, Hispanic, or Two or More Races is generally lower than the City of Durham as a whole.

38

$38,500

Median Household Income within 1/4 mile of the trail

42%

Of the population is Black Asian, American Indian, Hispanic or Two or More Races.


CORRIDOR EVALUATION

EXISTING CONDITIONS

BICYCLE AND PEDESTRIAN COMMUTING

The neighborhoods along the planned Durham Belt Line have some of the highest rates of biking and walking for commutes and transit usage in the City. In downtown Durham, 14% of people bike or walk to work. For the Census Tracts within 1/4 mile of the proposed trail, an average of six percent of people bike or walk to work, compared to 0.2% of all North Carolina commuters.

HOUSEHOLDS WITH NO VEHICLES

There are 776 households without access to a vehicle located in Census Tracts within 1/4 mile of the trail. Appropriately located trail access points can help improve access to jobs, transit and parks for these households.

6%

Of residents within 1/4 mile of the trail walk or bike to work

776

Households without access to a vehicle within 1/4 mile of the trail

Source for all demographic statistics is Census Bureau, 2015 5-year ACS Data at the Census Tract Level.

DURHAM BELT LINE Trail Master Plan |

39


ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION

The Durham Belt Line will provide a critical link in the City’s active transportation network. It will provide a high-order pedestrian and bicycle facility that will connect the Duke Park, Trinity Park and Old North Durham neighborhoods, downtown Durham and the planned Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit (D-O LRT) project.

EXISTING AND PLANNED SIDEWALKS AND TRAILS

The Ellerbe Creek Trail and the Downtown Trail form a north-south pedestrian route from downtown Durham to the Pearl Mill Preserve and southward to the American Tobacco Trail. Many city streets have sidewalks near the planned Durham Belt Line Trail, although some neighborhood streets lack key sidewalk connections. Notable missing links in the sidewalk network include Duke St, neighborhood streets north of Trinity Ave between Washington St and Glendale Ave, and neighborhood streets east of Roxboro St north and south of the planned trail alignment. Planned improvements will accomplish the following: Creating a new connection to the American Tobacco Trail via a facility south of the Durham Belt Line Trail Connecting downtown to the Eno River via completing missing segments of the Stadium Drive Trail and Warren Creek Trail Extending the Belt Line east and south along the Goose Creek Trail

»» »» »»

EXISTING AND PLANNED ON-ROAD BICYCLE FACILITIES

Existing on-road bicycle facilities near the Durham Belt Line Trail are limited and not connected. They include bike lanes on Washington St, Chapel Hill St and near Duke University. Planned bicycle facilities from the Durham Bike + Walk Plan include Chapel Hill St, Foster St, Morgan St, and Watts St. Other proposed improvements include converting nearby streets into bike boulevards and a greater multi-modal loop around the downtown. These will be discussed later in the Plan.

40


CORRIDOR EVALUATION

EXISTING CONDITIONS

OPEN SPACE AND THE ENVIRONMENT ACCESS TO PARKS

The Downtown Durham Open Space Plan established a level-of-service standard of 800 feet which represents a reasonable walking distance within a downtown district. Based on this standard, the completion of the Durham Belt Line Trail between Chapel Hill St and Avondale Dr will increase the number of households served by parks by 52%1.

Based on analyzing the number of households, according to Esri ArcGIS Online data, within 800 feet of an existing park before and after the completion of the trail. 1

TREE CANOPY

The Census Tract that includes downtown Durham has 17% tree cover compared to Tracts to the north and east of the trail that have over 60%. Urban tree canopies provide numerous benefits to cities including shade, reduction of the heat island effect, intercepting stormwater, and cover/forage for wildlife. The width of the Belt Line corridor presents an opportunity to improve the City’s tree canopy.

WATER QUALITY

The slight crest between Chapel Hill St and Morgan St marks the divide between the Cape Fear River Basin and the Neuse River Basin. Most of the stormwater from downtown flows north towards Ellerbe Creek. Ellerbe Creek has the highest population density of Durham’s watersheds. The State of North Carolina has classified Ellerbe Creek as a nutrient-sensitive waterway and has indicated that the aquatic habitat and water quality conditions in the creek cannot support healthy aquatic species. The City has undertaken efforts to protect water quality within the Ellerbe Creek watershed, including water quality monitoring, green infrastructure installations (e.g., rain gardens, cisterns, trees, and tree cells that filter pollutants), and pollution prevention education. Integrating stormwater control measures into the Belt Line project can help improve water quality.

The Census Tract that includes downtown Durham has 17% tree cover

“If oak is the king of trees, as tradition has it, then the white oak, throughout its range, is the king of kings.” - 20th century naturalist Donald Peattie White oaks grow to 50-80 feet high and have a spread of 50-80 feet. Large specimens can be found through the City of Durham in older neighborhoods and on high ground adjacent to the ATT. Although white oaks begin producing acorns around age 20, mature trees over 50 produce the largest crops. Acorns provide food for many types of wildlife. Mature trees can also provide stormwater benefits. It is estimated that a 50-year-old white oak will intercept over 5,000 gallons of stormwater per year. | itreetools.org

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3

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DESIGN


The alignment of the rail corridor and its surroundings present unique opportunities for the City of Durham and surrounding neighborhoods. This section of the Master Plan outlines a conceptual design for the trail, potential parks and green spaces and recommendations for adjacent development.

4th Ward Park Atlanta, GA Source: alfa-img.com

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TRAIL DESIGN CHARACTER AREAS

The rail corridor traverses three distinct character areas as it moves from downtown to Avondale Dr. The Urban Section is the southernmost portion of the Belt Line, urban in character, and defined by recent and proposed redevelopment. These include West Village, the proposed Innovation District, the renovated Brodie Duke Warehouse, and City Place. This section is meant to function as a linear park, with separated pathways for bikes and pedestrian traffic where feasible, and seamless transitions to adjacent development. The Preservation and Restoration Section stretches from Trinity Ave to Glendale Ave. Here the trail will run parallel to historic Pearl Mill Village and the future South Ellerbe Stormwater Restoration Project before crossing at Washington St where some redevelopment is possible. The trail then passes the Strayhorn Springs area which is envisioned to be a nature park with trails and a play area. The Neighborhood Character Section, stretches from Glendale Ave east and passes through established neighborhoods, terminating in a gateway / trailhead at Avondale Dr.

CROSS-SECTION RECOMMENDATIONS

STRATEGIES

There are three primary cross-section designs recommended for the trail. The design of the cross-sections has been developed with the goals and objectives for the Durham Belt Line Trail in mind. All sections are designed to safely accommodate a variety of leisure, recreation and transportation users. This is accomplished by providing a wide trail with separation between bicyclists and pedestrians wherever possible to reduce conflicts and increase safety for users of all ages. The preferred cross-section includes spatial separation via a planted buffer between bicycle and pedestrian paths. It requires more right-ofway width than the rest of the trail but narrows for street crossings. This section will act as an amenity for future redevelopments and will provide open space programming opportunities. The constrained cross-section is used in areas where physical limitations make it infeasible to provide space for the preferred section. Finally, the neighborhood cross-section occurs prior to passing Washington St, where a neck-down of the trail occurs to match guidelines for crossing beneath power line easements and to minimize grading necessary where the railroad runs below and above natural grade. A natural surface trail that meanders slightly adjacent to the paved trail could be provided through this section.

Source: @BatonRougeDowntownGreenway

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SEPARATE MODES

Comfort on trails is very sensitive to the user mix. When foot traffic exceeds 15% of the trail users, cyclists are significantly impacted. Where possible, the trail design can be employed to separate cyclists from pedestrians using a buffer and an increased trail width. Striping reinforces bicyclists passing only when safe.

CONNECTIONS

Secondary paths that provide access to the trail from adjacent streets and neighborhoods, in the form of eight to 10-ft multiuse trails and new sidewalk connections, should be a priority. Key bicycle connections that build on the trail and extend safe, comfortable connections to key destinations are also recommended.


DESIGN

CHARACTER AREAS NEIGHBORHOOD CHARACTER

URBAN SECTION

PRESERVATION AND RESTORATION

Preferred Cross-section: Separation between bicyclists and pedestrians with linear park elements

GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE

The corridor presents an opportunity to capture stormwater from existing and future impervious surfaces in downtown. Bioswales, stormwater planters, and other green infrastructure devices can be strategically located to encourage infiltration and improve water quality.

Constrained Cross-section: Area with right-of-way and/or topographical constraints

CRIME PREVENTION

A recent study of the American Tobacco Trail (ATT) found that hot spots for crime occurred where the trail intersected streets. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) strategies in this Plan focus on where the trail will intersect public streets and how to increase activity, natural surveillance and definition of public and private space.

Neighborhood Cross-section: Multi-use trail with adjacent natural surface trail

AMENITIES

Programming recommendations complement the alignment of the trail. Lighting, seating, bike parking and other trailside furnishing are essential for the success of the trail. Open space and recreation recommendations are included for each section of the trail and a framework for plantings and furnishings is included in the Design Palette.

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PREFERRED CROSS SECTION

8’ Green Zone

12’ Bicycle Zone

6’ Buffer Zone

8’ Pedestrian Zone

8’ Green Zone

Materials Asphalt Asphalt, Pavers or Pervious Pavement Concrete Band

»»Two-way 12-ft bicycle zone separated from an 8-ft pedestrian zone by a planted buffer »»Edge materials delineate the trail from adjoining areas »»Options for lighting and trailside furnishings adjacent to and in between bicycle and pedestrian travel ways

»»Planting areas for native species to provide greenery, shade, and stormwater management Cyclists and pedestrians can be separated using physical space. These types of treatments are used where bicyclist and pedestrian volumes are anticipated to be high, to minimize conflicts that occur between the two user groups, and provide design that is mindful of users of all ages. Clear signage and delineation of the cyclist and pedestrian space through intersections and along the trail is key to maintaining separation.

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Cultural Trail | Indianapolis, IN Source: Indiana University Policy Institute

Katy Trail | Dallas,TX Source: David Rolston


DESIGN

CROSS-SECTIONS GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE ALTERNATIVES »»Landscape elements in

select planting areas should be designed to remove silt and pollution out of stormwater runoff

»»Bioswales have gently

sloped sides filled with vegetation, compost and/or rip-rap

9’ + Bioswale or Planters

12’ Bicycle Zone

6’ + Stormwater Planter

8’ Pedestrian Zone

9’ + Bioswale or Planters

»»Construction and

maintenance of stormwater features may be funded separately

Hunter’s Point South Green Infrastructure Source: Inhabitat (Yuka Yoneda, with permission)

The preferred cross-section includes an allowance for space for plantings in the buffer zone and the green zone on either side of the trail. In certain locations, bioswales or stormwater planters should be considered on the side or within the center of the trail. These areas could include native plants with roots that absorb stormwater and filter out pollutants. Although not part of a typical multiuse trail, these treatments are a type of green infrastructure that can benefit water quality in Ellerbe Creek which drains and filters water runoff in the greater downtown Durham area. Including green infrastructure in the design can also provide habitat for wildlife and provide opportunities for environmental education.

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CONSTRAINED CROSS-SECTION

5’ Green Zone

10’ Bicycle Zone

2’

8’ Pedestrian Zone

5’ Green Zone

Materials Asphalt Asphalt, Pavers or Pervious Pavement Concrete Band

»»Two-way 12-ft bicycle zone separated from 8-ft pedestrian zone »»Edge materials delineate the trail from adjoining areas and paving material separates the bicycling and walking zones »»Options for lighting and trailside furnishings adjacent to bicycle and pedestrian travel ways »»Opportunities for adjacent development to provide shade, dining, seating and other trailside amenities especially where space for the trail is constrained

Indianapolis Cultural Trail

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Trailside design can activate the edges and bring complementary uses to the trailside area. This is especially important to create an inviting space for the trail where the right-of-way for the public space is constrained. Development standards can require developers to provide complementary first floor uses and trail access through the site. Good trailside design can also incorporate trailside seating areas, shade and amenities such as water fountains and restrooms.

Prairie Line Trail | Source: UW-Tacoma


DESIGN

NEIGHBORHOOD CROSS-SECTION

CROSS-SECTIONS

8’ Green Zone

12’ Multi-Use Zone

4’ - 8’ Natural Surface

8’ Green Zone

Materials Asphalt Grit or Fine Granular Stone Concrete Band

»»12-ft multi-use zone »»Materials at the edge delineate the trail from adjoining areas »»4 to 8-ft natural surface path »»Options for lighting and trailside furnishings adjacent to the trail »»Planting areas for native species to provide greenery, shade, and stormwater treatment Multi-use trails through neighborhoods should support multiple types of recreational and transportation uses. Benches, lighting, and drinking fountains are common types of site furniture. A natural surface trail running parallel can be incorporated to ease trail congestion and is often preferred as an alternative to running on asphalt. Design strategies such as clearing sight lines and the addition of underpass lighting can be used to deter criminal behavior. Source: Washington Area Bicyclist Association

Source: The Community Foundation, Greensboro

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CONNECTIONS AND WAYFINDING PRIORITY CONNECTIONS NEW CONNECTIONS MADE BY THE BELT LINE The Belt Line makes possible 10 new bicycling and walking links. Many of these were formerly severed by the rail line. In addition it provides access to the American Tobacco Trail, Ellerbe Creek Trail, and future Goose Creek Trail.

PLANNED AND PROPOSED CONNECTIONS A variety of plans and studies have been conducted in the City of Durham. The following planned and proposed improvements will improve connectivity to the Belt Line: Downtown Loop two-way conversion Bicycling improvements on W Chapel Hill St Foster St/W Trinity Ave bicycle and pedestrian improvements Avondale Dr sidewalk improvements Proposed bike boulevard projects on Corporation St, Glendale Ave and Morgan St

»» »» »» »» »»

RECOMMENDED BIKEWAYS

There is a lack of bikeways to the west of the Durham Belt Line Trail or Ellerbe Creek Trail connecting to Duke University Campus. Logical options include: Trinity Ave - Street redesign from existing terminus of the Ellerbe Creek Trail west to N Gregson St to include protected bike lanes or bike lanes Minerva Ave - Potential contraflow bike lane between N Duke St and N Gregson St

»» »»

RECOMMENDED PEDESTRIAN IMPROVEMENTS

An assessment of the at-grade street crossings revealed a number of sidewalk gaps and crossing issues adjacent to the Belt Line. Filling these gaps and addressing intersection improvements are recommended to connect the community to the Belt Line and make it safe for all users to access the trail. Fill sidewalk gap on Washington St between Dacian and Markham Aves Fill sidewalk gap on Glendale Ave between Bennett Ct and Markham Ave Fill sidewalk gap on Dacian Ave between Duke St and Washington St Fill sidewalk gaps on Trinity Ave between Avondale Dr and Edgar St Provide pedestrian crossings at intersection of E Markham Ave and N Roxboro St/US 15-501

»» »» »» »» »»

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DESIGN

Goose Creek Trail (Future)

To Beaver Marsh Preserve

Avondale Dr Greenleaf St Peace St Shawnee St

To Duke Park

Roxboro St Glendale Ave North St Washington St Dacian Ave

Ellerbe Creek Trail To Duke East Campus To Durham School of the Arts

Geer St Corporation St

Trinity St Minerva St To Geer St To Durham Athletic Park

WAYFINDING

Key locations for signage were identified in order to provide wayfinding guidance for trail users. The recommendations below identify locations and typologies for signage and markings. Trailheads: At key intersections branded signage and wayfinding should provide an overview map for trail users. These locations will also be ideal locations for art and the posting of trail rules. Street Crossings: Street crossings will be identified by stenciled markings integrated into a crossing plaza or branded crosswalk. Markings will be needed at all street crossings. Mile Markers: Mileposts should be incorporated into the trail every 0.25 miles.

