The name of the new greenway master plan – The Red Rock Ridge & Valley Trail System – was revealed last night to a standing room audience at the Birmingham Museum of Art’s 340-seat Steiner Auditorium. Its new website, designed and developed by FitzMartin, was also unveiled, enabling people from throughout the region and the country to study it in depth. The site is seen as an implementation tool as well, providing supporters of the plan with necessary information to help see it get constructed.
The plan details a 750-mile combined network of greenways, blueways, paths, and trails along existing roads. Freshwater Land Trust executive director Wendy Jackson said could cost as much as $200 million if fully constructed – and the cost would be spread out over several decades and the 29 cities the trails would go through. The plan is focused on six major trails; Cahaba River, Five Mile Creek, Jones Valley, Shades Creek, Village Creek, and Turkey Creek with additional feeder trails.The plan also provides suggestions for a greenway alongside the proposed Northern Beltline if built while not endorsing that particular project.
The Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham has agreed to incorporate the plan into its long range transportation improvement program, making all trails eligible for federal funds from the Surface Transportation Program and the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program. If you’re wanting to dive into the entire plan on paper – there’s a link to a PDF download on the site that promises it will be available on March 9.