To the editor:
I have just received the second postcard from the folks at The ARTA.org, who are dedicated to the improvement of the cycling experience between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake. I can not join their crusade.
Further, I wish to express my dismay that they seem to feel that improving the conditions for cyclists is a zero sum game in which for cycling to improve the train between the two villages must be destroyed.
Let me be clear - I like the train.
It should continue and be extended to Tupper Lake. I would like nothing more than to be able to ride from Lake Placid to Tupper Lake, visit the Wild Center, and then take the train back.
If we could include food service, (as humble as hot dogs, chips and a Coke) on the train, so that the trip back at the dinner hour would not require an extreme "fast," then it could be an truly enjoyable family experience.
So, how can we provide for both camps to be winners? Why not choose the least expensive option? Repave and widen, where necessary, the shoulders of state Route 86 between the two villages.
It would cost only a fraction of the expense of ripping up the rails and putting down a zillions tons of stone dust (through the delicate wetlands, I might point out) to create the bike trail on the rail corridor. The result would be a smooth and safe bike trail.
Bikes have been sharing the road with autos since autos first appeared. It should not be necessary to create private woodland bike trails to satisfy the desire of cyclists to have an Adirondack experience. Let the train roll on. Stop the efforts to kill it. Let's join efforts to obtain the necessary funding for the improvement of Route 86.