To Find Potential Public Spaces, Look Under Power Lines

In cities like Houston, officials are utilizing established transmission right of ways (ROWs) to provide walking and biking trails without the land acquisition challenges that typically confront urban areas looking to expand their open spaces.
January 7, 2014, 2pm PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Nufkin

"Urban real estate is an extremely valuable commodity, and if the land was not claimed for public recreational use years ago, it is likely to never happen," observes Will Kirby. "Residents place a very high value on having open spaces and recreational areas in cities, but typically are not willing to have a city spend exorbitant amounts in order to provide them."

"One major solution to this dilemma can be found in carved out corridors which are mostly ignored: power transmission line right of ways (ROWs). Today there are dozens of public walking and biking trails that follow transmission ROWs, but with proper guidance, awareness, and demonstrated successes there could be hundreds more for the public to enjoy."

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Published on Tuesday, January 7, 2014 in American Trails
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