January 26, 2014

Bike path holds vast potential

A river runs through Plattsburgh and joins a lake to a town, and then another town, through our historic city. 

It connects our future to our past, and weaves together our county. We have invested much into the Saranac River Trail, and many of us have already enjoyed it for serene walks, pleasant runs or leisurely bike rides.

The Saranac River Trail has just received funding that will allow it to complete Phase II. Mayor Calnon announced that our state has granted $1.6 million to move us closer to the dream of expanding the trail all the way from its current trailhead to Lake Champlain by the MacDonough Monument. It also extends the trail to the Stafford Middle School, which will afford more students the opportunity to safely walk or ride to school.

Eventually, planners hope the trail will go much farther than that. The dream is to bring it beyond SUNY Plattsburgh all the way to the Town of Saranac.

But, that’s not all.

Some committed residents have noticed that the trail could someday allow one to ride a bicycle almost all the way from the Town of Saranac to Grand Isle, Vt. The Route 9 bike trail can take one from the MacDonough Monument to Georgia Pacific along the Fleury Bike Path. Then, from Scomotion Creek, a bike trail extends all the way to the Cumberland Head/Grand Isle Ferry.

We may also have some nice additions along the way.

The bike path would be complete if only cyclists could more easily navigate the short section of Route 9 between Scomotion Creek and the former Lozier luxury car and race car factory on the east side of Georgia Pacific. This short four-lane section of road has a posted speed limit of 30 miles per hour. It is dangerous for cyclists, despite its slow speed, because there are a number of driveways flowing into the street.

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