Morgan St

Neuse River Trail Signage Source: City of Raleigh

Connections and Destination Signage: The Belt Line will function as a premium nonmotorized transportation route. Signage for neighborhood connections and destinations should encourage biking and walking trips. Key destinations should be identified via trailside signage.

Link St To West Village

CONNECTIONS & WAYFINDING

Fernway St To Downtown

Main St

New Pedestrian/ Bicycle Connection New Street Connection Street Crossing Trailhead Wayfinding

Stenciled Street Crossings on the American Tobacco Trail

Amtrak Station To Durham Light Rail Station

W Chapel Hill St To American Tobacco Trail Wayfinding Signage on the Downtown Greensboro Greenway

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MAJOR INTERSECTIONS

Replace

The bridge is being removed by the railroad. It should be replaced with a higher bridge that connects to a ramp on the southeast side of Chapel Hill St as an intermediate link to the Transit Center. Long term solution is a tunnel under the railroad. Bridge must be 17 feet high (existing is 12 feet) Ramp should be 25 feet from planned new railroad on north side of existing used track. Ramp should come to grade at Ramseur St on the outside of the existing retaining wall. This will require a lane reallocation on Ramseur St

Raised Intersection

W MORGAN ST

CHAPEL HILL ST BRIDGE

W MAIN ST

BRIDGES

TRINITY AVE BRIDGE

anticipated due to proximity to transit stations, cultural attractions, nightlife and business districts City-owned properties create ideal opportunity for park space and/or plaza Sidewalk accessibility issues on the north side of W Main St Future intersection redesign at Great Jones St and Morgan St Morgan St proposed as bike boulevard

»» »» »»

N ROXBORO ST

»»

»»Very high pedestrian volumes »»

»» »»

The project has the opportunity to create a plaza stretching across the intersection to create multi-use open space prioritizing the trail while slowing vehicles. This treatment can be accomplished by extending the character of the surrounding plaza through the intersection. The raised surface will bridge the southern and northern portions of the 500 block of W Main St and W Morgan St.

HAWK Signal

Install beacon that can be activated by trail users. The traffic control device requires motor vehicles to stop. They may proceed once the bicyclist or pedestrian has crossed safely. The transit stop should be moved from its current location to be closer to the crossing to assist with access to transit. A lane reconfiguration to include bike lanes and/or a curbside pullout should be considered to slow traffic in the vicinity of the Trail.

»»Speed study conducted in 2018 report 85th percentile speeds exceed

40 mph (45.6 mph left lane / 42.1 mph right lane) High potential for pedestrian conflict due to one-way street with two exceptionally wide northbound lanes and transit stop access Sidewalks on Roxboro are in poor condition with accessibility issues. Replace and upgrade sidewalk and curb ramps.

»» »» Re-use

A bridge inspection was conducted during the development of this plan. It is recommended that the existing timber decking be replaced. The substructure is in good condition and will support the proposed multi-use trail. Lighting and railing will need to be incorporated with the design.

»»Replace decking with alternate framing system designed to support the proposed 20-ft trail cross-section »»Increase lifespan of substructure by performing repairs on girders and arch as indicated in field inspection report »»Perform inspections on biennial basis

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DESIGN

AT-GRADE CROSSINGS AND BRIDGES W CORPORATION ST

FERNWAY AVE

LINK ST (PROPOSED)

INNOVATION DISTRICT

»»Minimize the crossing

»»Use colored paving patterns,

»»Complete sidewalk gap on

»»Complete sidewalk gap on

distance and install colored paving or textured surface treatment and a high-visibility crosswalk south side of street

surface treatments, street furniture and plantings to provide clear wayfinding at proposed curbless pedestrian priority street south side of street

»»Consider 4-ft bike lanes on Link St as indicated in Innovation District plan

»»Minimize the crossing

distance and install colored paving or textured surface treatment and a high-visibility crosswalk

»»Primary entry/exit for

proposed Innovation District 1,100-space parking garage from the crossing

»»Fill sidewalk gap on south side of street

»»Install proposed bike boulevard

W GLENDALE AVE

WASHINGTON ST

MINOR CROSSINGS

»»Minimize crossing distance and install colored

»»Restrict parking near the trail crossing with curb

»»Install pedestrian crossing signage »»Complete sidewalk gaps between Macon St and

»»Complete sidewalk gap between Lynch St and Markham St »»Install proposed bike boulevard to complement existing

paving or textured surface treatment and a highvisibility crosswalk

Dacian Ave

»»Complete bicycle boulevard recommendations »»Add crosswalks at all four legs of Macon St and Dacian Ave

extensions. Install colored paving or textured surface treatment and a high-vis crosswalk

speed humps and neighborhood traffic circle as traffic calming treatments

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The 1.7-mile rail corridor includes 17 acres of land that will be a vital transportation corridor and a linear park. The greatest opportunities to incorporate public space into design of the Belt Line are in areas where the planned trail lies adjacent to cityowned parcels and significant natural assets. Anticipating future redevelopment of vacant parking lots and underutilized properties and encouraging trail-oriented development will help leverage the investment in Durham Belt Line Trail. The corridor has been treated as a back door for over 125 years. New development and retrofits should follow trail-oriented development standards to improve frontage along the Belt Line. Policies should support conversions of existing buildings and vacant parking lots to “front door” uses and create active spaces surrounding the trail.

MAJOR RECOMMENDATIONS

OPEN SPACE & REDEVELOPMENT

1 2 3 4

Activate the Edges of the Trail Encourage Trail-Oriented Development and Infill Leverage City-owned Land and Legacy Right-Of-Way Connect Adjacent Development

Activate the edges of the trail by encouraging a mix of active uses and placemaking opportunities at key locations

»»Support conversions of existing buildings and vacant parking lots to more active uses. »»Reduce barriers to infill residential along the Belt Line by allowing residential uses and reducing parking and setback requirements on parcels zoned for non-residential adjacent to the trail.

»»Require active uses such as retail, restaurants, patio dining and amenity space on well-located sites in new developments where the trail intersects major streets (i.e., Morgan St., proposed Link St., Corporation St., Washington St., Avondale Dr.)

»»Partner with the Museum of Durham History, the Durham School of the Arts and other

organizations in the design of public spaces along the trail that incorporate history and the work of local

and regional artists.

»»Coordinate with future redevelopment efforts to locate art installations, bicycle parking, wayfinding, RIGHT-OF-WAY ASSETS

A number of right-of-ways including alleys and streets that were platted but are not in use exist parallel to and perpendicular to the trail. These rights-of-way present opportunities for furthering public space, connectivity, crime prevention, environmental, housing and equity goals. Locations for potential abandonments, trades or leases coincide with active edge and infill opportunities indicated on pages 62-87.

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STRATEGIES

public plazas and pocket parks along the trail.


DESIGN

OPEN SPACE & REDEVELOPMENT Encourage Trail-Oriented Development through updates to land use policy and regulations

»»Update development policies and standards to accomplish context-sensitive, trail-oriented design along the Durham Belt Line. Adopt ordinance language that creates a synergistic

environment between the trail and adjacent development by requiring trail-oriented form and design details and locates nonsupportive uses and project components away from the trail edge. Design criteria for development should include considerations for crime prevention, delineation of space, building orientation, parking location, lighting, vegetative screening, access and connections. See the Implementation Chapter for specific recommendations.

Leverage city-owned land and legacy right-of-way along the corridor to accomplish goals

Main Street Square | Rapid City, SD Source: mainstreetsquarerc.com

»»Utilize all or a portion of city-owned land between Chapel

Hill St and Morgan St for a trail crossing plaza and/or a park and

trailhead.

»»Locate parking and access points on city-owned land

or right-of-way in the vicinity of Dacian Ave, Roxboro St and Avondale Dr.

»»Consider trail and adjacent public street right-of-way trades, sales and abandonments to further activity, crime prevention, environmental, housing and/or equity goals.

Connect adjacent development

»»Treat the trail as a public right-of-way that allows for cross

Campus Martius Park | Detroit, MI Source: Rob Specht, Land8

access between properties on either side of the trail.

»»Allow or require for cross trail pedestrian access

improvements where new connections meet design criteria that limits conflicts between trail users and crossing movements (i.e., minimum distance, sight lines, etc.) and improvements are privately funded and/or benefit multiple properties.

Encourage cultural exchange and incorporate new technologies to enhance public spaces

»»Encourage informal gathering spaces along the trail. »»Consider incorporating new technologies such as wi-fi, charging stations and solar powered lights.

Development Frontage Amenities | Madison,WI

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The Durham Belt Line Trail will traverse a variety of built and natural environments, from a very urban context to post industrial landscapes where forests are growing through steel rails. Pockets of natural areas exist on slopes, in hardto-access areas and along floodplains and riparian corridors. The trail alignment, design of trailside areas, and public space improvements adjacent to the right-of-way can have a lasting impact on nature and the neighborhoods of Durham.

MAJOR RECOMMENDATIONS

NATURAL SYSTEMS

1 2 3

Green the Corridor

Improve Water Quality Protect and Restore Natural Systems

Green the corridor through plantings and public space improvements

»»Improve tree canopy along the Urban Section of the trail. Current tree cover in the Census Tract that

encompasses downtown Durham is at 17%. Tree planting and selective replacement of existing trees from Corporation St to W Chapel Hill St in the trail right-of-way and on city-owned land adjacent to the trail could provide shade for trail users, intercept rainfall, and help to filter pollutants out of the air and stormwater runoff.

»»Improve access to nature and greenspace by locating new parks along the trail. Major opportunities include an urban park/plaza on city-owned land between Morgan St and Chapel Hill St, the South Ellerbe Stormwater Restoration (which will function as a wetland park), a natural area in the vicinity of Strayhorn Spring, and a trailhead with parking and neighborhood recreation facilities or programming at Roxboro St, Peace St, or Avondale Dr.

»»Emphasize native species in trailside plantings. The recommended trail cross-sections and the

remainder of the right-of-way can be a canvas for reintroducing native species to downtown. When paired with environmental education, targeted efforts to increase biodiversity can increase connections with nature.

»»Partner to remove invasive species. The natural landscape along the trail has undergone significant change

REMOVAL OF INVASIVES

English ivy dominates the understory between the railroad trestle and Dacian Ave. Removal of this invasive plant can make way for natives and improve the health of existing forests along the trail.

56

STRATEGIES

during the last few hundred years. Partnerships with non-profits and volunteer organization and grants and other funding sources should be sought to assist in the removal of invasive species during the trail construction process and as part of ongoing maintenance activities.


DESIGN

NATURAL SYSTEMS Improve water quality through integration of green infrastructure along the trail

»»Integrate bioswales and stormwater planters at

appropriate locations. Small-scale green infrastructure features such as bioswales and stormwater planters should be integrated to capture stormwater runoff from the trail surface. Funding for construction and maintenance of these features needs to be identified. Coordination between multiple City departments will be necessary to maintain these features.

»»Partner to identify and fund opportunities for larger scale green infrastructure and stormwater control measures.

Opportunities exist within the trail right-of-way and adjacent to the trail corridor to locate green infrastructure such as rain gardens, naturalized detention and subsurface storage to store and treat runoff from existing and future development along the trail. Efforts should complement other City efforts and focus on removing nitrogen from runoff. Key opportunities are identified later in this Plan.

Bioswale on Klingle Valley Trail Source: Caesar Hatami via Greater Washington

Protect and restore natural systems along the trail corridor

»»Restore natural communities where feasible. Upland and

riparian forests in the trail corridor should undergo selective harvesting and replanting to more closely mimic native climax forest types. Plantings in more open locations along the trail should build on piedmont prairie habitat restoration activities along the American Tobacco Trail.

»»Reestablish hydrologic patterns where feasible. The

Venema Creek Stormwater Improvements Source: Mayfly Engineering

construction of the railroad and associated earthwork was conducted with little regard to natural hydrology. In several places inadequately sized culverts and/or storm drains have interrupted drainage patterns along the trail. The impacts of replacing aging storm drains with sections of boardwalk, bridges or arch culverts should be studied along with the potential benefits of wetland and stream restoration activities.

»»Incorporate environmental education into the trail and associated greenspaces. A key part of improving natural

systems is educating citizens so that they can become informed and eventually advocate for environmental protection and restoration efforts. Baker Prairie Natural Area Source: Southern Grasslands Initiative

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Environmental justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies. Further, environmental decision-making is informed by the need to not increase environmental burdens on disproportionately impacted communities. Social equity in design and planning aspires to help people who live in disadvantaged neighborhoods access essential services, including housing, employment and economic opportunity. For this plan, environmental justice and social equity were considered in the context of the existing issues facing residents of the Durham Belt Line study area as well as anticipated impacts from Belt Line development.

MAJOR RECOMMENDATIONS

HOUSING & EQUITY

1 2 3 4

Support Affordable Housing

Connect to Regional Transit Enable Safe Access to Open Space in Under-served Neighborhoods

Consider the Belt Downtown, and a portion of the Belt Line corridor, is part of Line to be Part of a historic west/east split between rich and poor, white and black Durham. Development south of Trinity is already driving a Greater Equity land speculation and rising property values in the area. For Planning Initiative neighborhoods surrounding the trail, proximity to downtown represents economic opportunity as it positions residents near transit and jobs. Maintaining and improving connections to regional transit may lead to community benefits. Residents near Avondale Dr have less park access than the area overall. As outlined in the Environmental Justice & Social Equity Analysis included in the Appendix, communities on the east end of the trail may benefit from increased access to transit and parks, but remain at risk of being displaced by increased property values. Addressing these issues through layered community strategies can help maximize the potential benefits of the Belt Line to Durham residents and minimize impacts. Major recommendations focus on addressing the long term issues of affordable housing, potential displacement, access to regional employment and park access. Support affordable housing through policy & ordinance changes

»»Consider reducing barriers to infill (i.e. setback and parking requirements) and/or permitting

modest increases in density, lot size flexibility, and a wider array of housing typologies near the trail to maximize the project impact and create a vibrant, active environment. Changes in lot sizes or housing types allowable near the trail could result in walkable development that is compatible with existing single family neighborhoods and helps fill the “Missing Middle” in housing choices. This strategy could lead to more naturally occurring affordable housing (NOAH) in the long run or could be paired with incentives for dispersed affordable homes to be included with market rate homes in the short term.

»»Consider targeted affordable housing initiatives in the corridor, particularly east of Washington St. Initiatives could include:

»»Developing new programs or leveraging existing programs to preserve affordable rental housing near the corridor

»»Policy and text changes to encourage affordable housing units due to the proximity and connection to 58


DESIGN

HOUSING AND EQUITY Durham Station. Minimum lot size reductions and/or a density bonus could be provided in exchange for a percentage of affordable units.

»»Partnering to purchase property in the vicinity of the corridor for affordable housing

Integrate the Durham Belt Line into regional transit (and D-O LRT) with street modifications and connections to northern communities

»»Consider reducing parking requirements for development near the trail, and encourage

heightened pedestrian and bicycle-supportive requirements (showers and lockers, awning/canopies, increased sidewalk width).

