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Trails in Controlled Access Highway Rights-of-Way

Responses from Transportation Enhancement Listserve, December 2004

photo: Trail bridge over and along I-280 freeway in Oakland, California
Trail bridge over and along I-280 freeway in Oakland, California

Does your State have any cases in which a controlled access highway has a trail within the highway right-of-way? This includes:

  • cases where there is no separation between the trail and the highway lanes
  • cases where there is separation between the trail and the highway lanes
  • fully controlled access highways (such as Interstates)
  • mostly controlled access highways

For example:

  • I-66 in Arlington VA, built as highway mitigation
  • I-90 bridge across Lake Washington in Seattle WA

-----Original Message-----
From: Patricia.R.FISHER@odot.state.or.us

I-205 in NE Portland OR has a separated path for several miles. Last year we completed a TE-funded bike/ped bridge over a major arterial so trail users would not have to cross at street level near a busy freeway offramp (before/after photos available if you want).

-----Original Message-----
From: Vaughn, Rodney

Trail along highway with separation between Hudson and Lander in Wyoming. Connects town with neighborhood. It's a controlled access highway with row fence.

-----Original Message-----
From: Doug Cotton [mailto:dcotton@dot.state.ny.us]

I am in Region 8, the Hudson Valley. Four such trails come to mind:

Route 9, Westchester County - short section of paved trail separated from limited access highway by concrete barrier; trail built to provide access over Croton River from Village of Ossining to Croton Rail Station as part of bridge replacement project; local residents have named trail "Crossining".

Hutchinson River Parkway - there are sections with horse trails on the highway ROW.

Bronx River Parkway, Westchester County (County owned limited access highway) - significant length completed; County working on filling in gaps and/or extending

Palisades Interstate Parkway - trail on PIP ROW under design

-----Original Message-----
From: Jackson-Grove, Amy

YES,

* Highway name or number - Interstate 384

* General location - from East Hartford to Manchester, Connecticut

* Interesting factoid if applicable - Trail is in the highway right of way but separated by the access control fencing

-----Original Message-----
From: Steven Beauvais [mailto:SBEAUVAIS@dot.state.ny.us]

In response to your 11/30/04 e-mail query about trails located within controlled access highway's right-of-way I offer you the following information. In the Rochester, New York area we have two paved multi-use trails within a controlled access highway's right-of-way. They are:

1. NY Route 104 between Bay Road and Salt Road in the Town of Webster, Monroe County. Webster is a suburban town located northeast of the City of Rochester, NY. The Route 104 Trail is 5.8 miles long and runs parallel and separate from the Route 104 highway. A portion of the Route 104 Trail goes through North Ponds Park and the trail is maintained in that area by the Town of Webster. The "Ponds" were created as retention for highway drainage. NYSDOT maintains the Route 104 Trail outside of the Town - North Ponds Park area.

2. NY Route 390 between Route 104 and the Lake Ontario State Parkway is in the Town of Greece, Monroe County. Greece is a suburban town located northwest of the City of Rochester, NY. The Route 390 Trail is 4.7 miles long and runs parallel and separate from the Route 390 highway. Portions of the Route 390 Trail are within the highway ROW and other portions of the Trail are located on Town of Greece property such as within Basil Marella Park. The Town of Greece maintains all of the Route 390 Trail.

Please let me know if you'd like any additional information for these multi-use trails located within the controlled access highway's ROW.

-----Original Message-----
From: Calabrese, David

Michigan built a trail along I 275 in the Detroit area. The trail is within the limited access right of way on an independent alignment from the highway lanes. Generally there is not a fence between the highway lanes and the trail unless the trail got to "close" to the lanes. I am don't remember what criteria was used for "close."

The trail went the full length of I275 however due to lack of use, a portion of the southern end has been abandoned. It was built in the mid 70s as part of the initial construction of the Interstate.

-----Original Message-----
From: Lohrey, John

Alaska has a separated trail along the controlled access highway (Glenn Highway) between Anchorage and Eagle River, Alaska. The trail is very popular and I am not aware of any accident history. The highway and trail pass through the Fort Richardson army base. Let me know if you would like additional information.

-----Original Message-----
From: Douwes, Christopher

I just remembered that Colorado has one of the best trails along an Interstate in the whole world: I-70 in the Glenwood Canyon. I was on it several years ago. Lovely bike ride, most beautiful, and well built. Several articles have been written about it: see FHWA's Public Roads Magazine article from March/April 2004 at www.tfhrc.gov/pubrds/04mar/04.htm.

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