Sunday, September 27, 2015

Second Mile Ministry

A Vision for Change: Where the American Tobacco Trail meets Fayetteville Street near Pilot Street.

Priority # 1 is that this three phase project keep in mind Asset Based Community Development (ABCD). What and who are the resources in the neighborhood and how can they be mobilized?

I. An open parking lot for trail access along the Southern side of the American Tobacco Trail near the 2 mile marker and behind the Discount Mart (3011 Fayetteville Rd, Durham, NC 27707).

II. A Chick-Fil-A restaurant on the Southern side of the American Tobacco Trail at the intersection with Fayetteville Street. Next to the current bus stop. 

III. An Outdoor Amphitheater on the Northern side of the American Tobacco Trail near the 2 mile marker and the Blind Boy Fuller monument. There is a large grassy field that touches on the Fayetteville Street Elementary School property, facing the American Tobacco Trail where it forks with the Rocky Creek Trail. Elmira Park is nearby. 

Any or all of these projects would add value to the neighborhood and would be welcomed by many of the residents, local citizens, and those who utilize the American Tobacco Trail.

The current sense or mood of this block is one described as harried and hurried and I observe fast travel to and fro. Drivers fly by on Fayetteville Street. Walkers, runners, cyclists zoom by on the trail in a hurry to be North or South of this block. Folks are tight and tense. More so than they should be. This block is not as dangerous as the rest of the town thinks it is, yet in the questions that I receive on a daily basis it is among the most frequent.

"When is that part of the trail going to be safe?" is fielded second only to, "What do you (the Tobacco Trail Church), do when it rains?" I welcome the conversations that come with both these questions and yet they both leave me feeling weary. I cannot sit quietly and have no answer to either question. Let's change the questions and the mood.

What if we heard in 10 years, "Hey are you going down to mile two? Yeah, me too!"

What will it take to draw the Bull City back into the neighborhood, slow them down, invite them to stay a while?
This question should matter to city officials, NCCU, residents, interested non-profits, and future business owners. This is a highly traveled area of town and one with great social and economic importance.

I am prepared to dedicate the next decade to this project in South Durham.


Rev. George E. Linney, III
3312 Denada Path
Durham, NC 27707
Chick-Fil-A would be directly to the right or West of this photo.
Parking Lot down and to the right or West, 100 yards.
Outdoor Amphitheater down and to the left or East, 150-200 yards.