»»Prioritize complete streets improvements to make strong connections between the trail and the area street network. This includes bike lanes and sharrows, aligning bus routes and stops to facilitate

inter-modal exchanges, and identifying potential partnerships to share and monitor existing off street parking in proximity of the trail. With safe and attractive transit, bicycle and pedestrian facilities connecting from the east and north sides of the trail the Durham Belt Line could become a non-motorized corridor enabling improved access to GoTriangle, GoDurham and downtown mobility options.

Enable safe access to open space in under-served neighborhoods.

»»Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles should be used to create safe access points to the trail. As noted in the CPTED Analysis (included in the Appendix) the design of

trail intersections with streets can impact safety. Well-lit trail crossing plazas are recommended at all at-grade street crossings. Other key CPTED recommendations include:

»»Improve opportunities for natural surveillance by encouraging transparent facades along the trail edge, especially near intersection of roads and pedestrian pathways.

»»Update standards to clearly define public and private space adjacent to the trail while balancing the need to maintain visual connection. See Implementation Chapter for detailed recommendations.

»»Creation of safe sidewalk connections from adjacent neighborhoods to the trail should be prioritized. Lighting should be considered along with the establishment of clear sight lines.

»»Conduct additional outreach activities during the next steps in the design process to refine the STRATEGIES

understanding of the needs and priorities of existing residents in adjacent neighborhoods.

RESIDENTIAL INFILL AND AFFORDABILITY

Approximately 100 acres of underutilized land was identified in a study area adjacent to the Belt Line. Strategies should be implemented to reduce the barriers for residential infill that includes affordable housing in the walk-shed around the trail. The current standard of requiring a minimum of 15 dwelling units to be eligible for bonus consideration may be prohibitive to new affordable units along the Trail due to small parcels typical in the urban area. A new method for allowing compact residential at a scale in keeping with adjacent neighborhoods may be needed. See the Implementation Chapter for a suggested approach.

Pocket Neighborhood on a Pedestrian Way Source: Julia Waggoner

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Consider the Belt Line to be a pilot project of a greater equity planning initiative

»»Appoint an Equitable Development Task Force.

This task force could focus on implementing the goals of equitable access and neighborhood preservation in the Belt Line corridor as a pilot for accomplishing these goals in other close-in neighborhoods where public and private investment is likely. Establishing guidelines and metrics for success for major public and private investment projects could also be a task assigned to this group (see Implementation Chapter for more information).

»»Conduct a study of broader equitable development opportunities in the City.

Determine the viability of utilizing city-owned parcels and/or targeting large, single-owner parcels for redevelopment with a specific focus on improving equitable access to housing, transportation, and open space. A nearby case study is the City of Raleigh Land Study which highlights current city-owned property and offers alternative scenarios for future ownership and use. The study looked at methods available to dispose of property and emphasizes potential for the City to exert control over development outcomes to result in fiscal or public benefits such as affordable housing.

»»Complete the Great Loop after neighborhood stabilization efforts and benchmarks are

established and accomplished. In the longer term, consider this current project as just one segment of a larger loop (proposed as the Great Loop by the Durham Parks Foundation) which would make the Belt Line better connected with other parts of the city in need of improved housing, transportation, and open space equity. Constructing a connection between the Belt Line and the R Kelly Bryant Jr. Trail should not occur until neighborhood stabilization efforts are in place and benchmarks are established and met.

The Great Loop Concept

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DESIGN

HOUSING AND EQUITY

EQUITABLE DEVELOPMENT PLANNING

Washington, DC

$55 million ($25 million raised through a mix of foundations, grants, donations, In Design and other sources)

The 606 / Bloomingdale Trail

Chicago, IL

$95 million ($36.5million in CMAQ funding,)

Completed 2015

Atlanta Beltline

Atlanta, GA

$4.8 billion (Atlanta Beltline Tax Allocation District (TAD), the City of Atlanta, private investment and philanthropic contributions, county, regional, state and federal grants, and public private partnerships)

Sections Completed 2010 - Planning/Design Ongoing

Englewood Line Trail

Chicago, IL

TBD ($150,000 for design study, $1 million for urban agricultural vacant land use adjacent)

In Planning

Lafitte Greenway

New Orleans, LA

$13 million (majority from federal disaster grants awarded after Hurricane Katrina)

Completed 2015

Durham Belt Line

Durham, NC

For Preliminary Cost Estimate see Implementation Chapter

In Planning

JOBS \ ECONOMIC EQUITY

11th Street Bridge Park

HEALTH EQUITY

STATUS

HOUSING EQUITY

BUDGET

TRANSPORTATION EQUITY

LOCATION

NOTABLE CASE STUDIES IN EQUITY PLANNING

PROJECT

OPEN SPACE EQUITY

EQUITY STRATEGIES

ATLANTA BELTLINE

Prior to construction, partnerships were negotiated between the City of Atlanta, local banks, and the philanthropic community to develop affordable housing strategies. Among strategies implemented were graduated mortgage rates scaled to compensate for anticipated property value increases and down payment assistance. Critics cite the timing of community stabilization strategies and affordable housing incentives was concurrent or too close to trail construction though market forces also worked against affordable housing goals. • Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI) also invested directly in affordable housing. However, gentrification and displacement has still occurred. As of the end of 2017, only 822 affordable units have been built in the Tax Allocation District (TAD) that was targeted for 5,600 units. • Reliance on revenues from adjacent private property development resulted in lower revenue than expected due to the recession. In addition, it was recognized that ABI needed a capital program for acquiring and controlling land early in the development process to achieve affordable housing goals. TH

11 STREET BRIDGE PARK EQUITABLE DEVELOPMENT PLAN

With significant support from Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and collaboration with non-profits, philanthropic groups and a team of experts, 11th Street Bridge Park initiated a multi-year strategy for community stabilization six years in advance of construction of the park. The 11th Street Bridge Park is recognized as a new model for acknowledging and mitigating economic forces resulting from large scale public infrastructure projects in a time-frame to allow critical community building work to occur. • Project acknowledges that it will have large impacts on local property values and displacement. • Study area for their equitable development plan is much broader than the specific context of the project and includes all census tracts within 1 mile. • Housing strategies target stabilization of the most vulnerable populations in order for them be able to have a better chance at remaining in place once the park is complete. • Plan is being monitored and evaluated by the Urban Land Institute. DURHAM BELT LINE Trail Master Plan |

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N CHAPEL HILL ST. TO MORGAN ST.

The southern terminus of the trail is envisioned as a gateway and primary trailhead. The Durham Belt Line Trail and surrounding public space can serve as an urban park welcoming transit and trail users to downtown Durham. The trail design in this section is meant to separate bicycle and pedestrian uses and be complemented by linear park elements such as connecting paths, wayfinding, bicycle parking, art installations and multi-purpose public spaces. Key recommendations include:

Connect Downtown with the American Tobacco Campus and Transit

»»Replace the railroad bridge over Chapel Hill St with a bicycle and pedestrian bridge that would lead to a ramp down to Chapel Hill St., providing a connection to the bus terminal and future light rail station. An interim alignment could utilize the existing sidewalk and cross Chapel Hill St at grade.

»»Study the feasibility of extending the Belt Line to

Ramseur St and through a future tunnel under the railroad to provide a direct connection to the American Tobacco Campus and future light rail station.

ART AND HISTORICAL OPPORTUNITIES

• Public art installations at the trail crossings at Main St and

Morgan St • Art and/or lighting on the Chapel Hill St underpass and new pedestrian bridge • Historical signage that tells the story of the Globe Warehouse or the rail switching yard that once existed on the site • Art, signage, or plantings that begin to tell the story of water along the trail by signifying the basin dividing line that traverses the site

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RECREATION AND PROGRAMMING

• Two Crossing Plazas that include benches, lighting and/or planters

• Urban park or plaza on either side of Main St provides potentially 1.3 acres of multi-use public space including a mix of hardscape and green • Programming could include exercise classes, food truck events, and small concerts • Sculpture play area and adequate seating to help activate the space with people of all ages


DESIGN

LINEAR PARK SECTION

PLAZA AREA WITH TRAIL CROSSING STRUCTURE

Create a Trailhead that is a Destination

»»Utilize all or a portion of the city-

owned land between Chapel Hill St and Morgan St for an urban park with trailhead

components (i.e., wayfinding, bicycle parking, art installations).

»»Coordinate with public and private

entities to create a good connection to the

existing Amtrak station.

»»Coordinate with NCDOT on options

for crossing Main St and Morgan St that results in a safe trail crossings and connects potential future public spaces.

»»Plan for a gateway overlook in the

vicinity of the bridge over Chapel Hill St. This feature could include public art and would draw people to the trail and provide a view of Main St and across the tracks to the American Tobacco Campus.

»»Incorporate a flexible multi-use public space into the design of the park. This

could include a green and/or plaza that would provide opportunities for informal recreation

SIDEWALK/PATH CONNECTION

TRAIL IN RIGHT OF WAY CITY-OWNED LAND OR ROW OTHER POTENTIAL PUBLIC SPACE

PARKING

DUKE ENERGY

OVERLOOK

TRAILSIDE PARK

TRAILHEAD/ RESTROOMS

NATIVE PLANTINGS

ART OPPORTUNITY

GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE

INFILL HOUSING

BRIDGE/BOARDWALK

EMERGENCY CALL BOX

ACTIVE EDGE OPPORTUNITY

(STREAM RESTORATION)

and leisure and a venue for public gatherings such as concerts, food truck events, etc.

»»Evaluate the feasibility of using a

portion of the city-owned land for a new building for the Museum of Durham History and/or redevelopment. This could include a new multi-story building with rooftop private space for functions and/ or office, retail, or residential uses.

DURHAM BELT LINE Trail Master Plan |

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URBAN PARK CONCEPT

Parks play a pivotal role in shaping the success of cities. Adjacency to urban green space is coveted by businesses and residences alike and leads to higher lease rates and property values. The city-owned land between Chapel Hill St and Morgan St presents a unique opportunity to build a new park in the heart of the City. This new public space would function as the “front porch” of Downtown Durham, connect West Village to downtown and provide a point of departure for arrivals by rail and regional transit. The park could restore a historical rail yard switching area to a more natural condition. Trees and native plantings could help bring nature to the heart of the City and help increase the tree canopy downtown. The park could also provide a place for cultural and social exchange including activities, markets, and community events. The exact design of the park is meant to be accomplished through a separate process, however the concept below and images on the following pages illustrate a few key ideas.

DESIGN ELEMENTS

»»Benches and seating areas »»Clear sight lines and overlooks »»Lighting »»Integration of art and sculpture

»»Multi-purpose greens or plazas for events »»Native trees, perennials, and grasses »»Large specimen trees that provide shade »»Active use anchor north of Morgan St.

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DESIGN

LINEAR PARK SECTION PRECEDENTS

North End Park, Boston, MA Source: NorthEndWaterfront.com

Hemisfaire Lighting Source:VisitSanAntonio.com

Citygarden, St Louis Source: Am. Society of Landscape Architects

Romare Bearden Park | Charlotte, NC Source: LandDesign

“The trail needs a diversity of activities to be useful to everyone in the city. The more people that are there, the safer it feels.”- Story-kiosk Participant DURHAM BELT LINE Trail Master Plan |

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MORGAN ST TO FERNWAY AVE

Leaving the urban park and heading north, trail users will cross Morgan St at an at-grade crossing that includes a high visibility crosswalk with a color and/or texture change that is noticeably different from the remainder of the trail. Infill development planned on the northeast corner of Morgan St should help activate the trail. The constrained cross-section will be used for this segment to make room for a bioswale or stormwater planters and/or native grass plantings in the “green zone” between the trail and adjacent properties. Key recommendations include:

Activate the Edges of the Trail

»»Encourage active uses such as retail or a restaurant with patio dining on the northeast corner of the intersection of the trail and Morgan St. This use would anchor one end of the park and provide “eyes” on the park and natural surveillance that would help improve safety throughout the day and evening.

Integrate Green Infrastructure

»»Incorporate bioswales or stormwater planters to capture stormwater and allow for infiltration. A bioswale or stormwater planters could be integrated with plantings along the side of the trail, especially in the vicinity of Fernway Ave, where cross-slope drainage reaches storm drains.

Create a Prairie Archipelago

»»Utilize low plantings that include native grasses, pollinators, and perennials to reinforce the open “meadow” feel of this segment. The Prairie Island project south of downtown has restored an acre of kudzu to native Piedmont Prairie. The Belt Line corridor presents an opportunity to turn Prairie Island into part of an archipelago of prairies that could help support pollinators and propagate native species throughout the City.

Prairie Island, Durham, NC

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DESIGN

LINEAR PARK SECTION DESIGN DETAILS: CHAPEL HILL ST TO FERNWAY AVE NEW BICYCLE / PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE

The existing railroad bridge over Chapel Hill St is scheduled to be removed by Norfolk Southern sometime in 2018. A new bridge should be higher than the existing bridge in order to improve clearance and stay 25 feet north of a planned addition of a new track on the north side of the current railroad track.

RAMSEUR STREET LANE REALLOCATION

The trail connection along Ramseur St should reach grade north of the existing retaining wall and provide clear separation between the trail and active current and future railroad tracks. This may require the reconfiguration of Ramseur St.

The existing railroad bridge over Chapel Hill St will be replaced.

TRAIL DESIGN

The constrained cross-section could be used between Main St and the bridge. South of the bridge, a standard 12-ft multi-use trail may be needed to maximize separation between the railroad and the trail. Between Main St and Fernway Ave, the preferred or constrained cross-section could be used. Additional study is needed to determine the ideal location and extent of a bioswale to absorb stormwater runoff.

UTILITY RELOCATION

Between Main St and Morgan St there will be a need to relocate several telephone poles.

STREET CROSSINGS

The Katy Trail in Dallas,Texas includes plazas on either side of a road crossing | Source: AFAR

Crossings should include a high-visibility crosswalk that includes a pavement texture or color change in advance of the crossing. Crossings could also be associated with miniature plazas as done on the Katy Trail in Dallas, Texas. These plazas include a change in texture that signals to bicyclists that a crossing is imminent. The plazas also have increased lighting and provides space for benches and other furnishings. A raised intersection to further improve safety at Main St and Morgan St should be considered.

CROSSING SIGNALS

Incorporate the historic railroad crossing signal posts into the design of the trail, potentially as an artistic feature to identify and separate the bicyclist and pedestrian use areas of the trail.

Coastal Recreation Trail, Monterey, CA

DURHAM BELT LINE Trail Master Plan |

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A

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O

TWO-WAY STREET CONVERSION

S T R E E T

S T R E E T

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M A I N

URBAN PARK PROGRAMMING / SPACE STUDIES

T IC AM TR RH DIS DU N O T TIO E VA AL NO W IN OS BI

ALTERNATIVE 1

This option preserves existing parking adjacent to the Amtrak Station and space for a new building near Morgan St. An area for active play with an option for a stage or public art anchors one corner of the plaza which extends across Main St. Two open lawn areas provide multi-use space for play and events. An overlook lies adjacent to the trail, taking advantage of grades south of Chapel Hill St. A secondary trail provides alternate connections between Main St, Morgan St, and the Amtrak Station. Large versions of this concept and other alternatives are included in the Appendix.

