To the editor:
Thank you for the entertaining and informative Year in Review supplement in your recent Lake Placid News issue. However, I must take note of the glaring omission in writer Shaun Kittle's rail/trail debate article (No. 3 in your 2013 top 10 stories), wherein Mr. Kittle only states that "rail advocates want to extend service throughout" the corridor. Writer Kittle makes no mention whatsoever in his article of our proposed plan, as clearly presented at all four Department of Environmental Conservation-Department of Transportation review hearings, to include a recreational trail connecting communities in and out of the north-south corridor.
This trail would not necessarily be parallel to the tracks due to the constraints of terrain, corridor width and remoteness, but rather it would utilize new or existing trails-spurs that would form a connection to major points of interest such as Long Lake, Blue Mountain Lake, Eagle Bay and Inlet, among others. With the help of Trails & Rails Action Committee (TRAC), detailed analysis of the terrain from Tupper Lake to Fish Creek was submitted to the DEC-DOT review hearings. That in-depth fieldwork included detailed drawings, measurements, GPS headings, track markers, any obstructions, etc., for every tenth of a mile within that span. This was all done as a start to help the state interact with the local communities to build this connecting trail, which was New York state's original goal in 1996 for its No. 6 option of the current unit management plan, but not ever fully implemented by the state.
This rails-WITH-trails option certainly would better serve all parties, both from a cost and feasibility standpoint. Assuming the DEC-DOT review hearings made this evident to all, we are therefore hopefully optimistic that the pending UMP decision will reflect this as the optimum choice going forward and become the focal point for all of us to start working together for a rails-with-trails solution.
Thank you for bringing this oversight to your readers' attention.
Wayne W. Tucker
Adirondack Scenic Railroad
Schenectady and Rainbow Lake