Feedback: What Killed 'Rails To Trails'?
'Rails to trails' has hit a dead end in Lewis county.
The reason? The project reached the point where neither supporters nor opponents of all-terrain vehicles were happy.
"However, they don't have any problems spending the money atvs generate."
That's the conflict: riding atvs is the spring, summer and fall equivalent of snowmobiling - and like snowmobiles, atvs are a business: selling and servicing the machines, feeding and housing the people who come to the county to ride.
But a lot of people equally don't like atvs: they complain about riders violating farmlands, about the noise, about the mess.
And trying to strike a balance between those two views is what killed 'rails to trails.'
Some officials balked at allowing atvs onto the new recreational route. Then, when the project was changed to exclude atvs, the other side wouldn't go along.
"When you involve the atv side, it's the only revenue-generating side of this trail debate that we have," said Lucas.
However, they'll likely do it without the $450,000 state grant the county had to develop the trail. County legislators have officially voted to tell the state, no thanks.
What were the trails in question?
One is a 17 mile spur from Lowville to Carthage.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013, Watertown, NY
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