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Posts Tagged ‘South Hill Recreation Way’

By Krisy Gashler • Ithaca Journal, link to original post

When a new walking trail is proposed in a residential area, the idea is often greeted by at least a few nearby property owners who oppose it based on fears of vandalism, noise, or trespassing.

But based on a survey of Town of Ithaca property owners living adjacent to the town’s three major walking trails, those fears are largely unfounded.

The town’s Trails Committee presented the results of a survey this week, which shows that 81 percent of people who live next to the trails believe their presence “improved” or “much improved” the quality of their neighborhood. Twelve percent said the trails have no impact, 6 percent said they “worsened” and 1 percent said they “much worsened” the neighborhood.

“As we’re hoping to develop more trails in the future, we wanted to get a sense of how our existing trails were working,” committee chair and Town Board member Bill Goodman said. “A lot of times when people first hear about a trail, they think of the negative things right away, you know, invasion of privacy, noise, litter, and so we wanted to see if those fears were actually well founded.”

In May, the town mailed two-page questionnaires to all 137 property owners who live adjacent to the South Hill Recreation Way, East Ithaca Recreation Way, and Northeast Ithaca Recreation Way. Ninety-five people returned the questionnaires.

People who live near trails use them frequently according to the survey — 59 percent use them daily to four times a week and another 22 percent use them once or twice per week. Only three percent never use the trails.

Trails are used most often for walking (92 percent), bicycling (38 percent), running, and dog walking (both 27 percent).

The town asked people to rank various potential problems, unleashed pets, dog waste, litter, and noise, on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being “no problem at all” and 5 being “major problem.” The biggest problem was unleashed pets, with 19 percent of people ranking that 4 or 5, while 52 percent of responders said it was “no problem.”

Goodman said the Trails committee hopes its survey will help provide some context to the discussion when the town looks to expand or create new trails, such as a walking trail the town hopes eventually to put in on West Hill. There’s no defined pathway for a West Hill trail at this time, Goodman said.

The Northeast trail has existed since the late-1970s, the East Ithaca trail has been there since the 1980s, and the South Hill Recreation Way was completed in 1994, according to town Park Maintenance Manager Rich Schoch.

The town hosts an “adopt-a-trail” program, whereby individuals can volunteer to pick up litter or plant flowers near trail entrances, Schoch said.

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tyb-fl-cover1“Take Your Bike – Family Rides in the Finger Lakes & Genesee Valley Region” is now on sale for only $12.00 on-line only at www.footprintpress.com.

Use it to enjoy biking on rail-trails, former canal towpaths, dirt biking trails and former roads – all safe places to take your family for a bike ride. It’s also useful as a source of trails for running.

Trails included are:

Rides in Orleans, Genesee, & Wyoming Counties
1. Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge and Tonawanda Wildlife Management Area
2. Oak Orchard Wildlife Management Area
3. Genesee County Park – Outer Loop
4. Genesee County Park & Forest – Inner Loop
5. Groveland Secondary
6. Silver Lake Outlet
7. Letchworth State Park – Trout Pond Loop
Rides in Livingston & Monroe Counties
8. Letchworth State Park – Big Bend Loop
9. Genesee Valley Greenway – Portageville to Nunda
10. Genesee Valley Greenway – Cuylerville to Avon
11. Rattlesnake Hill – Bike Loop
12. Rattlesnake Hill – Linear Bike Trail
13. Genesee Valley Greenway – Scottsville
14. Mendon – Lehigh Valley Trail
Rides in Ontario County
15. Victor – Lehigh Valley Trail
16. Auburn Trail
17. Ontario Pathways Trail
18. Canadice Lake Trail
19. Harriet Hollister Spencer Memorial State Recreation Area – Sidewinder Trail
20. Lakeshore Park/Seneca Lake State Park
Rides in Yates, Wayne, & Seneca Counties
21. Middlesex Valley Rail Trail
22. Keuka Lake Outlet Trail
23. Canal Park Trailway
24. Sampson State Park – Lake Trail
Rides in Schuyler & Tompkins Counties
25. Finger Lakes National Forest
26. Sugar Hill State Reforestation Area
27. Queen Catharine Marsh
28. Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area
29. South Hill Recreation Way
30. East Ithaca Recreation Way
31. Dryden Lake Park Trail
Rides in Cayuga & Onondaga Counties
32. Bear Swamp State Forest – Short Loop
33. Bear Swamp State Forest – Long Loop
34. Auburn-Flemming Trail
35. Casey Park
36. Howland Island
37. Cayuga County Erie Canal Trail (Port Byron to Jordan)
38. Erie Canalway Trail (Jordan-Camillus)
39. Erie Canal Park
40. Charlie Major Nature Trail

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NIMBY (Not In My BackYard) lives loud and strong when it comes to building trails. Reading an Ithaca Journal article reminds me of the trials and tribulations Ontario Pathways went through to build their rail trail. Now the Ontario Pathways Trail is a gem of the community. The Caroline Trails and Natural Areas Committee should contact Ontario Pathways and learn from from their experience. Or maybe they need help from Parks & Trails New York.

The Caroline Trails and Natural Areas Committee is trying to build a rail trail on the old Lackawanna rail bed from the end of the South Hill Recreation Way in Ithaca, through Caroline, to Owego.

Read the full story here: Trail vote divides Caroline town board

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