Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Paving Mc Alpine Greenway

First, "word" circulated through the Charlotte Running community that the Park and Rec crew was thinking about paving the well known strip of dirt known as Mc Alpine Greenway.

Now, it looks like this "word" is actually going to come true. Between Sardis and Independence, we are going to get the nicest, thickest, blackest, hardest piece of asphalt that the county can afford.

So as long as we are adding this new piece of asphalt, I would like to make some other improvements. First, let's start with the parking.

If I am going to run on pavement, then why would I ever want to park my car on a gravel parking lot – even if it was free. Well, it isn't exactly free, I have to pay my taxes so in a way I am paying for it. But this is a whole other topic.

And, let's start opening the gates at 5 AM instead of 6. That would be a huge help so what if you have to let the guy off at 3pm instead of 5pm. I mean does the same guy that unlocks the gates also lock them.

Also so that I don't run into anyone, let's paint a double yellow stripe down the middle of this new piece of asphalt. Wait, I forgot. We need the path to be at least 8 feet wide. So we can accommodate people running and walking side by side. I am not going to touch the issue of baby joggers going side by side. That's too hot for me to handle.

Maybe we could get some glow in the dark mile post to help with the early and late evening runners. As I get older it is hard to read them in broad day light. I really need them to glow so that I can see them better.

Maybe some new porta jons along the course. I mean Mc Alpine is built on top of a sewer so how hard could it be to hook into it.

Then, there are the deer. We need some deer crossing signs. Mc Alpine might be the one place where the deer will actually run the people down. Do you think we need people crossing signs instead? Do deer understand English? Sorry, I digress.

Let's not forget the roosting owl on the back side of the 5k course. Maybe we can add some noise reduction devices so he doesn't hear our feet pounding on the payment.

Or the coyotes, they will probably need some type of shoes so they don't tear up their paws when crossing the greenway.

Personally, I would like to see some water stops added long the course. And, I am not talking about the lake. Ben is the only person that I know that has entered the lake and come out alive. The rest of us know better.

Just one more parting thought, is there any chance that we could get some tuff instead of asphalt. How cool would it be to run down from Sardis to Independence on blue or red tuff? Wouldn't it be cool or what.



Thoughts from the Cool Down Runner




Writing About Running said...

Some salient points Bill. Sad to hear they are paving McAlpine. Yall are always welcome up in Raleigh where Umstead is nice and wide with water fountains every few miles and no baby joggers!

Timothy said...

Bill, you make some good points, however paving the Greenway at McAlpine overall makes a lot of sense, AND can be a good thing for you Charlotte runners as well.

With all the other available trails to cover around McAlpine, there's worse things that could happen.

The pluses... you will never again have to worry about the the trail washing out again from a hard rain... you'll never have to worry about the frozen mud footprints that wreck havoc during the 'winter' months. On Miner's Runs... no one will ever have to worry about a miss step on that section of McAlpine. Clear sailing (and running) in all conditions will now be yours.

Also, from a budgetary angle, this is long overdue. The costs to continually maintain and repair the trail is staggering. Filling, grading, etc. every time there's damage to the trail. The Park can now reallocate those funds and make other much needed improvements (like the ones you noted - parking area, bathrooms, etc).

Finally, will the paving increase the amount of babyjoggers, strollers, dog walkers, etc? The Park hopes so (I would imagine). But I personally doubt you will see much change. Based on the location of the park in Charlotte, especially the area near the Margaret-Wallace end, coupled with the time of day that most Charlotte runners use the park, I doubt there will be much of an issues even if increase traffic is a result.

Just my two cents from my past experience of logging a few miles at McAlpine.

Cool Down said...


I totally understand where you are coming from, but I will miss not having to step over and round the rocks and roots that come with trails.

Cool Down Runner

Mark Hadley said...

I have mixed feeling abut it.

Down side: less soft surfaces to run on and Charlotte doesn't have that many. Also the length of time sections of the park may be closed while they pave it.

Up side: the stretch from Old Bell to Monroe Rd will be awesome for intervals and tempo runs, smooth, dry, flat, straight and measured. And as Tim said, no wash-outs, mud pits or quicksand when they add crushed gravel.