CT AM TRI RH IS DU N D TO TIO VA E AL NO W IN OS BI

ALTERNATIVE 2

E

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TWO-WAY STREET CONVERSION

S T R E E T

M A I N

S T R E E T

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S T R E E T

For this option, a new building and gateway plaza anchor the southwest corner, leaving a smaller footprint for a renovated parking lot off Main St. An overlook lies just south of the trail on the grade that slopes down to Great Jones St. A circular hardscaped plaza is flanked by open lawn areas between the crossing plazas on Morgan St and Main St. A secondary trail provides connections between Main St and Morgan St and circumvents the plaza.

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M A I N

S T R E E T

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TWO-WAY STREET CONVERSION

M O R G A N

S T R E E T

CT AM TRI RH IS DU N D TO TIO VA E AL NO W IN OS BI

ALTERNATIVE 3

Here, the primary trail crosses a plaza on the western corner of Great Jones St. This option for the trail alignment, while not preferred, was created to show flexibility in crossing locations provided a mid-block crossing is not feasible. A hardscaped plaza with a optional stage is surrounded by planted areas. Open lawn areas are shown on either side of Main St with a terraced lawn leading down to Great Jones St. An overlook lies adjacent to the trail, taking advantage of grades south of Chapel Hill St.


DESIGN

LINEAR PARK SECTION EVOLUTION OF A TRAIL-YARD

Main St to Morgan St circa 1920s Source: OpenDurham.org

The Durham Belt Line Trail presents an opportunity to tell the evolution of a city built on agrarian industry to a center for learning, a City of Medicine, and a hub of innovation. Conversion of the historic rail yard between Morgan St and Main St to an urban park could help mark the transition between eras. Precedents for dramatic transformation of industrial relics into vibrant public spaces include the Santa Fe Railyard and the Birmingham Railroad Park. DURHAM BELT LINE TRAIL SECONDARY PATHWAY

MEADOW

NEW BUILDING

LAWN AREA

HARDSCAPE PLAZA

PLANTED AREAS / TREE GROVE

TRAIL CROSSING / PLAZA AREAS

ARTISTIC ELEMENT

PARKING LOT

STAGE

DOWNTOWN OVERLOOK

ACTIVE PLAY AREA

Santa Fe Railyard, Sante Fe, New Mexico Source: Melissa Fricek via Planning.org

DURHAM BELT LINE Trail Master Plan |

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N FERNWAY AVE. TO TRINITY AVE.

The portion of the trail between Fernway and Corporation St is in the heart of the Innovation District where the Link Street Plaza (proposed) crosses the trail. Active first floor uses are planned surrounding this area so there will be large flows of people both perpendicular to and along the trail. Pulses of life and activity will course through this space throughout the day and night. Celebrating the rail corridor that was a part of shaping Durham’s history is paramount to the design of the trail. In this section there are ample opportunities to preserve sections of rail and integrate them into the fabric of the trail and associated public spaces. Key recommendations include:

Create a Gateway to the Innovation District

»»Preserve the railroad gantry and intersecting views to create a gateway feature. »»Create an urban plaza at the intersection with Link St. Link St is a proposed street that will connect

Liggett St and Fuller St. It will serve as the “Main Street” for the Innovation District and is envisioned to be a shared street that is pedestrian friendly. Expanding the pedestrian realm planned for either side of the street could create a versatile public space that can accommodate criss-crossing paths of pedestrians and bicyclists while providing space for art and people watching.

Integrate Art, History and Green Infrastructure

»»Preserve traces of the railroad history of the area. The main-line track, a spur line, a coal shoot and other

railroad relics dot this section of trail. Trail design and interpretive historical signage could tell the story of the railroad and Durham’s Warehouse District. Coordination with the Museum of Durham History and other entities on a walking tour would help residents and visitors experience the history embedded in this area of the City.

»»Improve tree canopy and diversity while clearing sight lines. The section of trail in the vicinity of Link St

has an intimate, otherworldly feel due to the low tree canopy created by mimosa and catalpa trees growing between

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DESIGN

LINEAR PARK SECTION

(Map Legend on page 63)

rusted rails. Keeping a section of existing tracks while selectively planting perennials, grasses and restoring a native tree canopy could open up views and provide mast for wildlife.

»»Integrate green infrastructure that captures, retains and treats stormwater. Bioswales, tree cells

and stormwater planters could be integrated along this section of the trail to slow runoff from the trail and surrounding development. The volume of stormwater reaching the trail corridor near Corporation St presents an opportunity for an innovative stormwater control measure. This could include a bioswale and/or a stormwater planter that captures runoff and allows infiltration prior to discharging into a storm drain or a series of planter boxes with weirs.

ART AND HISTORICAL OPPORTUNITIES

• Railroad gantry gateway feature between Fernway • • • • •

Ave and Link St Public art installations at Link Street Plaza could include interpretive art or rail material reuse sculpture Mural, living wall, or art wrap on proposed Innovation District parking deck between Link St and Corporation St west of trail Historical signage or interpretive art along preserved rail in the median of the trail Historical signage at historic buildings, rail spur and/ or coal shoot Overlook parklet on historic railroad trestle

RECREATION AND PROGRAMMING

• Link Street Plaza • A “Rail Forest” themed space that preserves the • • • •

existing railroad tracks and adds seating, cross access paths, tree cells, and native canopy trees Small-scale recreational spaces on either side of the trail south of Corporation St All-play equipment and adequate seating to help activate the space with people of all ages Environmental education opportunities such as exhibits on native plantings, bioremediation and green infrastructure. Medium sized recreation / programming opportunity within the trail right-of-way north of Corporation St; could be planned in conjunction with potential redevelopment of the Erwin Oil site DURHAM BELT LINE Trail Master Plan |

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»»Coordinate with local institutions and artists on custom installations and programming. The Durham

School of the Arts, Durham School for Ballet and the Performing Arts, and Duke University are located to the west of the trail along this section. Outdoor classrooms, performance space, art installations from local artists and seating for lunch excursions can help the trail reflect its context.

»»Consider adding a secondary connection to the Durham School for Ballet and the Performing Arts.

This could be accomplished by adding a connection on the western side of the trail through the existing parking lot or by improving Minerva Ave.

»»Coordinate with private landowners to preserve the railroad trestle as an overlook and pocket park.

A railroad trestle that sits just outside of the trail corridor provides an iconic remnant of the City’s industrial past. It also provides an unprecedented view of the City’s changing skyline. Preserving public access, structural stabilization and future maintenance are priorities. The City should consider allowing donation, taking over maintenance of the structure and/or trading a portion of right-of-way that is not essential to the trail design to enable the creation of a publicly accessible overlook.

Encourage Trail-Oriented Redevelopment

»»Encourage active uses on new buildings that front the trail. Activity would be increased with balconies on residential units, transparent facades, patio dining, or amenity areas incorporated as part of redevelopment.

»»Discourage poor edges. The majority of trail frontage in this section is currently parking lots. The Innovation District and other redevelopment may include parking decks in this area. Adding a parking deck wrap, lighting, murals or living walls could help improve an otherwise poor edge condition.

»»Create an engaging public plaza in the vicinity of City Place. Creating a public plaza on the north side of

Corporation St would complement future redevelopment and help activate the trail. A public/private partnership could elevate the design, functionality and activity level of this space.

»»Coordinate with future redevelopment on public space opportunities and cross access between Corporation St and Trinity Ave. This section of the trail

corridor is 100 feet wide. Even with the preferred trail cross-section there is ample room for programming additional public space. In addition, land trades and sales should be considered in order to encourage active edges on redevelopment, increase public parking, facilitate the protection of the historic Railroad Trestle as a publicly accessible overlook and create access from the trail to Geer St.

»»Treat the trail as a public right-of-way that allows for cross access between properties on either side of the trail.

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Redevelopment in the vicinity of Corporation St should include active uses near the intersection to help activate the trail (Source: LinearRetail.com)


DESIGN

LINEAR PARK SECTION DESIGN DETAILS: FERNWAY AVE TO TRINITY AVE GANTRY The historic railroad gantry acts as a gateway to the trail for users traveling north from downtown. It also acts as a gateway to downtown where users traveling south will emerge from the Innovation District to see views of downtown.

TRAIL DESIGN The corridor width in this section is 45 feet south of Corporation St and north of Corporation St the right-of-way expands to 100 feet. The preferred cross-section is recommended throughout this section except where crossing plazas are located and where programming or cross-access needs necessitate a constrained section.

The historic railroad gantry will provide an interesting gateway feature on the trail

PRESERVE SECTIONS OF EXISTING TRACKS Preserving sections of the existing rail and enhancing them with plantings or art could be considered on either side of Link St. Adding fill that allows the incorporation of rail sections into plazas or paths should be considered near City Place. Keeping existing trees could be considered, however the addition of tree cells and native plantings could improve canopy and ensure the long-term health of trees.

DEMOLITION

Young catalpa trees growing through the rail provide a unique juxtaposition between industrial remnants and nature

There may be a need to remove concrete from right-of-way to make room for preferred cross-section and avoid an existing manhole.

STORMWATER FEATURES A significant amount of stormwater passes through the trail corridor and along Corporation St in the vicinity of the trail crossing. A stormwater planter on the southwest side of Corporation St and/or a planter, or bioswale with weirs on the northwest side of Corporation St and the trail crossing could detain runoff, allow for infiltration and include native plantings. Stormwater planters could provide a way to deal with stormwater along this section

DURHAM BELT LINE Trail Master Plan |

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RAIL FOREST THREAD CONCEPT

A high visibility crosswalk and crossing plaza over Fernway Ave will transition to the preferred cross-section with meadow plantings separating bicycle and pedestrian paths. Trail users traveling south will pass beneath the preserved railroad gantry and the view will open up to see downtown and views of the park or redevelopment between Morgan St and Main St. Trail users heading north will travel under the gantry and move through an intimate space with native trees growing between pieces of preserved railroad tracks. The proposed Link Street Plaza will anchor a pedestrian friendly shared street that acts as the “Main Street” of the Innovation District, a master planned mixed use development that will include new offices, retail, and residential that flanks the Durham Belt Line Trail. The threaded path will come together south of Corporation St and then enter a plaza space with seating and plantings, activated by patio dining or an active edge use that is part future redevelopment of portions of the City Place property.

DESIGN ELEMENTS

»»Meadow and native prairie

»»Programmable recreation spaces where

»»Preservation of gantry and sections

»»Threaded path through trees and shade »»Wet meadow or stormwater feature »»Active edges

Plantings

of rail as historical elements

»»Plazas at Link Street and City Place with public art, movable chairs and plantings

right-of-way allows

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Fernway to City Place Concept


DESIGN

LINEAR PARK SECTION PRECEDENTS

Rail Integrated into Plaza and Stormwater Features - Prairie Line Trail | Tacoma,WA Source: Place Studio

Separate paths converge near intersection Seongnam-Si, South Korea

Patio Dining in Austin,TX Source: www.perlasaustin.com

Active Plaza Edge Source: UW-Madison

“This is how community responsibility is made: people engaging with each other.” - Comment from Survey

DURHAM BELT LINE Trail Master Plan |

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South Ellerbe Stormwater Restoration Project

Relocate existing Ellerbe Creek Trail

N TRINITY AVE. TO WASHINGTON ST.

Crossing over the restored bridge at Trinity Ave, northbound trail users will be drawn to an overlook that provides a view of the South Ellerbe Creek Wetland Restoration Project on the west side of the trail. The trail edge will provide access to Trinity Ave via a ramp as well as to the Ellerbe Creek Trail and a restored wetland. On the east side, the trail will pass by Pearl Mill Village, a historic neighborhood of restored mill houses that once housed the workers of the Pearl Cotton Mill – now the present day Duke Towers condos. The trail will provide a new connection to Pearl Mill Village via a new sidewalk along Dacian Ave and meet Washington St at an at-grade crossing plaza.

Connect People to Ellerbe Creek

»»Provide a potential overlook of the South Ellerbe Stormwater Restoration and connection to the

South Ellerbe Creek Trail. The restoration project at the former Duke Diet and Fitness site could potentially

include a trail that circles a restored wetland and allows visitors the opportunity for viewing enhanced natural habitat. If constructed, an overlook would take advantage of the elevation difference between the Belt Line Trail and the restoration project to the west. Providing a direct connection to the South Ellerbe Creek Trail, which is part of the East Coast Greenway, is also a priority in this segment.

»»Integrate art and recreational programming along the trail. It is extremely rare for a city the size of Durham to have an opportunity for an urban trail to traverse such varied terrain and context in such a short span. The trail will travel from the heart of downtown to a new 10-acre wetland park in less than one mile. This section of the trail presents opportunities that simply do not exist along most urban trails. The portion of the trail along the South Ellerbe Stormwater Restoration Project would be ideal for nature education, passive recreation or environmental art.

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The trail transitions to a more urban context after Dacian Ave. The Duke Energy Sub-station could be illuminated with bright lights to turn an otherwise dark stretch into an eye-catching attraction that helps to activate the trail. Trailside programming closer to Washington St could include a skate spot, an all-play fitness installation, and private amenity spaces associated with future redevelopment.


DESIGN

RESTORATION AND PRESERVATION SECTION

(Map Legend on page 63)

»»Integrate green infrastructure along the trail. Opportunities for stormwater control measures exist along this section of the trail. Locations for opportunities include: Near Orient St and Trinity Ave Near Dacian Ave and the trail crossing Along the trail north of Dacian Ave.

»» »» »»

»»Conduct landscape restoration activities along the trail. Wetland restoration planned to the west

of the trail should be complemented with selective reforestation of the trail edge using trees and other plant material that are under-represented in the urban environment. Species selection should mimic the native climax community that occurs on uplands adjacent to floodplains in Durham County.

Create an Activity Center at Washington St

»»Activate the trail with redevelopment. Encourage trail-oriented design features in new development

including active edges, transparent facades oriented toward the trail, appropriately located furnishings, amenity space and landscaping. A mix of housing types is envisioned that includes affordable units at a neighborhood scale. New design standards and incentives for high quality trail-oriented development may be needed. Incentives could include reduced parking, lot width and setback requirements, housing type flexibility, density bonuses and/or right-of-way abandonment, lease or sales. See the Implementation Chapter for details.

»»Create a trailhead. Work with nearby residents and landowners to integrate wayfinding, a hydration station, bicycle parking, seating and other neighborhood amenities into the design of the crossing plaza and new development.

»»Reconnect neighborhoods. In addition to the crossing plaza at Washington St, Install high-visibility

crosswalks at Dacian Ave and Macon St to slow motorists in advance of the crossing. Fill sidewalk gaps on east side of Washington St. Provide secondary connections to Orient St, Dacian Ave, Macon St and North St. DURHAM BELT LINE Trail Master Plan |

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WASHINGTON STREET CONCEPT

A vibrant mixed use center is envisioned for the intersection of Washington St and the trail. A high visibility crosswalk and plaza marks the trail crossing of Washington St. Building reuse with trailside improvements, and streetscape upgrades should be complemented with redevelopment on underutilized and vacant parcels. Redevelopment is meant to activate the trail edge with a mix of uses and residential housing types. The trail design includes a constrained section until south of Dacian Ave. North of this, the trail transitions to the neighborhood section that includes a 12-foot multiuse trail and a parallel natural surface path. The Strayhorn Springs area, east of Washington St is envisioned to be a natural area that could include hiking trails or a nature play area.

