Adirondack rails and trails, a synergy option
To the editor:
Rails and trails can support the success each other by direct synergy. The final plan Gov. Coumo announced on May 17 provides an outstanding synergistic opportunity for which a good example already exists. This successful experience is both reasonably nearby and has structural similarities to the current situation in the corridor from Old Forge to Lake Placid.
A formidable economic advantage for the region comes into existence in this particular synergistic approach. It will create a new class of visitor to the Adirondacks, one that has a very favorable economic profile.
Encourage visitors to make Old Forge their western gateway. Then “leave your car behind” and travel into the Adirondacks on the train. Now for the new angle: “Bring your bicycles on the train” as far as Tupper Lake. Then tourists continue beyond the rail line on to the heart of the Adirondacks with their bicycles. This calls out multi-day visits and makes a great increase in the visitor options and visitor capacity for the whole system.
Take a look at the Cape Flyer, capeflyer.com. This recently provided service focuses on the bicycle angle and has been a huge success. The train cars are outfitted to support bicycle transport and even provide a “tune up” for last-minute adjustments to your gear. This train leaves Boston and will deliver you to either the Cape Cod Canal or Hyannis. Many dedicated bicycle paths radiate across the Cape. You do not need a car to vacation on the Cape anymore, and likely you might enjoy it better that way.
I expect there are a great many people who would find this approach very attractive in the Adirondacks. It is time to leave the arguments behind and start enjoying this opportunity.
Steven “Rocco” Antinozzi
Shelburne (Vermont) Bicycle and Pedestrian Path Committee
(Aspiring 46er, 27 completed High Peaks)