The legend below offers letters that key the different type trails and greenways mentioned in the descriptions. Existing conditions dictate the amount of improvements to be made in each facility and the associated costs. The previously defined greenways and trails are keyed in the following project schedule.


A. Greenway - a 12’-0” wide paved trail in asphalt (concrete is an option as well but more expensive) and travels in a dedicated easement that can be donated, purchased, an existing utility easement or a permanent easement granted by a property owner. The costs associated with the facility includes site work, paving, proper signs, site furnishings and pavement markings. Lighting can be included as well if the sponsor so desires. Trails along the Cahaba River or Shades Creek are examples of this type facility identified in the plan. Landscaping varies from simple grassing to wooded areas if adjacent to green space. Within the flood plain of waterways are good locations considering other types of development should not occur and the greenway can act as vegetated buffer that protects water quality.

B. Greenway – same as above but 8-10’ wide. These facilities occur when space does not allow for the larger facility.

C. Rail-to-Trail Greenway – rail beds make ideal 12-0” wide greenways. The level change is gradual and ideal for riding and walking. They usually cost less to develop since the needed site work was done with the original rail work. They also follow populated areas and city centers providing excellent connectivity. C has all the components that A includes. The CSX Greenway identified in the plan along Five Mile Creek is an example of this type facility.

Street-Based Trails and Bicycle Routes

D. Bike lanes with Existing Pavement – This category includes streets and roadways where the existing pavement width is sufficient to accommodate the addition of bike lanes through new pavement markings and signage only, no additional paving is necessary. The routes identified in the plan along Ruffner Road, a popular cycling venue, would be an example of this type of facility.

E. Bike Lanes with Sidewalks – This category includes the addition of new facilities for bicyclist, with a dedicated bike lane, and pedestrians, with a sidewalk. Also, signage and pavement markings identifying the route are included.

F. Bike Lanes, Sidewalks and Intersection Treatments - This would include all in E as well as intersection treatments (signage, pavement markings, medians and lights, or a combination of any of these) depending on vehicle speeds, traffic volumes, and roadway width.

G. Bike Lanes with New Paving at Shoulder – This category is similar to D, however includes paving the shoulder along a road that does not have adequate width to accommodate bicyclists. It includes all the elements of D.

H. Shared-lane markings (Sharrows) - These are located on low-volume neighborhood streets and would include sharrow pavement markings and signage to mark the route for shared access. It offers an affordable way to continue a connector.

I. Sidewalk with Sharrow – This category contains the same elements as H but includes the addition of a sidewalk on one side of the road, or both, if site conditions allow.

J. Road Diet, 4 to 3 Lanes – typically this type of facility reduces 4 lanes to 3 with a central turn lane. Research illustrates at traffic volumes up to 28,000 cars per day than the 4 lane road can be more efficient one lane in each direction and a center turn lane. Bike lanes and sidewalks can be added within the remaining available right of way. Signalization can be more fluid and fewer rear ending accidents occur with the turn lane.

Other Trails or Routes

K. Natural Surface Trails / Separate Path – this facility can be from 3’ to 10’ wide and occurs in environmentally sensitive areas where paving is not wanted or hard to access with machinery due to existing vegetation and/or topography. The Aqueduct Trail in Tarrant is an example of this type where the heavily wooded area dotted with limestone formations would not allow for heavy equipment to pass. Equestrian routes are also natural surface trails.

L. Blueways - Many of our rivers and creeks are perfect for canoeing activities. Canoe launches with the needed parking facilities are included in this trail type. Blueways have been identified along the Cahaba River and Five Mile Creek.