HEALTHY TRAILS, HEALTHY PEOPLE
Five new trail projects selected for Parks & Trails NY assistance
Five additional New York communities have been selected to receive trail development assistance as part of Parks & Trails N ew York's Healthy Trails, Healthy People program. Healthy Trails, Healthy People, funded in part by a grant from the Healthy Heart Program of the NYS Department of Health, is aimed at helping New Yorkers develop more active communities and an enhanced quality of life through the creation of multi-use trails. Presently, Parks & Trails New York is working with 15 communities around the state.
Selected projects include:
- Delaware & Hudson Canal Trail, Town of Mamakating, Sullivan County
- Hoosic River Greenway, Village of Hoosick Falls, Rensselaer County
- Lakeville-Livonia Trail, Town of Livonia, Livingston County
- Ramapo River Greenway, Town of Ramapo, Rockland County
- St. Lawrence River Greenway Trails, Town of Waddington, St. Lawrence County
"The 28 applications we received confirm that there is an ever-growing interest in trail development in urban, suburban, and rural communities throughout the state. We were pleased to see that several applicants asked for assistance with preparation of community-wide trails plans. This demonstrates that people are thinking beyond just one trail and realizing the potential for a network of trails to be an integral element of community infrastructure," commented Parks & Trails New York Director of Programs and Policy Fran Gotcsik.
Call for workshop topics for 2007 Trails and Greenways Conference – September 28 and 29 in Rochester, NY
Parks & Trails New York will host its statewide trails and greenways conference, Friday, September 28 and Saturday, September 29, 2007, on the campus of Monroe Community College in Rochester. Contact Parks & Trails New York to suggest workshop topics or present a proposal for a talk or panel discussion.
Nominations sought for statewide Greenway and Trail Awards
Parks & Trails New York is seeking nominations for its 2007 Greenway and Community Trail Awards in the following categories:
- Public Leadership
- Volunteer Service
- Corporate Partnership
- Healthy Trails, Healthy People
- Outside the Box
Visit the Parks & Trails New York website for full award category descriptions and a list of 2005 winners. Nominations must be postmarked, e-mailed, or faxed to Parks & Trails New York by August 3, 2007. Awards will be presented at the Healthy Trails, Healthy Communities conference on September 28, 2007.
Healthy Trails, Healthy People projects making progress
The Rockaway Beach Branch Greenway Committee (RBBG), one of Parks & Trails New York’s Healthy Trails, Healthy People communities, was recently selected to receive assistance from the National Park Service(NPS) Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program and awarded a $5000 grant from Citizens for New York City’s Neighborhood Environmental Action Program (NEAP). NPS staff based in New York City will help RBBG develop the local community and government support needed to develop a 4-mile Greenway trail between Rego and Ozone Parks in the borough of Queens. RBBG will use the NEAP award to create promotional materials, such as a logo, power-point presentation, and brochures.
Delhi to become more walkable with $.7 million in enhancements funding
Residents of the Delaware County Village of Delhi will soon enjoy a more walkable community as a result of a recent transportation enhancements program award of $713,639. “I am elated at the success of this application,” commented Mayor David Truscott. “Not only will the funds allow us to extend our traditional sidewalk system, but it will also build a large piece of the River Walk Trail, connecting our school and recreation fields to the heart of the village business district along the banks of the Delaware River.”
In 2004, Parks & Trails New York selected Delhi’s River Walk as a Healthy Trails, Healthy People program project. Delhi’s enhancements funding application was aided by a Next Steps Report, prepared by Parks & Trails New York and based on feedback gathered at a public workshop held in the fall of 2004.
M&T Bank Supports 2007 Cycling the Erie Canal Bike Tour
Parks & Trails New York welcomes M&T Bank as the Champion Corporate Sponsor of the 2007 Cycling the Erie Canal bike tour. In supporting Cycling the Erie Canal, an eight-day ride along the beautiful and historic Erie Canal, M&T Bank is confirming its commitment to upstate communities. “We at M&T Bank are dedicated to the economic well-being and quality of life of the communities we serve,” said Allen Naples, Senior Vice President at the bank. “Cycling the Erie Canal brings tourism business to Erie Canalway communities and provides an opportunity for our customers and our employees to enjoy the beautiful countryside."
Bicyclists Bring Business! roundtables generate excitement about bicycle tourism
A series of free roundtables on the growing bicycle tourist market along the Canalway Trail generated lots of excitement and ideas from the more than 100 local business people, tourism professionals, elected officials, and interested citizens who attended the sessions, held in the spring and fall across the state.
The Bicyclists Bring Business! roundtables, organized by Parks & Trails New York, in partnership with the NYS Canal Corporation, focused on how to attract and profit from the ever-growing number of cycling tourists. Ideas generated at the roundtables ranged from installing signs about services available in each community to developing a B&B shuttle/limousine service to transport one-way cycling tourists. Read a summary of ideas that emerged during the roundtables.
Warren County Bikeway, linking Lake George and Glens Falls, Celebrates 30 years
The Village of Lake George is an all-season, upstate tourist attraction that offers many opportunities for recreation, including the 30-year-old Warren County Bikeway, a 10-mile paved path that connects Lake George to the City of Glens Falls. Established in 1976 at a time when there were very few multi-use trails anywhere in the country, the Warren County Bikeway was assembled from the old Delaware and Hudson rail line and the Hudson Valley trolley line.
Warren County Department of Parks and Recreation maintains the trail. According to Patrick Beland of the Warren County Parks and Recreation Department, who was instrumental in developing the trail, “Bit by bit the trail came together and eventually hooked up with the Glens Fall Feeder Canal. From property purchased from willing sellers and rights-of-way, we pieced it all together. We were also fortunate to receive federal funding and grants.” After 30 years of use, Beland's advice for those considering building a similar trail is “Be prepared for lots of people to use it. The development of the trail has resulted in the attraction and use by many people.”
The trail offers the opportunity to experience the Adirondack landscape - mature pine forests, dramatic rocky ledges, serene grassy openings, soothing creeks and stunning views of Lake George. Along the way, interpretive signs provided by the local historical association describe the area’s history during the French and Indian War and the American Revolution.
The trail’s surface is mostly paved, suitable for joggers, bicyclists and inline skaters. In a few places, the trail is on-road within clearly marked bicycle lanes.
An estimated 100,000 cyclists use the Warren County Bikeway each year. Counts conducted during peak summer traffic times have documented more than 200 cyclists per hour. For more information or to obtain a Warren County Bike Trail map, call 518-623-2877 or download map 1 and map 2.
Study looks at ways to improve safety of road and trail intersections
Parks & Trails New York concluded the first phase of its study of road and trail intersection safety by releasing a draft report, Road and Trail Intersection Safety: An examination of present practice, recommendations for future actions. The report presents design and policy recommendations for improving road and trail intersection safety, including additional public safety education for motorists, trail users, and law enforcement officials; changes or clarifications in crash reporting policies and Vehicle and Traffic Law as it applies to trails; and improvements in road and trail intersection design. As part of the study, funded by the NYS Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, Parks & Trails New York surveyed nearly 2,000 trail groups, highway superintendents, and government officials to learn more about existing road and trail intersection design and the occurrence and nature of crashes at road and trail intersections.
In the second phase of the study, Parks & Trails New York will gather feedback on the draft report and conduct field observations of selected road and trail intersections where survey data indicate that crashes have occurred or complaints have been received. In selected communities along the Erie Canalway Trail, Parks & Trails New York, in cooperation with the NYS Canal Corporation and County Traffic Safety Boards, will also implement a pilot safety education campaign aimed at motorists and trail users.
Guide presents tools for creating healthy infrastructure
The Initiative for Healthy Infrastructure (IHI) has produced a new guide, Planning and Policy Models for Pedestrian and Bicycle Friendly Communities in New York State. The document is intended to assist planners, policy makers, non-profit organizations, and municipal board members. It provides examples of subdivision regulations; zoning laws; and bicycle, pedestrian and safe routes to school policies that can be adopted by communities to support infrastructure that encourages people to walk and bicycle.
New York releases 2006 Open Space Plan
New York recently released the 2006 Open Space Conservation Plan which presents policy and program recommendations to guide protection of environmentally-sensitive lands and waters throughout the State. Updated every three years, the Plan outlines priority project areas that are eligible for State acquisition funding from the Environmental Protection Fund and other state, federal and local sources. Park and greenway projects are included as priority projects in a number of regions. The plan is also available at regional NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) offices.
Canalway Trail Users Count!
A dedicated group of volunteers spent many summer hours assisting Parks & Trails New York and the NYS Canal Corporation with a count of the number and type of users of the Canalway Trail within Oneida, Montgomery, and Herkimer counties. Data were collected during peak usage times on week days and weekends in August and early September at multiple locations in Utica, Schoharie Crossing, Fort Plain, Canajoharie, St. Johnsville, and Little Falls.
In this survey and a similar count conducted in Monroe County in 2005, the greatest percentage of trail users were bicyclists followed by walkers and then joggers. According to Carmella Mantello, Director of the New York State Canal Corporation, “Knowing the character and quantity of trail users is important in preserving the legacy of the Canalway Trail and providing a quality experience.” Reports of the 2005 and 2006 Canalway Trail Counts are available on the Parks & Trails New York website.