DESIGN ELEMENTS

»»Trail-oriented building re-use and redevelopment »»Context-sensitive infill residential »»Trailside programming »»Green infrastructure features such as rain gardens, bioswales or wet ponds

Washington Street Concept

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»»Trailhead features at Washington St »»Trail connections to Orient St, Dacian Ave, Macon St and North St »»Preservation of native plant communities »»Land conservation and nature play area in the vicinity of Strayhorn Springs

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DESIGN

PRESERVATION AND RESTORATION SECTION ART AND HISTORICAL OPPORTUNITIES

RECREATION AND PROGRAMMING

future ecology of the area • Environmental art installation in the vicinity of the intersection with the Ellerbe Creek Trail (East Coast Greenway) • Illumination of the Duke Energy Substation similar to the Bland St substation along the Charlotte Rail Trail or the CP&L substation on West Jones St near Glenwood Ave in downtown Raleigh. • Historical signage for Pearl Mill Village

Creek Stormwater Restoration Site • Two Medium sized recreation programming opportunities exist, one south of the intersection of the trail and the Ellerbe Creek Trail and one north of Dacian Ave right-of-way. The trail alignment could be adjusted slightly to accommodate a variety of activities including nature education, all-play fitness equipment, a climbing wall, a nature play area , sculptural play, community garden, or a skate spot. • Trailhead at Washington St

• Interpretive signage explaining the past, present and

• Overlook on west side of the trail near South Ellerbe

PRECEDENTS

Overlook Source: City of Winston-Salem

Skate Spot in Provo, UT Source: Spohn Ranch Skateparks

Environmental Art Source: Patrick Dougherty (Flickr)

Illuminated sub-station in Charlotte, NC Source: Duke Energy

Pocket Neighborhood Source: Pocket-neighborhoods.net

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N

WASHINGTON ST. TO MANGUM ST.

Trail users heading east will cross Washington St at a high visibility crossing plaza and travel through a restored piedmont prairie with wildflowers and native grasses that will replace the tangle of kudzu and Japanese honeysuckle that currently exists. A naturalized stormwater retention area is envisioned for the side of the trail that drains new infill residential. A new pedestrian connection linking North St to Macon St will increase through traffic, connect neighborhoods and improve safety. An transition zone between prairie and forest could be created by retaining existing blackberries and complimenting them with native dewberries, pollinators and/or a community garden. The trail enters the Strayhorn Springs area to the east, with a historic spring that sits in a depression just south of the trail. An undeveloped street right-of-way, Duke Energy property, and city-owned land sit adjacent to the trail and, along with nearby undeveloped lands, provide an opportunity for a nature park or play area. Glendale Ave will be an at-grade crossing and the trail will pass beneath the Mangum St bridge, which presents an opportunity for public art.

Encourage Infill and Neighborhood Improvements and Connections

»»Connect Macon St and North St. North St currently dead-ends at the trail corridor. Encouraging a new connection to Macon St would help improve neighborhood connectivity.

»»Improve Macon St. Macon St is currently an unpaved road. It should be improved to include pavement, a sidewalk and street trees.

»»Encourage infill development along the trail.

A number of small vacant and underutilized parcels exist east of Washington St. The City should consider removing barriers to context-sensitive residential development. See the Implementation Chapter for details.

»»Encourage a connection to the trail in the vicinity of Acadia St.

This connection should be encouraged to be completed if new development occurs along the unimproved right-of-way of Acadia St between Markham Ave and the Trail.

80


DESIGN

NEIGHBORHOOD CHARACTER SECTION

(Map Legend on page 63)

Preserve and Restore the Strayhorn Springs Area

»»Conduct an ecological inventory. An ecological inventory is recommended to identify existing native plant communities between Trinity Ave and Glendale Ave. Public feedback and site walks indicate that this area has mature native trees and other plants that should be preserved.

»»Repurpose city-owned land and unimproved right-of-way for a natural area. 1.4 acres of city-owned

land and unimproved right-of-way exists on either side of the trail right-of-way between North St and Glendale Ave. Additional city-owned land exists north of Duke Energy land along the tributary to Ellerbe Creek. This land could be incorporated into a nature park with hiking trails, interpretive signage and/or a nature play area.

»»Pursue voluntary land acquisition. Twelve undeveloped parcels are located around the Strayhorn Spring and

have significant environmental constraints including steep slopes and potential wetland designations. Work with non-profit organizations and contact landowners to determine if any are interested in conservation easements or selling land for permanent protection.

»»Consider a bridge or boardwalk section to re-establish historic hydrologic flows and allow for restoration activities. The spring flows into a makeshift retention basin on the south side of the trail. The

storm drain is likely all or partially clogged. The trail could be bridged over this section to reestablish the historic hydrologic flow. A study would need to verify that this would have benefits to the stream and not cause flooding issues downstream. Restoration activities along the spring run including bank stabilization, planting and/or wetland expansion could have water quality benefits downstream.

Employ Crime Prevention Techniques

»»Utilize Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) techniques to increase safety.

Use of lighting, delineation of public and private space, maintaining clear sight lines and encouraging activity will be key to creating a safe trail through this section. DURHAM BELT LINE Trail Master Plan |

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ART AND HISTORICAL OPPORTUNITIES

• Art installation near crossing plaza / gateway at • • • •

Washington St Gateway signage for the Duke Park and Old North Durham neighborhoods Interpretive signage explaining stream/spring restoration activities Environmental art or nature play installation near the trail intersection with Glendale Ave Underpass lighting / art under the Mangum St underpass

RECREATION AND PROGRAMMING

• Overlook on south side of the trail near Strayhorn

Springs drainage area • One small-to-medium sized recreation programming opportunity exists on city-owned land and unimproved right-of-way east of North St and west of Glendale Ave • Acquisition of undeveloped parcels south of the trail could create an opportunity for a larger programming opportunity

Steep Slopes flank a drainage area filled with debris downstream from Strayhorn Springs

82


DESIGN

NEIGHBORHOOD CHARACTER SECTION PRECEDENTS

Horseshoe Farm Nature Preserve Raleigh, NC

Sculpture Play, Benito Juรกrez Park Source: Trust for Public Land

Little Sugar Creek Greenway Charlotte, NC

Nature Play Area,Westmoreland Park, Portland, OR Source: Play-scapes.com

Underpass Art Source: downtowngreensboro.org

Underpass Lighting Source: Greensboro News and Record

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N

MANGUM ST. TO AVONDALE DR.

An at-grade crossing at Roxboro St is recommended to include a HAWK signal (High-intensity Activated crossWalK beacon) to signal motorists to stop for pedestrians and bicyclists. A parking lot and access point is planned for cityowned land on the northeast corner of Roxboro St and the trail. New neighborhood connections are recommended at Shawnee St, Peace St and Greenleaf St. This section of trail could include bioswales to deal with drainage, store stormwater and encourage infiltration. Larger stormwater devices could be located near dead-end roads. A gateway and trailhead is envisioned for the trail in the vicinity of Avondale Dr. The exact location of this trailhead will be determined through future study.

Create Neighborhood Improvements and Safe Connections

»»Create a parking area and access point on city-owned land near Roxboro St. Adequate lighting, design of furnishings and vegetation maintenance should establish clear sight lines and delineate public and private space. See the CPTED Analysis in the Appendix for issues that should be addressed through design of the parking area.

»»Reconnect the Old North Durham and Duke Park neighborhoods. Providing pedestrian and bicycle

connections via secondary paths at key points in this section could reconnect neighborhoods for the first time in 100 years.

»»Consider a boardwalk section or arch culvert to re-establish historic hydrologic flows and allow for

restoration activities. A tributary east of Shawnee St could be restored along with an installation of a boardwalk section or arch culvert on the trail. Wetland and stream restoration activities could be observed via a side trail or boardwalk.

»»Incorporate vertical elements along lower portions of the trail. In certain sections the trail can be

lower than the surrounding land. In these sections keeping vegetation cleared and “opening” the trail to adjacent development may help improve safety. Also utilizing all of the trail right-of-way and creating spur trails, pocket parks or other “moments” at different elevations can help provide a sense of openness.

84


DESIGN

NEIGHBORHOOD CHARACTER SECTION

(Map Legend on page 63)

Bioswales

Connection to Shawnee St Overlooks

Connection to Peace St

Multi-purpose Green or Programmable Space Connection to Greenleaf St

Connection to Shawnee St Wetland Boardwalk and Viewing Platform

Connection to Lynch St and/or Rosetta St

Connection to Peace St Bioswales

Terminus Element and Wayfinding

Future Expansion (To Avondale Dr)

Shawnee St to Greenleaf St Concept

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Make Avondale Drive a Gateway to the Trail

ALE AVOND

DR

»»Work with landowners and members of the public to locate a

trailhead in the vicinity of Avondale Dr. A properly designed trailhead that includes neighborhood recreational amenities in the vicinity of Avondale Dr could help reduce crime by activating this part of the trail. Coordination with private landowners and local residents is necessary to identify the ideal location and design for the trailhead.

»»Consider reconfiguring Trinity Ave to improve bicyclist and

pedestrian safety near Avondale Dr. Currently motorists traveling south on Avondale Dr can use a one-way section roadway to turn onto Trinity Ave. The Trinity Ave intersection accommodates all turning movements making this one-way section duplicative and potentially unnecessary. The intersection of Trinity Ave and Avondale Dr currently lacks pedestrian signals and a crossing of Avondale Dr despite transit stops on both sides of the roadway. Further, the signals are not triggered by bicyclists, making it difficult and dangerous to cross. Reconfiguring this area to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety should be considered.

Please focus on making the Avondale entrance to the trail feel like the “front entrance to the trail, not the butt end of it.” - Survey Comment

AVONDALE GATEWAY

Creating connections to neighborhoods and a trailhead for the east end of the trail is a priority. Determining the location of the trailhead should be coordinated with future redevelopment along Avondale Dr. Ideally it would be a visible beginning to the trail, include 10-15 parking spaces, seating and a small programming opportunity. The location of the trailhead could be on any of the corners of the trail’s intersection with Avondale Dr. A ramp up to Avondale Dr on the west side would activate the Avondale Dr underpass encourage the next segment of the trail to the east to be constructed. A ramp on the east side of Avondale Dr could be planned in concert with future redevelopment. Repurposing a portion of the right-of-way south of the crossing or city-owned land north of the crossing could provide additional space for a proper trailhead and gateway to the trail.

DESIGN ELEMENTS

»»Sidewalk and transit connections »»Trailhead opportunity with parking and signage

»»Neighborhood park amenities 86

Avondale Trailhead Concept Location to be determined through coordination with landowners and redevelopment.

»»Connection to future trail expansion »»Restrooms and a water fountain


DESIGN

NEIGHBORHOOD CHARACTER SECTION PRECEDENTS

Five Points Bench, Greensboro, NC The design of the bench reflects input from residents of the Warnersville neighborhood, Greensboro’s first African-American community, which was once known as Five Points. The five words etched into the backs of each chair were chosen by residents to describe their neighborhood and its history.

Inside/Outside Bench, Greensboro, NC This public art seating area created by Ben Kastner and Toby Keeton of Wilmington, NC. It was created to reinforce the greenway’s function as a “living room” for the city. The pieces are emblematic of the historic neighborhood nearby and are inspired by the fine craftsmanship present in 19th century furniture.

Rain garden play area, Rainier Beach Playground, Seattle,WA Source: Mayfly Engineering

Trailhead on 606 Trail Chicago, IL

ART AND HISTORICAL OPPORTUNITIES

RECREATION AND PROGRAMMING

Roxboro St. • Interpretive signage explaining stream / spring restoration activities • Art and signage that captures the history of surrounding neighborhoods should be incorporated at trail access points • Historic marker or art installation for 1901 municipal limits

width where grades allow and create small programming opportunities in between • One medium-sized recreation programming opportunity exists on city-owned land northwest of Roxboro St. It is recommended that a portion of this land be utilized for parking, but additional programming may be feasible, although an overhead electric transmission line may restrict activities • The Avondale Trailhead could create an opportunity for a medium-sized programming opportunity

• Art installation near crossing plaza / gateway at

• Natural surface trail should take advantage of right-of-way

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4 Mural art on Foster St Durham, NC

88

IMPLEMENTATION


N

“Among cities with no particular recreational appeal, those that have preserved their past continue to enjoy tourism. Those that haven’t receive almost no tourism at all. Tourism simply doesn’t go to a city that has lost its soul.” -Arthur Frommer

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OVERVIEW The implementation chapter gives details on how to move from the master planning phase of the project into design, construction and beyond. Additional information is included on corridor preparation, a planning-level cost estimate and considerations for integrating recreational programming into the trail and associated public spaces. An operations and maintenance strategy is also included that outlines a framework for responsibilities post construction. Finally, needed revisions to local land use policies and regulations and housing and equity implementation strategies are summarized in order to achieve long-term recommendations outlined in this plan. A description of the work involved and a lead agency are given for each component.

»»Design »»Corridor Preparation »»Cost Estimate »»Programming Strategy »»Operations and Maintenance Strategy »»Update Policies and Regulations / Equity Implementation Strategies Secure Funding / Refine Cost Estimate

Update Policies & Regs / Housing & Equity Implementation Strategies

Design the Line Prepare the Corridor Pt 1

Pt2

Establish Programming

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 YEAR 1

IMPLEMENTATION TIMELINE 90

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 YEAR 2


IMPLEMENTATION

OVERVIEW AND INITIAL STEPS DESIGN THE LINE

The Durham Belt Line Master Plan creates a framework for the next phase of the project. Moving forward into design means creating the construction drawings and estimates, continuing meaningful public engagement, and developing a strategy for the reuse or recycling of the rail and track material. Detailed design of connections to neighborhoods and trailhead locations would also be part of the next phase of design.

Lead: Durham General Services Department

s

Construct

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 YEAR 3

CONSTRUCTION DRAWINGS AND ESTIMATES

In order to create finalized construction drawings, this phase will include a refinement of the alignment of the trail, cross-sections and connections recommended in the Master Plan. Construction drawings and detailed cost estimates should be the product of the effort.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

Additional public engagement should also occur along with detailed design and selection of materials. Involvement of the community in public space improvements (parks, artistic elements, landscaping, interpretive strategy) along the trail should be advanced during the design phase of the trail or as separate processes. In addition, this phase could produce a benefactor program for the purchase of amenities and naming opportunities for spaces to initiate private fundraising efforts.

RAIL REUSE/RECYCLING STRATEGY

This step includes the assessment of the existing track and ties and a strategy for rehabilitation, reuse or recycling of material. On a typical mile of track, there are over 2,500 supporting rail ties. With each of these ties weighing approximately 175 pounds, it is estimated that there are approximately 480 tons of railroad ties, over 4 miles worth of steel railroad track, and a variety of other materials (i.e., turnouts, joint bars, tie plates) on the corridor. There are opportunities for recycling of material into new uses such as landscaping, retaining walls, and art installations, as well as the capability for ties to be used as fuel at biomass power generation plants. Railroad ties coated in creosote are not intended for use in landscaping and should not be used along the trail. While some of the infrastructure may be preserved or repurposed, the majority will still need to be removed. Potential uses for railroad infrastructure at road crossings and in the bed of the road should be developed as a part of this strategy. The preference is for the material that will not be upcycled to be rehabilitated and be put into secondary rail lines, depending on the condition. Retail prices vary widely for used railroad track. Following this step, the trail can then take advantage of ballast that has been regraded to a smooth finish by the selected contractor. Applicable resources: Manual for Railway Engineering (American Railway Engineering Manual and Maintenance of Way Association) Salvaging Material (Rails-to-Trails Conservancy)

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PREPARE THE CORRIDOR

Increasing awareness of and interaction with the future Durham Belt Line Trail should be the focus of corridor preparation activities that take place before or concurrent with the design phase.

