Good Idea. But Oooof, The Logistics….

Columbia Rails To Trails Project May Be On Track
If you know The Vista, you’re sure to know the scene above..

A group of Columbia residents are starting to make some noise about transforming old downtown railroad tracks into nice walking and biking trails. Apparently, this is not a new idea as seems to have been around for a while. Further, our more progressive friends in Greenville, SC seem to have taken full advantage of the concept, as their former RR track is a big success.

Again, on the surface this sounds like a good idea. However, after a few minutes of logistical thought this may not be the best fit for Columbia at present. A few quick reasons: 1) We have the relatively new ‘Riverwalk’ that seems to be pretty successful, that a “Rail To Trail” project may dilute. 2) Columbia already has a problem managing a flagship venue, Finlay Park. As beautiful and useful as it is, Finlay Park has been an attractant for the homeless and sexual misconduct. I’m not sure former train tunnels and/or viaducts won’t procure the same. 3) Local Columbia, SC politics and government. Period (.).

Overall I think it’s a good idea, just tough one to implement. Whenever I park behind Blue Marlin and see the old tunnel, I always try to think of a creative use for it. I never even thought of the fact that it could connect downtown neighborhoods with foot traffic.

Take a look at the attached video. The finished product could be pretty cool.

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