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Trail in ports, military bases, other official sites

Old 12-12-19, 10:46 PM
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debade
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Trail in ports, military bases, other official sites

Hi,

We have a port in our town that is planning to extend their railroad network by 6 miles. I know they are concerned about people being on the property, the Patriot Act and cost to name a few things. So, there is a lot of pushback and maybe rightfully so.

Given this, I am interested if you have a port, military base (I know about Camp Pendleton) or some other official site in your town, is their accommodation for biking/walking. Perhaps a fenced off bike lane, a check-in procedure or something similar.

Thanks in advance for sharing
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Old 12-12-19, 10:52 PM
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We have a national guard base that has a massive network of unused gravel roads.
Its unused for a reason- arrest on site.
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Old 12-12-19, 11:58 PM
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Not quite sure what your concern is all about. Active Military installations are generally closed to civilians without official business.
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Old 12-13-19, 07:21 AM
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Bases with sensitive stuff were always closed, but many others were open before 9/11. Most civilian federal facilities now have strict perimeter security too. Naval Support Activity Annapolis is a lovely exception to the new norm. If you're ever in town, take a walk about Greenbury Pt.
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Old 12-13-19, 07:59 AM
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The United States Air Force Academy, here in Colorado Springs has a gorgeous dirt and gravel trail that closes periodically due to security concerns and other official business.
https://www.usafa.edu/visitors/hiking-biking-trails/
You can see some of it in the following video between :45 (sec) and 1:30, although it's during the dry, brown winter.
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Old 12-13-19, 08:12 AM
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Commercial port? It's more likely a Customs / Border Patrol / Jones Act issue rather than 'Patriot Act' type post-9/11 security, like you find on military bases.
Same kind of record keeping though, they need to know who's in the facility, and why / where they're going.

Also, if you're dealing with railroad/port facilities, it's also a safety thing, since there are a lot of things that can kill you if you're not paying attention. If you get hit by a train, or a crane drops something on you, the onus is on the facility operator, even if you were trespassing. So they'd rather keep everyone out who doesn't have a reason to be there.

I'm not sure what kind of 'pushback' the OP is talking about. Is the new rail line going through previously 'public' space?
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Old 12-13-19, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by debade View Post

...is their accommodation for biking/walking. Perhaps a fenced off bike lane, a check-in procedure or something similar.
When you say "accommodation for biking/walking"...do you mean by persons who are authorized legal entry onto the facility? Or, do you mean by the general public? As a military retiree, I can tell you that just about every base that I was ever stationed on does in fact facilitate bicycling on-road (and off-road sometimes), and walking/jogging. But, there are reasons the general public isn't allowed on the installation to use those facilities. To begin with, the installation's security forces are not manned to oversee the "guests" who don't normally have access to the installation. You can't just open the gates and let any and everyone in. You'll have all kinds of people poking around in areas they're not supposed to. And then there are safety and liability concerns. The facility's liability coverage only covers those who are authorized access. It really comes down to tax dollars. Those facilities are set up, and intended to support military/gov't activities...not as a National Park. It would cost more in tax dollars to make them accessible to the general public. But of course we don't want the general public poking around military installations.

Dan
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Old 12-13-19, 08:42 AM
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Western Nebraska and Eastern Wyoming is home to the 90th Missile Wing. Which...well, you ride gravel out there you'll come upon the silo sites which are anonymous looking barbed-wire fenced lots with a radio aerial and a tiny building sticking up, with a letter and a number on a sign e.g. "E-3". One missile silo per site, 10 silos per control bunker. 150 silos and another 15 control bunkers. with the Wikipedia list you can see what they look like on Google Earth.

All those silos are almost all built on gravel roads with a driveway, as out there, that is all there usually is, no money for much more. You can ride passed the sites., but you will have a fully armed Air Force security detachment appear to watch you get close and ride on. Don't ride on the driveway unless you want a meet-and-greet with the armed forces.


Of course, those are missile silos for you....which are sort-of-military-bases, but mostly empty land with scattered fenced lots surrounded by farm land.

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Old 12-13-19, 08:58 AM
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Camp Pendelton got more restrictive a few years ago (discretion of the base commander), but its still one of the most lax military bases when it comes to civilian access. Most other military bases and ports I know of are security conscious and wouldn't want anyone wandering around anywhere without proper approval. As mentioned above, wandering around a port would be dangerous when you consider all the big vehicles and containers in motion. And railroads generally prohibit use of their rail lines and service roads for similar reasons - big vehicles with limited visibility the can injury you quite badly. Find another place to ride.
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Old 12-13-19, 10:10 AM
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Also a military retiree here. I interpreted the OP's question as the railroad annexing extra land in an eminent domain scenario and the community surrounding the rail line still wants to use it for recreation. I don't think you will ever see military base/post/installation access ever return to pre-9/11 posture. With the recent shootings in Pearl Harbor and Pensacola, the military has enough internal security issues without having to open the gates to the public at large.

Good luck forcing the hand of a railroad to allow access for recreation. There are plenty of reasons (cost, security, safety, general apathy, cost again) for them to listen to the community politely, solicit your feedback, then tell you they can't do it. Because cost.
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Old 12-13-19, 03:02 PM
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Thanks for your replies so far. During my advocating, what I have learned is many people do not want to be first to entertain an idea. For example, when first looking at rail-WITH-trails, many rail companies rejected the concept of having bike/walking paths within feet of their active RR track. Today, you can find many of them. Some with fences for example and some without. But before the initial acceptance, the ones that did exist were ignored until it was leveraged by an advocating group. And while it is still a battle, at least it has expanded and there are examples.

In most states, bicycling on the freeway is outlawed. WA and OR permit it on most freeways. The same is true of of the Idaho Stop, which allows bicyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs and red traffic lights as stop signs. That rule is now expanding to other states. These examples could serve as examples for changes that might make sense in other communities. And for the advocates, they would have a track record to overcome the expected safety problems.

Red turn on red for motorists was legal in Canada long before the USA. The increase in gas cost drove another analysis in the USA and resulted in the change of the law we now have in the USA, much to do with the Canadian experience.

With all this in mind, I just want to make sure that there are no outliers that can be used as examples. I understand it is an uphill battle because one example maynot be enough and/or there is an impossible safety problem to overcome. But, I know the people here will not want to be the first to create a change. So, an example or two especially of a port might convince them that there is an approach that can overcome their safety concerns and offer a design concept.

Last edited by debade; 12-13-19 at 04:51 PM. Reason: grammer
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Old 12-13-19, 04:34 PM
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OK, I see. Getting the RR to build Bike / MUP as part of the design. Might be better to put that bug in the ear of the city / state planning committee or whoever is in charge of granting the land for the new rail line, to put the path in as part of the package for letting the RR build their new line there.

The Charlotte NC 'Lynx' light rail has bike paths alongside portions of the right-of-way, as part of it's design. But for an industrial, freight RR, it might be a big ask, unless it's going through an area that's already got bike paths.

The Elizabeth River Trail in Norfolk, VA skirts a number of maritime and rail installations, including Norfolk Southern RR's Coal Pier. Most of that trail, I believe, is on the little strips of city-owned easements between various private and commercial parcels.
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Old 12-13-19, 05:12 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. I think these will be too tame to share, unfortunately. I was hoping the Elizabeth trail went through the port as I see they are a sponsor but no such luck. If anything else comes to mind, please post. I appreciate your thoughts,
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