Walking Tours: Leading walking tours in the summer and fall of 2018 can be a way to educate citizens about the future trail and can help increase engagement during the design phase.

»»Lead: Durham Open Space

and Trails Commission Durham Parks Foundation

Signage: “Future Durham Belt Line Trail” signs at key cross streets can help advertise the trail to future residents and businesses and can build momentum prior to construction. These signs could explain the source of funding that has been identified so far (e.g., the TIGER Grant that funded the Master Plan) and/or acknowledge the Conservation Funds work in acquiring the corridor.

»»Lead: Durham Transportation

&General Services Departments

Ecological Inventory: Prior to or during the design phase of the project, an inventory of champion trees, existing intact natural communities, and invasive species occurrences should be conducted in order to help refine planting recommendations and invasive species removal activities. Coordination with a nearby middle or high school is suggested to get young people involved in the trail and to integrate with STEM curriculum.

»»Lead: Academic Partner,

Non-Profit, or Consultant

Invasive Species Removal: Portions of the corridor are overgrown with bamboo, English ivy, Japanese honeysuckle, and other invasive species. Beginning to mobilize volunteer groups to help remove these species can build community and help citizens become invested in the trail. These same groups may be interested in adopting parts of the trail after construction.

Neighborhood Outreach: Additional targeted outreach to neighborhoods and businesses adjacent to the corridor will be necessary to ensure the final design is responsive to local needs. This step will also be key to accomplishing equity goals set forth in the plan. Coordination between city departments, local churches and civic organizations will be necessary to attempt to market homelessness services and programs. Informing residents about home retention and affordable housing programs will help prevent displacement in the long-term. See Housing and Equity Strategies on page 112 for more information.

»»Lead: Durham Community

Development Department

»»Lead: Durham General Services Department

2017-18 Fiscal Year so far 1,541 VOLUNTEERS 816 TREES PLANTED 47,611 LBS OF TRASH COLLECTED Keep Durham Beautiful 92

Community Engagement Keep Durham Beautiful planted over 120 trees in the Old North Durham and Cleveland Holloway Neighborhoods in 2018. Numerous volunteer and non-profit opportunities exist to help prepare the corridor for the future trail.


IMPLEMENTATION

INITIAL STEPS

SECURE FUNDING

It is anticipated that the Durham Belt Line Trail Master Plan will be funded through a variety of federal, state and local sources. The trail cost estimate on page 98-99 is divided into four parts. The most probable funding sources are discussed in this section.

FEDERAL

FHWA publishes a list of Pedestrian and Bicycle Funding Opportunities which should be reviewed for potential eligibility for these projects under U.S. Department of Transportation surface transportation funding programs. The following programs offer the most promising federal funding opportunities:

»»Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Program »»Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program »»Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) Leveraging federal funds for design and construction of the trail has obvious benefits, however these funds may impose additional design, review or submittal requirements that could impact project implementation. Careful consideration should be given to implications of pursuing Federal funds versus other state or local methods.

STATE

Other federal programs include:*

»»ATI »»TIFIA »»HSIP »»RTP

»»NHPP »»STBG »»FTA »»PLAN

*For acronym definitions and a complete list and descriptions of the programs that provide federal funding options for bicycle and pedestrian projects see: www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/ bicycle_pedestrian/funding/funding_ opportunities.cfm

State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP): The Durham Belt Line Trail is already included in the 2018-2027 STIP. The STIP is the primary method for allocating state and federal transportation funds. For projects like the Belt Line, as of July 1, state funds cannot be used to match federally funded projects. The table below shows funding currently included in the STIP. Spot Safety Program: Provides low-cost safety improvements for intersections and state maintained roads. The program targets hazardous locations for low-cost safety solutions such as intersection upgrades, improved warning and regulatory signage, and traffic signals. The maximum allowable contribution of SPOT funds per project is $250K. Other State funding opportunities exist including the NC Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF), Community Development Block Grant funds (CDBG), Clean Water Management Trust Fund (CWMTF), Safe Routes to School Program and health-related grants. 2018 2018-2027 STATE TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM STIP ID #EB-5904

Programmed Funds

2020 TOTAL

PRELIMINARY ENGINEERING

RIGHT-OF-WAY

CONSTRUCTION

Local Funds

$150 K

--

$930 K

$2.5 M

Transportation Alternatives Program

$600 K

$7.8 M

$120 K

$6.4 M

--

--

$2.7 M

$2.7 M

$750 K

$7.8 M

$3.75 M

$11.6 M

Other Funds Total

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LOCAL

Many state and federal sources of funding require a local funding match. Traditional local funding sources include allocations from the general fund and capital improvements funds. Cities throughout North Carolina are augmenting federal and state transportation funds by utilizing local funds for the construction of trails. Some components of the trail and public space improvements (i.e., parks, bioswales, plantings) may need to be paid for entirely by local funds, grants and/or through public-private partnerships. Non-traditional local funding sources include funding campaigns, corporate donations, public-private partnerships and/or implementing a value capture program.

SPONSORSHIPS AND FUNDRAISING

A variety of opportunities exist for participation and fundraising. Naming opportunities for individual sites or amenities as well as a contribution fund for the overall trail could be established. A recognition program could be established to permanently and prominently acknowledge donors. Names on bricks or pavers, placards at key points, or plaza sponsorships by adjacent businesses could be opportunities for fund raising. Purchasing sections of rail or art made out of sections of rail could be a way to advertise the trail as well as help to bring a piece of industrial past in to the homes and businesses of Durham.

Pursuing a Synthetic Tax Increment Financing (TIF) program, a new Municipal Services District or a modification of the existing Downtown Business Improvement District are potential avenues of capturing the value of adjacent development. Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) are publicprivate partnerships in which property and business owners elect to make a collective contribution to the maintenance, development and promotion of the district. The idea behind Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is the infrastructure improvement will encourage private development, and result in an increase in property values. Therefore, TIF is designed to capture all tax revenues gained from increases in property value that are above the level before TIF is set.

»»

»»

Durham Downtown Business Improvement District A defined area in the downtown core within which businesses pay an additional tax or fee in order to fund improvements within the district’s boundaries.

94


IMPLEMENTATION

FUNDING STRATEGIES

VALUE CAPTURE

The Durham Belt Line Trail is envisioned to be a world-class linear park and local amenity that will provide substantial benefits to existing and future property owners. Studies show that urban parks and trails increase property values, rents, and demand for nearby space. Harnessing the value of the trail and leveraging future economic benefits for the construction of the trail may speed its completion, result in an increased number of amenities, and create a source of revenue which may allow the City to further environmental, affordable housing and equity goals.

$8.3 million

$3.5 million

$0.95

$0.87

million

million

DURHAM SINGLE FAMILY AVERAGE

DURHAM COSTCO

NINTH STREET DUPLEXES

LAKEVIEW MIXED USE

ANNUAL TAX YIELD ON 100 ACRES* The assumption behind tax yield can vary greatly between development types. The analysis shows that encouraging multi-story mixed use development and a variety of housing types could help activate the corridor and provide lasting value that could be captured to help fund the trail. downtown-bid

Rail Trail, Existing

Greenway Trail, Existing Street Trail, Existing

Street Trail, Planned

Future Durham Beltline Property Roadway ROW

D-O LRT Alignment

Link St (Innovation District)

*100 acres is the estimate of land in proximity to the trail where development or redevelopment could occur.This example shows the difference in tax yield productivity between hypothetical land uses based on Durham examples. Tax values per acre calculated by Urban3, tax yield based on a combined tax rate of $1.3465 per $100 in value.

Parks

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Local Funding Options Many greenway projects are funded using a combination of local, state and federal funds.

Federal funding programs typically require a local match of 20%.

GENERAL FUND

Durham’s General Fund is the major operating fund of the city. It is used to account for all financial resources not accounted for in another fund.

»»This funding method would utilize PROS

CONS

This local match can be made up of a variety of sources. While not exhaustive, the following summaries give definitions, pros, cons and examples of some potential local funding options.

96

EXAMPLE OR PRECEDENT

existing funds via the annual budgeting process. Durham’s budget has prioritized spending on transportation and parks in the recent past.

»»

A potential drawback would be an uncertain timeline for completion.

The FY 2017-2018 budget includes over $3 million for sidewalk repairs, parks and recreation trails, and $6.6 million for street resurfacing. The FY 2018-2019 budget include $2.39M for the Durham Belt Line.


IMPLEMENTATION

FUNDING STRATEGIES

VALUE CAPTURE

Value capture is a tool to finance infrastructure development through generated value. BIDs and TIFs are common tools used for this purpose.

PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP / SPONSORSHIP Portions of the Master Plan can be used to develop marketing material to be used to pursue grants, discuss sponsorships, and potential partnerships with for-profit businesses. Partnerships can also include sale or lease of excess right-of-way or tenant space along the trail.

»»The formation of a non-profit

»»Funds collected are used to directly PROS

benefit those property owners and businesses who are paying. TIFs typically do not count towards a Municipality’s debt limit.

»»

PROS

»»This option is dependent on private CONS

EXAMPLE OR PRECEDENT

investment and external economic factors. It is impossible to obtain the support of all those who are being assessed.

»»

Downtown Durham’s Business Improvement District established in 2012 collects 7 cents for every $100 of assessed value and is administered through Downtown Durham Inc.

organization to oversee fundraising, donations and sponsorships has been successful in similar projects. A non-profit (i.e., Friends of the DBL) creates extra capacity for coordinating art installations, programming, augmenting city maintenance and organizing volunteers and events.

»»

CONS

Significant personnel resources are needed to develop marketing material to pursue grants or sponsorships, and to facilitate potential partnerships with for-profit businesses.

EXAMPLE OR PRECEDENT

Action Greensboro is a 5013C non-profit organization that has raised $10 million in private sector funds raised rivaling $15 million in public funding for that trail from local bonds, state and federal funding.

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PRELIMINARY COST ESTIMATE

The cost estimate for the trail is divided into four components.

These components are categorized according to eligibility for funding. This page outlines the cost of constructing the main “Durham Belt Line Trail” and “Trail Essentials” that achieve the goals outlined in this plan. These items are eligible for transportation funds. On the page opposite, “Other Items” that could be included as add-ons to enhance the trail are listed in addition to “Park Amenities.” These items could be budgeted for separately and built at the outset or constructed with future phases of the trail when funding becomes available. Many of these items will likely be funded through non-transportation sources including state programs, grants, local, and/or private funding sources. The estimate that is shown is a planning level opinion of cost and does not include future inflation or reconcile the next phase of the project which entails a detailed site design and bidding process.

DURHAM BELT LINE - $15.1M DURHAM BELT LINE TRAIL

Main components of building the trail, including:

»»Grading & Demolition »»Survey, Traffic Control, & Mobilization »»Trail Material »»At-Grade Crossings »»Bridges and Structures

$8.9 million

TRAIL ESSENTIALS

Items central to meeting trail objectives:

»»Pedestrian-Scale Lighting* »»Benches and Furnishings »»Wayfinding »»Planting and Landscaping »»Restrooms and Bike Parking »»Crossing Plazas »»Key Neighborhood Connections

$6.2

98

million

*Lighting was included for the length of the trail.


IMPLEMENTATION

PRELIMINARY COST ESTIMATE

RELATED PROJECTS - $14.5M OTHER ITEMS

Other connections and trail enhancements

»»Connections with future

development** »»Avondale Connector and Trailhead** »»Street Upgrades** »»Bioswales** »»1% for Art**

$3.9 million

**Opportunities for public/ private partnerships and/or leveraging non-transportation funding resources

PARK AMENITIES

Packaged features that could be budgeted for and phased as future park improvements and programming opportunities

$10.6

»»Urban Park** »»Peace/Greenleaf Street »»Innovation Plaza and Pocket Park** Rail Forest** »»Additional Facilities and Programming** »»City Place Plaza** »»Overlooks** »»Roxboro Trailhead**

million

This Opinion of Probable Cost represents a planning-level estimate based on engineering judgment and recent construction prices. This information is subject to change based on revisions to site design, building program, and other project related modifications. DURHAM BELT LINE Trail Master Plan |

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$2,000 $3,000 $3,000 $800,000 $69,250 $500,000 $1,500 $250 $3,000 $125 $246,000 $5,000 $75,000 $20,000 $0.5 $1,200 Subtotal Contingency (20%) Construction Estimate Design Estimate (12%) + NCDOT Review (10% of Design) Construction Administration / Testing (20%)

Urban Park (1) Innovation Park (II) City Place Plaza(II) Strayhorn Spring Nature Park (IV) Roxboro Trailhead (IV) Peace Street Park (IV) Add’l Facilities & Programming

UNIT COST*

UNITS

QUANTITY

BASE TRAIL ESTIMATE

PARK AMENITIES

1.15 0.32 0.28 1.84 1.15 0.69

ACR $3,484,000 ACR $2,175,000 ACR $2,175,000 ACR $650,000 ACR $650,000 ACR $650,000 Varies Subtotal Design (12%) & Construction Administration (20%) PARK AMENITIES ESTIMATE

$20,000 $18,000 $30,000 $800,000 $69,250 $500,000 $180,000 $40,000 $30,000 $850,000 $246,000 $25,000 $75,000 $40,000 $5,000 $9,600 $5.6 Million $1.1 Million $6.7 Million $880,000 $1.3 Million $8.9 Million

OTHER ITEMS Bioswales Connections with future development Macon Street Improvements Avondale Connector and Trailhead

47,520

SF

20

AMOUNT

UNIT COST

UNITS

TRAIL ESSENTIALS ESTIMATE

1% for Art

$540,000 $360,000 $40,000 $750,000 $490,000 $700,000 $40,000 $40,000 $10,000 $4,000 $460,000 $16,200 $300,000 $210,000 $4.7 Million $1.5 Million $6.2 Million

$950,400

Varies

$255,000

Varies Varies

$475,706 $1,080,500 $1,811,486 $883,803 $300,000

Subtotal Design (12%) & Construction Administration (20%) Varies OTHER ITEMS ESTIMATE

$3.9 Million

$4,000,000 $700,000 $600,000 $1,200,000 $750,000 $450,000 $300,000 $8,000,000 $2,560,000 $10.5 Million

*Unit cost based on level of landscaping, hardscaping and facilities anticipated in each park. Level I is the most expensive and Level IV is the least.

