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Are Rails With Trails Compatible with High-Speed Rail?

Jonathan Maus, Editor in Chief of BikePortland’s website recently interviewed Adventure Cycling’s Ginny Sullivan regarding the US Bike Route System.

Towards the end of the interview, Jonathan asked Ginny about how rails-with-trails factored into the discussion regarding high-speed rail, and whether RWT and high-speed rail are compatible.

Ginny referenced the article, “Trails and High-Speed Rail – Are They Compatible” by Alta Planning’s Mia Birk, which debunks most of the myths.  The  article concludes:

…that at a distance of 30 feet, a train moving at 90 mph does not create significant negative impacts on trail users. These results only confirm the previous conclusions of the Federal Railroad Administration which conducted its own test, using an even higher testing speed (150 mph). Bottom line: the presence of high speed rail is not a legitimate reason for objecting to a rail with trails project.

To see how well rails with trails are working already, see the latest rails-with-trails survey from California (November, 2009).

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