12/29/13 — City plans on public input on greenways

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City plans on public input on greenways

By Matt Caulder
Published in News on December 29, 2013 1:50 AM

A Durham company has been chosen to work with the city to develop a greenway and bicycle transportation plan over the next few months with an expected finish date next fall.

Alta/Greenways and the city are in the process of polishing up a deal, in the name of the Goldsboro Metropolitan Planning Organization, to map out greenway trails.

The plan will include suggestions from community stakeholders like Wayne Memorial Hospital and the Goldsboro Family YMCA as well as input from the public, Parks and Recreation Director Scott Barnard said.

"We'll do a boatload of public sessions," Barnard said. "We'll try to catch a cross-section of people similar to how we did Herman (Park and Center meetings) as well."

Barnard said the meetings will begin in January, will move around the city and will be offered at different times. The idea is not just to get ideas from those who are advocates for the project, but from the rest of the community, too.

"At first you'll get a whole lot of people who know they are interested, but then we want to get to the people who had no idea they were interested," Barnard said.

Barnard hopes to have enough of the main framework of the plan built on the feedback of the public sessions in time to catch the city and county budget cycles before rounding out the plan for the fall grant writing cycle.

"The reason for pulling that original framework is we want to get the low-hanging fruit if you will," Barnard said. "Those big projects we know are the main four or five."

Barnard said he is confident the plan will reflect that the Stoney Creek corridor makes the most sense for a greenway based on availability of city land and existing trails.

With one section of greenway paved in Stoney Creek Park and three more on the way through grants, Barnard said the people in Goldsboro will get to see what a greenway can be while officials plan the rest of the system.

The sections going in will finish out Stoney Creek Park and pave a section of greenway behind the hospital and Wayne Community College.

The company chosen for the project is the product of a merger between Alta and Greenways Inc., which worked on the state's Mountains to Sea Trail.

"The three (companies) we interviewed were all awesome," Barnard said. "They worked on the Mountains to the Sea Trail 25 years ago so they are uniquely qualified for this. It was a huge feather in their cap, the experience they brought."