100

QUANTITY

AMOUNT

UNIT COST

ACR ACR 3 1 1 1 120 160 10 6800 1 5 1 2 10,000 8

$407,300

EA $180,000 EA $72,000 ACR $20,000 Varies 70 EA $7,000 100 EA $7,000 16 EA $2,500 8 EA $5,000 10 EA $1,000 8 EA $500 2 EA $230,000 3 EA $5,400 3 EA $100,000 Varies Subtotal Design (12%) & Construction Administration (20%)

AMOUNT

10.0 6.0 EA EA EA EA LF SY EA SF EA EA EA EA LF EA

$535,100

3 5 2

UNIT COST

Temp. Seeding and Mulching Perm. Seeding, Mulching, & Fertilizer Concrete Approach Ramp Bridge #1 - Chapel Hill Rd Bridge #2 - Trinity Decking & Retrofit Bridge #3 - Strayhorn Boardwalk Boardwalk Decking (concrete) Approach Slabs Walls Drainage & Erosion Control Thermoplastic / High Visibility Crossing Hawk Signal w/ Push Button Raised Crossing Centerline 4" Thermoplastic

Cost includes ABC Stone, Asphalt, Binder, Concrete Shoulder, Geo-Grid, Undercut Excavation, Fill, and Natural Surface

Brick Paver Crossing Plaza Stamped/Painted Concrete Plaza Multi-purpose Green Plantings Total Lighting - Urban Segment Lighting - Neighborhood Segment Benches Charging Stations / Benches Wayfinding/Signage (not plaza) Doggy Stations Restrooms / Water Fountains Bike Parking / Repair Overlooks Key Neighborhood Connections

UNITS

Section 2 (Washington St to Greenleaf St), Typical 12’ with 8’ Natural Surface

1 $1,500,000 $1,500,000 1 $250,000 $250,000 Divided Into Sections

QUANTITY

Section 1 (Chapel Hill St to Washington St), Typical 20’ or 12’/10’ Separated Path

EA EA

TRAIL ESSENTIALS

AMOUNT

Grading & Demolition Surveying, Traffic Control & Mobilization Trail Surface

UNITS

QUANTITY

BELT LINE TRAIL BASE COSTS

This Opinion of Probable Cost represents a planninglevel estimate based on engineering judgment and recent construction prices.This information is subject to change based on revisions to site design, building program, and other project related modifications.


IMPLEMENTATION

PRELIMINARY COST ESTIMATE

FUNDING TARGETS

The figures below detail the targeted funding mix for the Durham Belt Line as a whole and the for each of the primary components that are outlined in the Cost Estimate on the following pages. As shown, federal funds which require a local match are targeted for the right-of-way and trail infrastructure. The amount of local funds and private funds increases for items such as park amenities and other items where federal funds may be less available such as art and green infrastructure. These costs can be pursued through local funding as well as grants and private funding sources. The proportions shown are targets and can vary substantially based on available funds, matching requirements, and other variables in design and construction.

TARGET FUNDING SOURCES ALL COMPONENTS

20% 36%

Private 18%

84% 80%

Local 35%

RIGHT-OF-WAY 5%

15%

Federal/State 47%

80%

10%

7%

4% 30%

40%

30% 60%

TRAIL ESSENTIALS

56%

PARK AMENITIES

63%

TRAIL COMPONENTS

BELT LINE TRAIL

OTHER ITEMS

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PROGRAMMING STRATEGY

Goose Creek Trail (Future)

Avondale Dr Trailhead Peace St Roxboro St Mangum St Underpass

PROGRAMMING OPPORTUNITIES

Glendale Ave Strayhorn Springs

LARGE 40,000 Square Feet +

Washington St Ellerbe Creek Trail

Dacian Ave

Trinity Ave

MEDIUM ~20,000 Square Feet

Corporation St Link St Fernway St Morgan St

SMALL ~10,000 Square Feet or Less Opportunity Size

Existing Feature

GANTRY TRESTLE OVERLOOK

102

Chapel Hill St Bridge & Overlook To American Tobacco Trail

AREA

DESCRIPTION

19

Avondale Trailhead

18

Peace Connector Park

17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Trail plaza and programmable space east of Roxboro St Mangum St Underpass Trail plaza at Glendale Ave Strayhorn Springs Area between North St and Glendale Ave Programmable space and plaza at Washington St Programmable space north of Dacian Ave Programmable space S of the intersection of Ellerbe Creek Trail Overlook at Ellerbe Creek Wetland Park Programmable space and overlook between Corporation St and Trinity Ave Trail Plaza and Programmable Space N of Corporation St Innovation Parking Deck Wall Trail Plaza and Programmable Space north of Link St Gantry and Programmable Space south of Link St Trail Plaza at Fernway Ave Trail Plaza at Morgan St City-owned Land Chapel Hill St to Morgan St Chapel Hill St Bridge and Overlook


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HISTORY HUB, URBAN ECOLOGY CENTER OR NATURE PARK

COMMUNITY EVENT AND GATHERING SPACE

The following graphic summarizes 19 areas available along the trail for public art, recreation, historic features, programming and gathering spaces according to their area size. Larger areas can potentially accommodate multiple small programming opportunities or could be used for activities that require more open space.

TRAILHEAD RESTROOMS

SPACE FOR ARTS, EVENTS AND RECREATION

COMMUNITY GARDEN

SKATE SPOT

NATURE EDUCATION AND PLAY

FRAGRANT/POLLINATOR GARDEN

DOG PARK

COMMUNITY EVENT SPACE

WATER OR NATURE FEATURE WITH SEATING

SPRAYGROUND

ALL-PLAY EQUIPMENT

PLAYGROUND

URBAN CLIMBING BOULDERING

MULTI-USE GREEN

INTERSECTION MINI PLAZA

HISTORICAL MARKER OR INTERPRETIVE SIGNAGE

HAMMOCK PARK

INTERACTIVE SCULPTURE: MUSICAL TOUCH PLAY

LIGHT ART

ART INSTALLATION / GATEWAY FEATURE

POCKET SPRAYGROUND

PARKLET OR SMALL PLAY FEATURE

IMPLEMENTATION

PROGRAMMING STRATEGY BEST

most feasible and appropriate location

BETTER

other possible location


OPERATIONS STRATEGY The operations of signature trails and trail facilities across the country follow several models, with some managed by a single public agency or private entity, others by multiple agencies, and many through public-private partnerships. A parks and recreation department may operate a trail as part of a larger greenway or parks system if in a single agency model. Yet, most of the facilities highlighted in the Precedents section are owned by their local jurisdiction with support from both multiple agencies and a non-profit advocacy organization. Based on the current organization of the City of Durham and the vision for the trail, it is recommended that a multiple agency model is pursued in the near-term and a transition to a public-private partnership occurs in the long-term. Current trail maintenance responsibilities need to be clarified to accomplish the multiple agency operations and maintenance model (note the To Be Determined tasks in the table to the right). In the long-term public-private partnership model, a non-profit advocacy organization—foundation, conservancy, or similar—could be funded through a mix of private and public sources (see Funding). A non-profit organization of this type could assume the responsibilities of many of the tasks listed in the table to the right, depending on its structure and capacities. A small staff of ambassadors/maintenance personnel and a director/coordinator could be charged with routine upkeep, safety/hospitality, and programming. As the trail owner, the City of Durham, through its appropriate departments, would handle more involved and long-term maintenance activities of the trail itself and amenities, as well as heavy landscaping work requiring heavy equipment and expertise. Extra volunteer and seasonal staff organized through the City could also supplement the non-profit’s activities for peak seasons and special events. Users of the Durham Belt Line Trail will be encouraged to abide by the same rules of conduct and safety guidelines as other parks and trails with the City’s Parks and Recreation system. But while the same laws and policies will apply to the facility, the trail will serve as an important urban transportation corridor between activities in and around downtown. With lighting, trailside activities, and adjacent businesses, users will be apt to use the trail after dusk. The city should consider operating hours of 6 AM to 3 AM, similar to those used for the Greensboro Downtown Greenway and learned about by the Steering Committee on its visit to that facility. Greensboro takes this tact to allow night-time users and winter commuters still while giving local police the ability to assist any individuals encamped nearby to find shelter. This will help address safety concerns expressed by stakeholders and the public and existing occurrences at roadway overpasses and various locations near the rail line. Signage along the trail should also be posted with specific permitted and non-permitted uses. Violations for illegal activities should be enforced in accordance with appropriate local laws, but the City will need to anticipate the use of public space for commercial activities. With numerous plazas and programmable spaces being planned along the corridor, the City will need to develop a policy (or adjust current procedures) for the special/private use of public spaces in order to establish applications and rental rates for private events or commercial activities along the trail.

104

HOURS OF OPERATION

6AM TO 3AM


IMPLEMENTATION

SCHEDULE AND RESPONSIBILITIES

OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE

Restroom cleaning / repairs

Durham General Services, Park & Rec

Trail security

Durham Police Department

Volunteer coordination

Durham Parks & Rec

Trail security

Durham Police Department

Litter pick-up / trash removal

Durham Parks & Rec

Pavement sweeping / blowing

Durham Parks & Rec

Drainage channels/culverts

To Be Determined

Tree / shrub trimming

Durham Parks & Rec / General Services

Weed / invasive species control

Durham General Services - Landscape

Mowing / edging / leaf removal

Durham General Services – Landscape

Natural surface replenishment

To Be Determined

Pest management / treatment

To Be Determined

911 Call boxes

Durham Police Department

Access control (gates, bollards, fencing)

Durham General Services

Boardwalk maintenance / redecking

Durham General Services

Bridge inspection and maintenance

Durham General Services / To Be Determined

Graffiti removal

General Services / Neighborhood Improvement Services

Lighting maintenance on trails

Durham General Services

Lighting maintenance on streets

Duke Energy

Parking lots / trailheads

To Be Determined

Pavement markings

To Be Determined

Pavement sealing, pothole repair

Durham Parks & Rec

Pedestrian signals - intersections & crosswalks

Durham Transportation Department

Public art

Office of Economic and Workforce Development

Security cameras

Durham Transportation Department

Sign repair / replacement

Durham Parks & Rec / General Services / Transportation

Site furnishings

Durham General Services

Slope maintenance

Durham Parks & Rec

Tree removal (dangerous trees)

Durham General Services

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AS NEEDED

Durham Parks & Rec, Planning Department

ANNUALLY

Programming / permitting

SEASONAL

RESPONSIBILITY

MONTHLY

ACTIVITY

WEEKLY

DAILY

FREQUENCY


TRAIL-ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT The manner in which more intense development including multifamily, mixed use, office, and commercial development interacts with the Belt Line Trail is different than when the trail traverses primarily residential districts. However, the goals of enhancing opportunities for access, recreation, economic development, and safety remain the same. The sketch shows the possibilities for trailside development between Link and Corporation Streets and is representative of the form that should be encouraged. Below are select development and design standards that Durham could incorporate into existing regulations in order to accomplish more trail-oriented development in multifamily, mixed use and non-residential areas.

DESIGN GUIDELINES »»Encourage walkable, pedestrian-oriented development. »»Reduce parking requirements to facilitate re-use. »»Improve screening requirements. Uses typically found in rear yards associated with multifamily or

non-residential uses including, but not limited to, surface parking, utilities, unimproved stormwater detention, solid waste collection facilities, and service/delivery areas, should be screened from view with the use of plant material, fences/walls and/or access gates or doors.

»»Require a trailside transitional zone from private to public space, that is a minimum of ten (10) feet

and up to a maximum of thirty (30) feet. The open space created by the trailside transitional zone shall incorporate select amenities similar to those found on street frontage to activate this zone. Amenities may include but are not limited to seating, lighting, trash receptacles, trees and other plant material, bike parking and public art. In some cases all or a portion of the trailside transitional zone could be located in the trail right-of-way to facilitate public-private partnerships that results in publicly accessible amenities within the trail right-of-way. Adding the Belt Line Trail as a right-of-way typology with custom standards may be a way to accomplish the goals of this Plan.

»»New multifamily or non-residential development on sites with over a certain threshold of frontage (i.e. >

50-feet) should have at least one pedestrian connection to the trail and at least one commonly-accessible entrance that is oriented to the trail. Pedestrian connections described or shown in the Belt Line Trail Master Plan should be made by new development.

»»Building facades on lots directly adjacent to the trail, should have a minimum percentage of transparency on the ground level facade. The facade of parking structures adjacent to the trail and at cross-access points, shall have one of the following elements: ground level retail or office uses occupying at least 25% of the facades adjacent to the trail or public right-of-way. A vertical live plant wall, wall art/mural, or water feature can be utilized if retail or office is not feasible.

»»In the Design District, encourage structures on trail-adjacent lots exceeding a height threshold (i.e. 30-45 feet) to establish step backs from the trail similar to those required along street frontages.

»»On vacant and underutilized properties currently zoned industrial, encourage two- to four-story neighborhood scale mixed use development with a variety of housing types.

»»Lights shall be located a minimum distance of three feet from the edge of the paved trail surface. Light standards and fixtures shall complement those on the trail. Light fixtures shall be full cut-off and additional house-side shields shall be used adjacent to residential uses.

»»Encourage Low Impact Development (LID) techniques including rain gardens (small collection basins), vegetated swales, permeable paving, engineered soil sections, and rooftop gardens (green roofs) to be incorporated in new development.

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IMPLEMENTATION

URBAN INFILL AND REDEVELOPMENT

Reduce setbacks and/ or build-to lines to help frame public spaces along the trail

Trail-oriented development Source: National Association of Realtors

Transparent fenestration, balconies and amenity areas located near the trail can help activate the trail all hours of the day

Active edges with amenities should be encouraged with new development in the trailside transitional zone

Incentives are a tool to facilitate desired development. Incentives for development along the trail could include: • reduced parking requirements • lot width reductions • housing type flexibility • encroachment allowances • right-of-way abandonment/sales • density bonuses DURHAM BELT LINE Trail Master Plan |

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The Belt Line existing land use analysis identified approximately 100 acres of underutilized land adjacent or in close proximity to the corridor. The sketch illustrates a context-sensitive infill development concept for underutilized parcels east of Washington Street north and south of the trail. Text amendments to applicable sections of existing ordinances are a way to achieve the goals of providing housing and economic development opportunities while activating the trail edge. Changes to current regulations should be targeted at enabling the types of development depicted in the proposed concepts and encouraging trail-oriented development. Recommended adjustments to existing regulations for residential uses that would help activate areas along the trail are highlighted below.

AMENDMENTS FOR CONSIDERATION »»Allow for more housing types near the trail. »»Allow residential development in all districts adjacent to the trail as a

way to activate spaces and to enhance public safety, by having “eyes on the trail” throughout the day. Greensboro’s allowance for residential in non-residential districts along the Downtown Trail is an example of how allowing residential uses can help stimulate redevelopment along an urban trail. The allowance could be tied to an affordability requirement (i.e. 10-15% of units). Modifications to buffer requirements between districts may be necessary to accomplish safety goals.

»»Consider allowing duplexes, cluster development, bungalow courts,

pocket neighborhoods, tiny house communities, and/or townhomes in zoning classifications of RU-5, RU-5(2), RU-M and/or IL to allow flexibility on underutilized lots with dimensional constraints.

»»For attached housing products, encourage compatibility with existing residential by requiring the inclusion of details from residential structures, or former residential structures, within the context area.

»»Reduce parking requirements.

The minimum required parking for trailside development in the RU Districts could be reduced to up to 50% of the required Parking Rate due to potential for non-motorized trips.

»»Reduce setbacks on lots directly adjacent to the trail and at cross-access

points. Small setbacks are meant to help bring new development closer to the trail and provide flexibility to allow for redevelopment along the trail. This reinforces goals of safety. Specifying the dimensions of a required street yard along the Belt Line Trail would accomplish this.

»»Use landscaping to delineate public/private space while maintaining

visual connection. Fencing and shrub plant material should not exceed 42 inches in height to accomplish this goal. Individual single-family homes, not part of a planned development, may desire increased privacy and are exempt from this requirement.

»»Adjust density bonuses to encourage affordable units as part of infill development on smaller sites at a scale in keeping with adjacent neighborhoods (see recommendations on page 112 for specifics).

