Thursday, April 2, 2009

Greater Greenline

Earlier the week, the Shelby County Commission voted to allocate almost $600,000 to fund the Greater Memphis Greenline, a seven-mile section of former CSX rail line. Purchase of the property is coming from almost $5 million in grant funds from the Shelby Farms Park Conservancy and county money will go toward construction.

Eventually, Greater Memphis Greenline would like to develop 13 miles of abandoned railway that would stretch from Midtown to Cordova.

Before the commission vote, I talked to GMG head Bob Schreiber. Since then, I've received a Greater Memphis Greenline case statement done by a former Leadership Academy. The document cites increased property values, healthier lifestyles, decreased crime, better air quality, and attraction and retension of local employers as the benefits of greenlines.

"The National Park Service estimates that propertis on and around greenlines increase in value anywhere from 5 to 32 percent," reports the study. "To illustrate, the Nashville Greenway Commission noted an average $30,000 jump in the selling price for houses directly on their greenline."

The report goes onto say that greenlines might even reduce public expenditures by reducing the infrastructure costs associated with more developed areas. The study also talks about greenlines reduce sound pollution by at least 8 decibels and help area residents exercise more.

All in all, there really doesn't seem to be a downside. I know that GMG have been working on this project for quite some time and I just want to thank them for sticking with it. This is a good thing, and it wouldn't have happened without them.

1 comment:

gatesofmemphis said...

A great thing.

Perhaps it doesn't matter, but do you think the GMG isn't getting pushed aside by this? Is anyone from GMG on SFPC's board?