Federal Government Makes it Harder to Implement Rail Trails


By Charles Pekow

Cycling West - Cycling Utah Magazine logoIt could get harder to turn an abandoned railroad into a bike path. The Surface Transportation Board (STB) has proposed amending its rules to put a three-year cap on the negotiation period for a conversion, “absent extraordinary circumstances.” Current law allows an unlimited number of six-month delays to negotiate a deal.

STB is responding to a request from the National Association of Reversionary Property Owners, who complain of endless delays. But opponents say it can take longer to line up financing to build an interim or permanent trail, or to go through the required environmental or historic preservation reviews.

Under STB’s proposal, projects currently under review could get an additional six half-year extensions after their current one expires when the rule change becomes effective. Details: https://tinyurl.com/y8odk3z5.


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