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Rail trail advisory board member hosts open meetings

October 17, 2016
By JUSTIN A. LEVINE - Outdoors Writer ( , Lake Placid News

(Editor's note: This article has been corrected to reflect that the Adirondack Rail Trail Advisory Committee is not hosting open meetings; rather, the village of Saranac Lake representative to the committee, Rich Shapiro, will host the open meetings on his own. The News regrets the error.)


SARANAC LAKE - One member of the rail trail stakeholder group that has been meeting behind closed doors will host open meetings this week and next. The public is invited to attend.

Article Photos

Here are the railroad tracks — looking toward Lake Placid from state Route 86 in Saranac Lake.
(News photo — Andy Flynn)

Rich Shapiro, a village of Saranac Lake trustee and village representative to the committee, said in an email that "this meeting is not a discussion (or) debate about the merits of rail versus trail; it is to help develop the specific details for the implementation of the trail."

The Adirondack Rail Trail Advisory Committee has divided the trail into segments that fall within each of the towns and villages the trail will traverse. Shapiro will discuss the 2.3 miles that fall within the village of Saranac Lake from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Harrietstown Town Hall, and again on Tuesday, Oct. 25 at the same time and place.

"The plan is for the trail to be constructed of stone dust, which will be at least 10 feet wide and that the goal is for the trail, it's entry and exit points and all amenities along the trail to be accessible to people with disabilities," Shapiro said.

The agenda for the meeting includes main and secondary access points, snowmobile and emergency vehicle access points, road crossings and causeways, impact on adjacent homes, road crossings and historic features.

"Essentially any point or section that should be highlighted and addressed in some form or fashion along the trail corridor," Shapiro said.

The committee has held three closed meetings in an attempt to come up with a conceptual plan for the trail. State Department of Environmental Conservation spokesman David Winchell said in an interview last week that once the plan has been developed, it will be released for public comment.

There are about a dozen people on the committee, along with representatives from each town and village, as well as the DEC, state Department of Transportation, the state Adirondack Park Agency, the Olympic Regional Development Authority, the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism, Barkeater Trail Alliance, Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates and the Lake Placid Snowmobile Club.



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