Economic Impact Assessment of the Silver Comet Trail

The Northwest Georgia Regional Commission has retained Alta Planninig+Design out of Charlotte, N.C., to do a major Economic Impact Assessment of the Silver Comet Trail in 2013. The EIA study will be phase one of a project, which will turn its attention to connectivity issues in phase two.

David Kenemer, a planner at the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission in Rome said that funding for the study is coming out of Georgia Department of transportation contract with the regional commission

“We’re looking at getting demographic informational, anything from where people are from, general age range, if we can we’ll want an education range and income range,” Kenemer said. “The other thing that we’re wanting to do is a cost/benefit analysis. We have this facility, what is it costing us and what are we getting as far as benefits from it,” Kenemer said.

The regional planner said that he’s been trying to get this study included in the annual scope of work for transportation issues across the 15-county region for several years.

Kenemer said he knows that there are a number of businesses across the trail that have directly benefited from the existence of the trail. “We’re wanting to prove what the asset is so that we can demonstrate that for other places in the area,” Kenemer said. “That would hopefully allow for the trail to be added on to. Long term, it would be nice to have a series of trails that connect to the Silver Comet all the way from Chattanooga to Atlanta and possibly even Birmingham.”

The Alta Planning+Design team specializes in bicycle, pedestrian and greenway trail projects. The firm will examine the Silver Comet all the way from Smyrna to the Georgia state line in Polk County.

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