108


IMPLEMENTATION

RESIDENTIAL INFILL STRATEGIES

Greenwood Avenue Cottages, developed by The Cottage Company Source: Ross Chapin Architects (designer)

Increase diversity in housing types such as: pocket neighborhoods, townhomes and smaller-scale multifamily units near the trail

Allow residential development in all districts adjacent to the trail as a way to activate spaces and to enhance public safety, by having “eyes on the trail” throughout the day

Implementation will require updates to some of the City’s planning and development documents including the Durham Unified Development Ordinance (UDO). Primary goals include: • reducing barriers to infill (residential and non-residential) • increasing diversity in housing types • reducing setback requirements • addressing building orientation, parking location, access, and other elements DURHAM BELT LINE Trail Master Plan |

109


HOUSING AND EQUITY The implementation strategies below build on the high-level recommendations included in the Housing and Equity recommendations in Chapter 3 and identify time-frame, responsible parties and partnerships.

IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES »»Reduce barriers to residential infill and “Missing Middle” housing types.

Adjusting setbacks, parking, and/or lot size requirements and/or allowing a greater variety of housing types as specified on page 108 could increase housing choices. Time frame: Near-term (1-2 years) Responsible Parties: Planning Department

»» »»

»»Preserve existing affordable rental housing near the corridor.

This could include new programs or utilizing existing programs to help preserve affordable rental housing proximal to the Durham Belt Line and/or future connections. Programs could target existing affordable rentals and offer additional tax breaks or other subsidies in exchange for continued affordability. Time frame: Near-term (1-2 years) Responsible Parties: Department of Community Development

»» »»

»»Support neighborhood scale affordable housing. Encouraging infill developments that take advantage

of the Affordable Housing Bonus specified in Section 6.6 of the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) is a potential vehicle for increasing housing options along the trail. This bonus provides an incentive for incorporating affordable units into smaller developments at a scale in keeping with adjacent neighborhoods. The incentive allows a density bonus of one additional unit for each affordable unit constructed. For example if a site is a 1-acre site, zoned RU-5(2), and maximum density is 8 units per acres, additional units are allowed for every affordable unit included. The City should monitor the effectiveness of the bonus allowance strategy and modify as needed. Coordination with private developers and neighborhood groups may be needed to customize the policy to encourage that incentives are attractive enough to result in dispersed affordable units while resulting in quality design that fits within the existing urban fabric. Time frame: Mid-term (2-3 years)

»» »»Responsible Parties: Department of Community Development & Planning Department

»»Develop a partnership with other agencies and purchase property for affordable housing in the

vicinity of the corridor. Lessons learned from the Atlanta BeltLine include the importance of controlling

Affordable housing in Davidson, NC Source: Town of Davidson (www.ci.davidson.nc.us)

110

Side by Side Duplex Source: Opticos Design, Inc.

Encouraging affordable units in small scale developments may be needed to increase housing options near the trail.


IMPLEMENTATION land in advance of construction in order to achieve affordable housing goals. The area around and east of the Belt Line Trail could be the focus of a pilot project that could be expanded to other neighborhoods close to downtown that are experiencing similar increases in property values. Time frame: Near-term (1-2 years)

»» »»Responsible Parties: Department of Community Development

»»Perform further study and outreach in the Avondale Drive Area.

The eastern end of the project area is the most under-served part of the study area with regards to open space access. Efforts should address context-sensitive redevelopment and locate a future urban trailhead with recreational programming to meet the needs of nearby residents. Time frame: Mid-term (2-3 years) Responsible Parties: Transportation, Parks and Recreation Department & Planning Department

»» »»

»»Determine equitable development guidelines and metrics using the

Belt Line Trail as a pilot. Early in the design process, establish guidelines for future public realm improvement projects. Process and engagement milestones could be identified as well as metrics related to usage, crime, obesity and health, neighborhood stabilization and affordable housing. Time frame: Short-term (1-2 years) Responsible Parties: Equitable Development Task Force

»» »»

»»Conduct a broader land disposition and equitable development study.

The City should consider the viability of utilizing city-owned parcels, land trades and/or targeting large single-owner parcels for redevelopment with a specific focus on equitable development. In particular, mid-20th century developments with large surface parking lots, single use areas, and inflexible building types are good candidates. Such parcels exist north of I-85 and east and south of the study area. Durham has an opportunity to work pro-actively to include equitable measures such as improving access to housing, transportation, and open space as a component of future development in these areas. Time frame: Mid-term (2-3 years) Responsible Parties: Department of Community Development & General Services

»» »»

POTENTIAL PARTNERS

HOUSING AND EQUITY »»Affordable housing

developers Market-rate developers Community financial institutions University, hospital, and corporate partners Property owners Neighborhood and community groups Non-profits and other resource agencies

»» »» »» »» »» »»

Durham Housing Authority NC Housing Coalition Durham Habitat for Humanity Self Help Credit Union State Employees Credit Union DHIC, Inc Durham CAN (Congregations Associations and Neighborhoods)

Missing Middle Transect Source: Opticos Design, Inc.

DURHAM BELT LINE Trail Master Plan |

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5

112

DESIGN PALETTE


Details of the Belt Line Trail and associated public spaces will be determined through additional work. However, during the course of developing this Master Plan and through the study and outreach that was conducted, recommendations for hardscape, materials, furnishings, lighting, interpretive elements and plantings were compiled to help guide future phases of the design process.

606 Trail Chicago, IL

DURHAM BELT LINE Trail Master Plan |

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HARDSCAPE and MATERIALS

114


DESIGN

PALETTE

APPLICATION and USE

Guiding principles for the trail should inform selection, application, and use of materials.

NEED AND FUNCTION

»»Accommodate a variety of users and high levels of traffic

»»Emphasize safety for trail users through

identification of use; delineation between pedestrians, bicycles, and vehicles

»»Considerations for maintenance, permeability and infiltration

LOCATION AND VISIBILITY

»»Used to direct traffic at intersections, through public spaces, and for off-site connections

»»Distinguish uses between public and private

spaces, emphasize at-grade crossings, support high-use areas, and separate vehicles, pedestrians, and bicycles

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FURNISHINGS

116


DESIGN

PALETTE

APPLICATION and USE

Guiding principles for the trail should inform selection, application, and use of trailside furnishings.

NEED AND FUNCTION

»»Use of local artists and materials can integrate

the story of the neighborhood and build pride in community spaces

»»Accommodate a variety of users of all ages and abilities

»»Support the need for rest and relaxation, social

connections, visibility, storage, and maintenance

»»Provide options to enjoy the activities happening along the trail

LOCATION AND VISIBILITY

»»Furnishings will be located in areas of high use and at established distances along the trail

»»Crossing plazas, programming areas and transition areas to new development are candidate locations

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LIGHTING

118


DESIGN

PALETTE

APPLICATION and USE

Guiding principles for the trail should inform selection, application, and use of lighting.

EGRESS AND SAFETY

»»Promote safety and security along the trail and between public/private spaces

»»Support visibility and wayfinding along the trail and at intersections of pedestrian and vehicle traffic

»»Provide lighting sensitive to existing neighborhoods

and the landscape that enables the use of space at varied times of day and seasons

SUSTAINABILITY AND BRAND

»»Reduce energy demand and support dark sky

preservation and other environmental initiatives

»»Emphasize potential historical and contemporary

aspects of Durham’s evolving urban fabric via a custom or semi-custom fixture DURHAM BELT LINE Trail Master Plan |

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INTERPRETIVE STRATEGY Trails form natural classrooms that are safe for exploring natural, cultural, and historic attributes of the city. We can think of the Belt Line as a necklace of unique beads with different sizes and shapes. The objective creating an interpretive strategy is to bring the significance of each bead into focus. A full interpretive strategy is recommended to be developed following this Master Plan to refine the themes and methods of interpretation for the trail. Several different strategies can be employed to connect trail users with Durham’s unique and rich history of places along the Belt Line and provide fodder for the curiosities of trail users young and old.

»»Invite people to see and touch natural, historic and cultural elements »»Incorporate landmarks and architectural features »»Develop collaborative strategies with trail stakeholders to find stories »»Dress up blank walls with greenery, art, and opportunities for interaction and contemplation

STRATEGIES

»»Market and promote the Belt Line as an experience

120

Minuteman Bikeway Gateway | Cambridge, MA Source: Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Source: www.habitathorticulture.com

GATEWAY FEATURES

“ACTIVE” WALLS

Incorporate inviting locations and meeting points for people accessing the trail. These areas are appropriate for more in-depth signage, area maps, lighting, statues, sculptures, viewpoints, architectural features and art. Landscaping and design elements are coordinated to identify edges and orient trail users.

Discourage the use of blank walls traditionally used for building sides and backs in favor of more active and interesting edges. Building frontages should incorporate transparency, landscaping, art, details and aesthetic features to increase visual appeal and interest.


DESIGN

PALETTE

ARCHITECTURAL ASSETS “Public art gives an opportunity to celebrate all of the unique neighborhoods that the Belt Line goes through.Through public art we can tell those unique stories.” - Story-kiosk Participant

ARTISTIC ELEMENTS

Incorporate reuse of materials and features in art, surfaces, and resting areas along the trail. These include seat walls, benches, decorative railings, fencing, bicycle parking, water fountains and sanitation resources. Use treatments to obscure unappealing loading areas, storage and utilities.

Dry Stone Tree Memorial | Ontario Canada Source: Eric Landman

Incorporate existing historic architectural elements into the experience on the trail. Trestles, a water tower, the overhead gantry, switching equipment, track, and crossing signals still exist to be renovated, repurposed into artistic features, or reused in the design of the Belt Line. Water Tank | Durham, NC Source: Piedmont and Western Railroad Club

TEXTURE AND DELINEATION Integrate texture and delineation into public spaces to allow for self-guided and historical walking toursand give clear direction to the individual taking the tour. The markings also provide awareness to others that they are crossing into an area or space of significance. These strategies can also be used to delineate public vs. private property without creating barriers to views or access.

Freedom Trail Route Markers | Boston, MA Source: drburtoni (Flickr)

TRAIL MOMENTS

Position “moments” along the trail to expose culture and history. In the example shown, all trail users cross intentional texture bookended by monuments in a way that piques curiosity while signifying a historical boundary. Opportunities exist to demarcate historical boundaries at the 1901 Municipal Limits, Residential Security (Redline) Maps, Historic Districts and Neighborhoods.

Mason Dixon Line Monument Great Allegheny Passage | Hyndman, PA

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PLANTINGS

Plant selections along the Belt Line can help to create an engaging and innovative public space. Plant material should also provide adequate shade and assist in the restoration of the Piedmont landscape through the use of natives, sustainable varietals, and pollinators.

APPROACH AND STRATEGY The planting approach includes plans for a transitional canopy and emphasizes regional plant typologies through the use of native plants and companion species. Shade trees will be key to making the trail an active space in all seasons. Native plants are more adaptable to the regional climate and support insect and animal populations. Sparing use of non-invasive ornamentals and specimens could occur in more formal green spaces. Plantings should help to define edges and spaces with color, texture, and scents. Plant groupings layered for shade will help keep soils moist for better growth. They will mark transitions from public to private spaces, provide screening, and support the character of spaces along the trail.

NATURAL HABITATS AND SYSTEMS

122

6

5

4

2

URBAN GARDEN

PIEDMONT FOREST

FOREST EDGE

TRADITIONAL MEADOW

Restoration of natural communities will be accomplished through the rehabilitation of historically relevant plant communities that celebrate Durham’s past and define its regional significance. Five distinct habitat types will be emphasized along the Belt Line: Urban Garden, Piedmont Forest, Meadow, Wet Meadow, and Riparian Edge. New plantings will be complemented by invasive species removal and environmental education. The following pages outline examples of plant selections for these five habitat types.


DESIGN 4

5

5

1

2

PALETTE

1 1

Six Four One

5

5

5

6

2 3

3

WET MEADOW

6

2

1

RIPARIAN EDGE

6

TRADITIONAL MEADOW

1

4

Acres of new parks to create an urban garden to gather, discover and escape Acres of restored forest, riparian area and meadow habitat Mile of bioswales to retain and improve stormwater ELEMENTS TO BE RESTORED

»»Pollinator Insects: »»Honey bees, native bees »»Butterfly species »»Plant Species: »»Native grasses and tree canopy »»Milkweed »»Animal Species: »»Bats »»Hummingbirds »»Amphibian breeding habitat

ELEMENTS TO BE REMOVED

»»Kudzu »»Eleagnus »»Mimosa »»Japanese honeysuckle »»English ivy

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URBAN GARDEN Elegan Plantain Lily

Flowering Dogwood Oak-Leaf Hydrangea

Bloody Cranesbill

Tulip Poplar 124

Virginia Sweetspire

URBAN GARDEN | PIEDMONT FOREST | TRADITIONAL MEADOW | WET MEADOW


DESIGN

PALETTE Redbud

Daylily

Red Maple

Overcup Oak Bluebeard

Border Forsythia

Purple Coneflower

| RIPARIAN EDGE

Swamp Azalea

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PIEDMONT FOREST Southern Magnolia

White Oak Arrowood Viburnum

Tenpetal

Sour Gum 126

Ebony Spleenwort

URBAN GARDEN | PIEDMONT FOREST | TRADITIONAL MEADOW | WET MEADOW


DESIGN

PALETTE

Eastern Red Cedar

American Beech American Holly

Long-Leaf Pine

Trailing Arbutus

Wrinkleleaf Goldenrod Deerberry

Tickseed | RIPARIAN EDGE

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TRADITIONAL MEADOW Indian Grass

Queen of the Prairie

Black-Eyed Susan Inland Sea Oats

Wild Lupines 128

URBAN GARDEN | PIEDMONT FOREST | TRADITIONAL MEADOW | WET MEADOW


DESIGN

PALETTE

Carex Sedge

Wavy Hair Grass Purple Small Reed

Yellow Yarrow ‘Golden’

Bluestem Fescue

Common White Yarrow Little Blue Stem

St. John’s Wort | RIPARIAN EDGE

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WET MEADOW

Bioswale Bioswale

Blue Star

Wetland

Swamp Sunflower 130

Grey’s Sedge

URBAN GARDEN | PIEDMONT FOREST | TRADITIONAL MEADOW | WET MEADOW


DESIGN

PALETTE

Natural Drainage System

Green Infrastructure

Dwarf Golden Variegated Sweet Flag

Rain garden | RIPARIAN EDGE

River Birch

Bioswale DURHAM BELT LINE Trail Master Plan |

131


RIPARIAN EDGE

Bald Cypress

Yaupon Holly

Summersweet

White Willow Sweet Azalea

Dwarf Fothergilla 132

Sycamore

URBAN GARDEN | PIEDMONT FOREST | TRADITIONAL MEADOW | WET MEADOW


DESIGN

PALETTE Cardinal Flower

Southern Blue Flag

Short Leaf Pine

Tussock Sedge Beautyberry

Rose Mallow

Joe Pye Weed Flower | RIPARIAN EDGE

DURHAM BELT LINE Trail Master Plan |

133


Profile for Stewart

Durham Belt Line Trail Master Plan  

Stewart worked with the City of Durham and the Conservation Fund to develop a multi-disciplinary master plan for a 1.75-mile trail and linea...

Durham Belt Line Trail Master Plan  

Stewart worked with the City of Durham and the Conservation Fund to develop a multi-disciplinary master plan for a 1.75-mile trail and linea...

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