To the editor:
The former rail right of way between Lake Clear and Malone is in fact used as a power line right of way.
However, that in no way prevents its use as a trail.
MANY miles of rail trail share their right of way with power lines; it is even specifically discussed by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, on their website. See "air rights."
One perfect example is the segment of Erie Canal Trail near Lock 17 in Little Falls. A National Grid transmission line follows that trail; yet it is still completely accessible to the public. The wires are 60 feet in the air, and they don't bother anyone.
No one has even TRIED to rehabilitate the Lake Clear-to-Malone section of right of way. Instead, as I have previously stated, it sits neglected and forgotten about.
I question why that is.
Any organization that says it is capable of creating and maintaining 94 miles of rail trail should surely be capable of negotiating an indemnity agreement with National Grid, installing a stone surface and covering the insurance and maintenance of a 30-mile trail!
What is there to hide?
What about the former Delaware & Hudson right of way running north from Saranac Lake? What is impeding that corridor?
I urge everyone reading this letter to get out and personally inspect these rights of way, in whatever way possible. Decide for yourself if they are viable routes, ask, "Why not?"
I am not an opponent to recreational trails. Quite the opposite, I enjoy them just as much as anyone else. What I am against is an endless trail of studies and meetings, surveys and petitions, with nothing to show in the end.