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Finding your way to the Kingsport Greenbelt

Matthew Lane • Oct 8, 2017 at 8:00 PM

KINGSPORT — The Kingsport Greenbelt is a nine-mile walking and biking trail that stretches from one end of town to the other. For most people living here, finding and navigating the trail is fairly easy.

But for some, such as visitors to the Model City, the Greenbelt can be somewhat confusing.

Which is why the Parks and Recreation Department is planning to replace the signs along the Greenbelt with improved ones and add signs and kiosks which will better inform people about the rules and features of the trail.

Everywhere signs

Kitty Frazier, Parks and Recreation director, recently gave an update on the project to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen and presented conceptual images of what the new signs will look like.

— Main trailhead: The Greenbelt currently has these at the main entrances — behind PetSmart, at Cassel Drive and Stonebrook Place. These large signs are mounted in stone foundations.

— Secondary trailhead: These signs are similar to the main trailhead markers, but without the stone foundation. Frazier said these would likely be used at Greenbelt entrances which have parking lots, such as the Exchange Place and Riverfront Park.

— Kiosks: Large and small kiosks will accompany trailhead signs and include maps of and rules for the Greenbelt.

— Trailblazers: Directional signs will be located along streets that point motorists to trail entrances. One can currently be found at Stone Drive and Netherland Inn Road.

— Trail guides: Small signs at strategic places along the trail will inform walkers and bikers of the rules of the Greenbelt, distances to and from certain points and the locations of restrooms.

Other signs will include directional ones on street poles, mile markers along the trail and location signs on bridges letting walkers and bikers know what streets are nearby.

The plan moving forward

Frazier said the idea is to replace the signs in three phases. The first will cost $50,000 and is already included in this year’s budget. It would cover the cost of the kiosks, trailheads and overhead bridge signs.

Phase two would cost $100,000 and include additional kiosks, trailhead signs and trail guides. A final, $50,000 phase would fund the remainder of the signs. These two phases have not been included in the city’s budget.

In total, Frazier said the city is looking at about 100 new signs for the Greenbelt.

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