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March 5, 2014

Master plan in view for Saranac River Trail

PLATTSBURGH — A consultant may soon be aboard to build a master plan for the Saranac River Trail Greenway.

That pathway would eventually extend from the City of Plattsburgh through the Town of Saranac through the towns of Plattsburgh and Schuyler Falls.

Bob Fuller, who represents the Town of Plattsburgh on the Saranac River Trail Greenway initiative, gave an update on the project at the Town of Plattsburgh Complete Streets Committee’s first meeting of the new year.

He said his group’s next focus is to send out a request for qualifications for the consultant. 

A master plan, with options, he said, will help the participating municipalities make sure their parts of the trail will match up with the others. 

“We hope to have a consultant on board within 60 to 90 days,” Fuller said.

That part of the project would involve $40,000 in waterfront revitalization grant funding awarded in 2011 to the Town of Saranac. 

DOT FOCUS SWITCH

Complete Streets planning calls for streets and roads designed to improve safety, access and mobility for roadway users of all ages and abilities, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and public transportation.

Josh Wilson of the New York Bicycling Coalition attended the Plattsburgh session and gave details on some of his group’s advocacy issues.

While the coalition supports the state’s Complete Streets law, members are concerned it was written to exclude Complete Streets improvements in resurfacing and maintenance projects. 

Wilson said that comes at the same time the State Department of Transportation has switched to a focus on maintenance and preservation projects over construction of new transportation infrastructure.

They would like the Complete Streets law to be amended to allow such improvements.

“This is a good opportunity to do low-cost projects,” he said.

SPEED LIMITS

The Bicycling Coalition is also following legislation introduced in the State Senate by Sen. Betty Little to allow towns with a population of less than 50,000 to set their own speed limits.

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