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Saranac Lake seeks grant to make trail connections

SARANAC LAKE – The village Board of Trustees on Tuesday approved submission of a grant application to the U.S. Department of Transportation to make bicycle and pedestrian improvements in the village, including connections to a proposed trail where a railroad is now.

A map provided with the board’s agenda packet shows more than a half-dozen “preliminary” locations where trail links could be made.

“Think of the rail trail as the controlled-access interstate highway for bikes and pedestrians going through Saranac Lake, and there’s a series of interchanges,” said Trustee Rich Shapiro, who represents the village on a rail trail advisory board. “It would be both an intra-village means of transportation as well as inter-village. You could live on Helen Hill and get on your bike and go to the (Saranac Lake) Shopping Center.”

Starting at the south, a rail trail connection would be made to the Lake Flower Avenue business district, potentially along a village right of way next to Agency Insurance. Other links would be near North Country Community College, at Brandy Brook Avenue, on Pine Street, Bloomingdale Avenue, near Union Depot and at Broadway near Aubuchon Hardware, where a link would run out to the Lake Colby beach.

The application also includes other bike-pedestrian improvements spelled out in the village’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Trail Master Plan.

Shapiro said the village will know in the spring if its application was approved. Asked how much money the village is seeking, Shapiro said there’s an estimated $750,000 to $850,000 worth of work to do, and the smallest amount it could get through the program is $250,000.

The grant carries a 20 percent match, and state grant money can be used to cover part of that, Shapiro said. The village’s application will be submitted through U.S. DOT’s Transportation Alternatives Program, administered in New York by the state DOT.

Saranac Lake seeks grant to make trail connections

SARANAC LAKE – The village Board of Trustees on Tuesday approved submission of a grant application to the U.S. Department of Transportation to make bicycle and pedestrian improvements in the village, including connections to a proposed trail where a railroad is now.

A map provided with the board’s agenda packet shows more than a half-dozen “preliminary” locations where trail links could be made.

“Think of the rail trail as the controlled-access interstate highway for bikes and pedestrians going through Saranac Lake, and there’s a series of interchanges,” said Trustee Rich Shapiro, who represents the village on a rail trail advisory board. “It would be both an intra-village means of transportation as well as inter-village. You could live on Helen Hill and get on your bike and go to the (Saranac Lake) Shopping Center.”

Starting at the south, a rail trail connection would be made to the Lake Flower Avenue business district, potentially along a village right of way next to Agency Insurance. Other links would be near North Country Community College, at Brandy Brook Avenue, on Pine Street, Bloomingdale Avenue, near Union Depot and at Broadway near Aubuchon Hardware, where a link would run out to the Lake Colby beach.

The application also includes other bike-pedestrian improvements spelled out in the village’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Trail Master Plan.

Shapiro said the village will know in the spring if its application was approved. Asked how much money the village is seeking, Shapiro said there’s an estimated $750,000 to $850,000 worth of work to do, and the smallest amount it could get through the program is $250,000.

The grant carries a 20 percent match, and state grant money can be used to cover part of that, Shapiro said. The village’s application will be submitted through U.S. DOT’s Transportation Alternatives Program, administered in New York by the state DOT.