Trails for the Twenty-first Century Second Edition: Planning, Design, and Management Manual for Multi-Use Trails / Edition 2

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Communities across the country are working to convert unused railway and canal corridors into trails for pedestrians, cyclists, horseback riders, and others, serving the needs of both recreationists and commuters alike. These multi-use trails can play a key role in improving livability, as they offer an innovative means of addressing sprawl, revitalizing urban areas, and reusing degraded lands.

Trails for the Twenty-First Century is a step-by-step guide to all aspects of the planning, design, and management of multi-use trails. Originally published in 1993, this completely revised and updated edition offers a wealth of new information including.

  • discussions of recent regulations and federal programs, including ADA and TEA-21
  • recently revised design standards from AASHTO
  • current research on topics ranging from trail surfacing to conflict resolution
  • information about designing and building trails in brownfields and other
  • environmentally troubled landscapes

Also included is a new introduction that describes the importance of rail-trails to the sustainable communities movement, and an expanded discussion of maintenance costs. Enhanced with a wealth of illustrations, Trails for the Twenty-First Century provides detailed guidance on topics such as: taking a physical inventory and assessment of a site; involving the public and meeting the needs of adjacent landowners; understanding and complying with existing legislation; designing, managing, and promoting a trail; and where to go for more information. It is the only comprehensive guidebook available for planners, landscape architects, local officials, and community activists interested in creating a multi-use trail.

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of the American Planning Association

"Nothing escaped the authors' attention, and with so much real-world information, Trails for the Twenty-first Century is easily the single most useful reference book for trail planners."
Audubon Naturalist News

"The information is given in a reassuring step-by-step manner that doesn't assume the reader has trail experience."
No date is mentioned for the first edition, but by 1999 it had sold out, and the authors<-->landscape planners and architects<-->took the opportunity to update the guide. They describe the entire process of creating a trail from start to finish, and managing it for the future. Among the changes are new regulations and designing for users of all types and people of abilities. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781559638197
  • Publisher: Island Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2001
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 11.00 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles A. Flink is president of Greenways, Inc. in Cary, North Carolina and an adjunct professor at North Carolina State University.

Kristine Olka is a planner with Greenways, Inc.

Robert M. Searns, AICP, is with Urban Edges, a consulting firm specializing in trail and greenway design based in Littleton, Colorado.

The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, based in Washington, D.C., is a national nonprofit membership organization that seeks to facilitate the conversion of abandoned rail corridors and connect open space into a nationwide network of public trails.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments and Sponsors
Introduction 1
Ch. 1 Getting Started 5
Your Trail and the Community 6
Site Considerations: Inventory and Assessment 14
Ch. 2 Planning and Public Involvement 30
Comprehensive Trail Planning 30
Developing a Plan: In-House Staff or Outside Contractor? 37
Public Involvement 39
Ch. 3 Designing Your Trail 51
Meeting the Needs of Different Users 52
Sub-grade, Sub-base, and Trail Surface 61
Designing Trails in Challenging Areas 75
Bridges and Railings for Multi-Use Trails 77
Tunnels 82
Road Crossings 84
Signs for Multi-Use Trails 88
Trail Support Facilities 93
Wildlife and Multi-Use Trails 102
Landscaping 105
Understanding the History of Your Trail 109
Making Your Trail Unique 112
Ch. 4 Building Your Trail 119
Creating an Implementation Plan 120
Strategies to Acquire Land 121
Compliance with Legislation and Permitting 123
Funding Sources for Trail Development 126
Successful Implementation: Public-Private Partnerships 134
Construction 135
Ch. 5 Managing and Maintaining Your Trail 139
Who Should Manage Your Multi-Use Trail? 140
Trail Management for User Safety 143
Maintaining Good Relations with Adjacent Landowners, Residents, and Businesses 150
Developing a Fee Structure 152
Joint Ventures within Your Multi-Use Trail Corridor 153
Protect Your Trail in the Face of Change 155
Developing a Comprehensive Budget and Management Plan 157
Ch. 6 Maximizing Your Trail's Potential 161
Promoting and Marketing Your Trail 162
Working with the Media 165
Publications 167
Using a Web Site to Market Your Trail 169
Citizen Support 169
Keeping Your Trail a Dynamic Entity 171
Glossary 175
Annotated Resource Directory 189
About the Authors 197
Index 199
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