PEANUT LINE TRAIL FEASIBILITY STUDY

Background

The Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council (GBNRTC) completed Bike Buffalo Niagara: Regional Bike Master Plan in 2020. Informed by a robust community engagement process, this plan identified priority corridors around the region for trail development that would increase connectivity between existing trailways and community assets and amenities.

One such corridor that was identified as a priority connection is the Peanut Line in the Town of Amherst. Formerly a railroad ROW, the corridor is now owned by the Town of Amherst and is maintained for drainage easements. A trail along this corridor would serve as a crucial east-west connection that would fill in a gap between the existing Clarence Pathway trail system to the east, and the Ellicott Creek Trailway which leads to UB North Campus to the South and the Erie Canal Trailway to the north.

In the interest of exploring the potential for a future trail connection along the corridor, the Town of Amherst contacted GBNRTC to conduct a feasibility study for the Peanut Line. GBNRTC then contracted GObike Buffalo to perform a feasibility study of the Peanut Line Trail, which will identify technical requirements of building a trail, address community concerns, especially related to environmental and privacy considerations, summarize community input around trail amenities and design, and outline cost estimates for final design and construction.

This feasibility study sets the foundational groundwork necessary to pursue final design and engineering funding, as well as capital funding to construct the trail. This study will offer concept-level designs and examples of path cross sections. Additionally, the study will recommend intersection treatments where the trail would cross streets in the future. The Feasibility Study can then be used to apply for future grant funding to support the community’s vision for the trail.

 

 

Outcomes

At the end of this process, GObike will produce a public feasibility study that includes the following:

Overview of Existing Conditions

  • Demographic analysis of surrounding community
  • Opportunities and constraints of the trail corridor (ROW, easements, environmental impacts and opportunities, traffic, utilities, infrastructure etc.)

Summary of Community Vision

  • Resident vision for trail amenities, design, connectivity, uses
  • Resident concerns about trail development
  • Resident transportation preferences, behaviors, and desires

Trail Recommendations

  • Conceptual-level plan view of trail
  • Design recommendations for road crossings
  • Concept-level cross section designs of trail

Concept Level Cost Estimates

  • Preliminary cost estimate for future final design and engineering
  • Preliminary cost estimate for construction

 

Timeline

Existing Conditions Analysis – Winter/Spring 2024

Community Engagement – Spring/Summer 2024

Study Completed – Late Summer 2024

What is a feasibility study?

A Feasibility Study is an important first step in creating a new greenway or trail. It is a document that helps create a vision for the project, maps important data, opportunities, and barriers to building the trail. It often includes a summary of community input that is necessary to inform the trail design, so that the end result reflects the needs and wants of the community. The feasibility study includes concept-level cross-section designs of what the trail could look like, and map out potential routes for the trail, especially if there are potential barriers to a preferred route. Feasibility studies identify technical constraints as well, like environmental conditions, ownership, easements, privacy, traffic, and utilities. The Feasibility Study, once complete, becomes a tool for securing additional funding to move the project forward into final design, engineering, property access, and construction.

Learn More about the Trail Planning Process

Trail-Related Research:

Trails, especially those that are part of a well-connected regional network, bring many benefits to residents and visitors alike. Take a look at some of the research below that describes some of the economic, health, social, and recreational benefits of trail systems in the US.

How is this project funded?

This study is funded through the Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council and a grant from the New York State Department of State through NYS Assemblymember Karen McMahon (Assembly District 146).