To the editor,
As Canadian tourists and trail project planners who have visited Lake Placid and Saranac Lake, we are disappointed that a true Rail with Trail is even being remotely challenged because this area is renowned for its high level of outdoor activities and opportunities.
We are planning to ride the Adirondack Scenic this year and trust that this will only result in lasting memories and a yearning to return to your beautiful region again and again.
The tourist train people are not trying to monopolize but want to share.
A parallel trail would offer the outdoor experience to locals and tourists alike. There is enough room for "... bicyclists, joggers, strollers, birders, athletes in training, handicapped persons, and snowmobilers ..." as well as railway passengers to partake in the treasures and robust activities of the Adirondacks.
A Rail with Trail is akin to a sidewalk or bike lane beside a road. It is inclusive and speaks of a global transportation vision that is not based on parochial interests.
Whether it be in Canada or the US, trail networks must be multi-purpose and open- access. Why rip up the track when rail service will return in the long run? An exclusive Rail to Trail concept will only complicate the process of reviving train service in the future.
Imagine railbikes traversing the railway in the short to medium term and passenger and freight trains traveling to Malone and Montreal once again in the future! We can't expect cheap oil and gas for much longer now, can we?
Trails Association, Quebec, Canada
Editor's note: This letter was a reply to a railto trail letter that was published in the Jan. 20, 2012 Lake Placid News