To the editor:
Saranac Lake Mayor Clyde Rabideau:
You wanted to hear from Tupper Lakers. Well, I am one, and I and my entire extended family are in complete support of the conversion of the train tracks into a recreation trail.
We have been listening to a very few vocal rail fans tell you that the people who contributed to building the railroad station are against tearing up the track for this trail. I'm here to tell you that as a contributor to that effort, along with many, many others who helped with that effort, we want the rec trail. Just because Dan McClelland and Jim Ellis want to keep the railroad does not mean that most of the people in Tupper Lake don't want the recreation trail. There are more than 420 signatures of people just from Tupper Lake on our petition. The wonderful stations in both Tupper and Saranac Lake will get more use by trail users than train users.
Besides the ARTA petition, on which there are now over 8,000 signatures in just 10 months, there is another online petition going, which was started through MoveOn.org, that is currently registering 60 signatures per hour in support of this trail. It's time for the politicians to start listening to the people, and the people are speaking loud and clear by putting their name on the dotted line.
You need to start considering how much business our two communties are losing out on by not building this recreation trail rather than trying to deliver 30 people downtown in a school bus. Rec trail users have their own transportation, and are more likely to stay in your village for the night before moving on.
When you support the Adirondack Recreation Trail, you are supporting Adirondack businesses and Adirondack residents - not just a few railroad enthusiasts holding our communities hostage from futher development of the rail corridor under the guise of some future large manufacturer needing the railroad to ship goods out of the Park. If and when that happens, then let them put it back. Let's not plan on what-ifs (no one can predict the future), and let's accomplish something that has been proven all over the country to be economic drivers and community builders. What venue can say that they have support of the local users as well as our visitors? Certainly not the train.
Member, ARTA Board of Directors