ARTA asks DOT to review of UMP

Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates (ARTA) today filed a formal request with New York’s Departments of Environmental Conservation and Transportation and the Adirondack Park Agency pressing for an immediate review of the 1995 management plan for the corridor, a review scheduled in the plan itself for each of 2001, 2006, and 2012 but never undertaken. The rail-to-trail conversion would connect the 90-mile stretch of travel corridor between Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, Beaver River, Big Moose and Old Forge. In its letter to the commissioners and Park Agency Executive Director, ARTA stated that “In making this request we are joining with over 11,000 citizens who have formally, under separate cover, petitioned the State for development of a recreation trail and the towns, villages, counties and other not-for-profit organizations,
all with standing in this matter and listed below, who have passed formal resolutions binding on their jurisdictions that call for either the immediate removal of the rails and construction of a recreation trail, or for a review of the Plan to re-evaluate the best uses of the travel corridor.”   ARTA’s letter continues: “Time is of the essence, as the review called for in the Plan is 13 years past-due, there are now numerous studies showing the lost economic benefits accruing the longer the corridor remains substantially unused, and the Plan no longer adequately addresses the environmental impacts of the “preferred alternative”, given the significant changes in the 18 years since the Plan was developed. A review of the Plan is a prerequisite to all economic development in the corridor, including, for example, our organization or others being able to seek funding for recreational development along the corridor. The 1995 Plan’s “preferred alternative” use of the corridor, i.e., restored regular train service, has not materialized, and the majority of the trackage – over 80 miles – has not had regular passenger or freight service for over 40 years. It is time to make use of this invaluable resource for the benefit of the communities along its path and for all of the citizens of the state.” 

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