Notice: I've taken a part-time job, and it's definitely affecting my blogging time. I'll continue to add content here as often as possible. Pertinent guest posts are always welcome.


Saturday, January 24, 2009

Larmann Stands Up for Closing Trail Segment to Snowmobiles

based on a news release of CNY Link (Eagle Newspapers, Syracuse, NY), "Trail closed to snomobiles," by Margo Frink, Jan 22, 1009

The Canastota, New York, Link Trail segment along the CSX railroad tracks has been closed to snowmobilers. The village had just paved this portion of the trail last year with $30,000 received from CSX after a train derailment.

However, in December the village entered into an agreement with Tri-Valley Riders, a snowmobile club, to allow access to ride beside the paved Link Trail. Snowmobiles are supposed to stay off the paved portion. The club posted 25 mph speed limit signs and a sign was erected asking snowmobilers to stay to the left of the Links Trail and off the pavement.

However, the agreement is not being upheld by riders. Canastota Police Chief, James Zophy, said that recently a snowmobile traveling at a high rate of speed failed to make a turn and ended up at the bottom of a retention pond. The rider was injured.

Al Larmann, of the Central New York Chapter of the NCTA, attended the Jan 21 village board meeting. Ever prepared, Larmann brought pictures of snowmobile tracks on the pavement and also showing that riders had been climbing the embankment.

“I witnessed snowmobiles traveling at a high rate of speed while people were walking on the trail,” Larmann said. He added that in time the North Country Trail would become a regional and local asset to the community. He said bicyclists and people pushing baby carriages could take advantage of that asset, and that hikers use post offices in local towns to receive mail and packages. The trail also is used for cross-country skiing. “We want to certify that section [of the trail] so that it meets Park Service standards,” Larmann said.

Larmann cited not only snowmobiles as being a problem but all-terrain vehicles, that he said, frequently use the walking trails. Motorized vehicles and horses are prohibited from the trails. Larmann said he felt the signage was not adequate and could have been more defined. “The signs didn’t go up until after it snowed. You couldn’t see the blacktop.”

The Riders club also has a liability problem. A portion of their trail was closed in the town of Lincoln, and the village administrator reported that legally this means that the entire trail is closed, which causes liability to fall on the village of Canastota.

“We are forced to close [the trail]” said Trustee Scott Rapasadi. “We don’t want the liability.”

Mayor, Todd Rouse, said that now the problem will be to remove snowmobiles from the area. It’s difficult to police a trail from a car, and Rouse offered his snowmobile for use by patrols. Zophy suggested the use of cameras. It was noted that Canastota is the only village in Madison County that still allows snowmobiles on its streets.

Once again, Al Larmann, has appeared at the right place to be a strong voice for the North Country Trail. It could be noted that in the most recent issue of North Star, the magazine of the North Country Trail Association, Al is the leader for all-time volunteering, with 8197 hours given

See Canastota NY Negotiates Agreement with Snowmobilers
SeeCentral New York Chapter

No comments: