The purchase of the Norfolk Southern Railway Atlantic & Yadkin Railroad corridor announced Friday, Nov. 8 by the City of Greensboro does much more than provide the missing piece of the Downtown Greenway, it also will allow the Atlantic & Yadkin Greenway (A&Y) to be connected to the Downtown Greenway.

Currently, the A&Y ends behind the Target Shopping Center on Lawndale Drive. This purchase will allow it to continue from there to link to the Downtown Greenway near Smith Street.

Connecting the A&Y to the Downtown Greenway connects the Downtown Greenway to all the trails north of the city including the Bicentennial Greenway.

Once the trails are built, people will be able to hike or bike from Summerfield, crossing over Lake Brandt, to downtown Greensboro, completely on the A&Y and Downtown Greenway.

The Bicentennial Greenway between Greensboro and High Point lacks a couple of miles of completion, but when it’s finished people will be able to walk or bike from High Point along the Bicentennial Greenway to the A&Y and then to the downtown Greensboro. If they chose they can loop the downtown on the Downtown Greenway and then head back the way they came and only have to deal with cars when they are crossing streets.

It will be a great amenity for Greensboro and for the area.

Greensboro City Councilmember Justin Outling said, “We do have an amazing trail system and this is a great opportunity to link up trails in our community and region, which I think are unique.”

This missing piece of the Downtown Greenway and the A&Y will make it possible to turn the greenways into viable ways to commute. The A&Y, for example, will link to the Latham Park Greenway, which goes past Cone Health, one of Greensboro’s largest employers.