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Support for proposed trail on hold
by Debbie Lurie-Smith
Jan 02, 2014 | 1624 views | 0 0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The former CSX railroad bed runs through the James community, near several houses, including the home of Aubrey Newby, whose front yard borders the railroad’s right of way.
The former CSX railroad bed runs through the James community, near several houses, including the home of Aubrey Newby, whose front yard borders the railroad’s right of way.
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What was perhaps thought to be a formality for support of a bicycle and walking trail in Jones County turned out to be a contentious debate.

Commissioner Jonathan Pitts said the Central Georgia Rail to Trail initiative was brought to his attention at a PLAN breakfast, and he invited members of the Rail to Trail Association to the Dec. 17 workshop in order to learn more about it.

Macon native Doug Oetter said the non-profit was formed because of the creation of a Georgia Department of Transportation plan for the Central Georgia area. He explained that the GDOT must look at alternative transportation.

Oetter said the former CSX railroad line ran from Macon to Milledgeville, and that railroad bed is being proposed for use for the Rail to Trail project. He said a feasibility study has been done and shows the opportunities and obstacles for the project.

The speaker said a multipurpose trail would open up a lot of economic opportunities, and he pointed out that the Silver Comet Trail in Atlanta brings in $50 million in tourist dollars a year to businesses around the trail.

“Our aging populations are interested in the project because the trails are flat. There are literally 1,000 of these that have been completed across the U.S., and they are very successful,” he said.

For the full story, pick up a copy of this week's newspaper or subscribe to our e-Edition at http://ee.jcnews.com.
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