FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE TRAIL FEASIBILITY STUDY

 

Why is SALT working on a Trail Feasibility Study?

SALT’s mission has always been to sustain long term recovery. When SALT first arose, we helped with the rebuilding of homes and communities. Now, SALT has shifted its efforts toward long term recovery; community renewal and economic revitalization. This trail will connect communities and promote businesses in the County.

Won’t the trail create an increase in crime?

In a study done by the Rails to Trail Conservancy, it was found that “incidents of vandalism and burglary did not increase as a result of the trail.”

How will you prevent trespassers on private property?

Studies have shown that there is not an increase in trespassers on private property due to a trail. The Feasibility Study will research the best possible solutions and resolutions. Some solutions could be posting, fencing, natural barriers (eg. trees and shrubbery), and education.

Who will be responsible for cleaning trash off of the trail?

The identification of an agency or partnership of groups to maintain the trail will be a component of the Feasibility Study. It may be SALT, another entity or a Friends of the Trail group that forms. Ensuring there are adequate trash and recycling receptacles along the entire trail and regularly emptied will be a part of the maintenance plan that’s developed.

What will the path be made from? Dirt, gravel, stone, pavement, porous pavement?

This is another component of the Feasibility Study. Parts of the trail may be of dirt and some may be gravel, but that’s just an example. We will also be looking into abiding by the Americans with Disabilities Act for sections of the trail, particularly in villages and hamlets.

Will you use local companies to do the study or outsource?

We will issue a Request for Proposals later this spring and will be working with the Project Advisory Committee and Department of State on the selection process, but we will use as many local companies as possible. We are currently working with volunteer graduate students from the University at Albany.

Will there be transportation to the trail for people who can’t easily access the trail?

We will study this, including a possible partnership with the County’s public transportation department. We want people to have access to the trail and we understand that some community members don’t have readily available modes of transportation.

We want to avoid suburbanization. Will this trail bring in suburban development?

We hope this trail will bring in tourism and attract people to live in the County. Population in Schoharie County has decrease by 1,181 people, or 3.6% (second highest population loss in the state), from 2010-2014. We have empty homes that need new owners and businesses that need tourists. But we also greatly value our rural character, the importance of local agriculture and maintaining our “small town” nature. We do not want to encourage over development. We are committed to sustainable growth.

Will landowners be liable if a trail user gets hurt on their property?

No. According to the General Obligations Law Article 9, Title 1, a landowner will not be liable is a trail user gets hurt on the trail passing through their land.

How will you prevent people taking crops or vandalize land if a trail goes through farmland?

This is something that we will be studying thoroughly since agricultural land is prevalent near the Creek and an important aspect of the community.

Is it safe for trail users to pass through regions of the trail that is agricultural and use fertilizer?

We want to make sure everyone is protected, trail users and landowners. We will study this in the Feasibility Study.

How are you going to have horse riders, bikers, and hikers on one trail with no conflict?

We will study this in the Feasibility Study. Whether the solution is a wide trail, trail sections that horse riders are permitted to ride, trail sections that snowmobilers are permitted to ride and have at least 6 in of snow on pathway, etc. There are many options and our goal is to help facilitate the development of a plan that will include enhanced recreational opportunities for as many trail users as possible.

Will there be transportation to the trail for people who can’t easily access the trail?

We will study this, including a possible partnership with the County’s public transportation department. We want people to have access to the trail and we understand that some community members don’t have readily available modes of transportation.

The Creek is going to flood again, why are you building a trail that will be washed away?

We will be looking at alternative alignments for the trail and study various material which are better for flood prone region, whether it dirt, gravel, pavement. Mitigation will be a central component of the plan.

Isn’t the creek too shallow for boating?

We will study locations for boat launches along the Schoharie Creek. Boating may include canoes, kayaks, or row boats. Restrictions on boating will depend on rules set in place by other agents.

How do Snowmobilers fit into the Trail, since the grant specifies the trail has to be non-motorized?

The Feasibility Study will gather feedback about all possible uses for the trail, including motorize and non-motorized. Ultimately the Project Advisory committee will make decisions about which sections will be used for what purposes.

Will snowmobilers be able to keep their current trails?

The Feasibility Study will review every possible alternative so that the trail doesn’t infringe on current snowmobile trails or landowners that don’t want a trail through their backyard. But a trail might benefit snowmobilers since it would connect them to town for quick access to food, gas, and the town.

 

 

 

 

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