West River Connector Trail - Update

Dear Islanders:

I wanted to provide you a proper update on the meeting last night for the bike path. The state will move forward with the parkway closure. Please find their written findings, including a full analysis of the options and renderings of the plan at the link below:

http://nysparks.com/parks/56/maps.aspx

In summary, the state’s plan is:

· Safe—removal of 55 mph road, greatest distance from homes,

· Affordable—least use of taxpayer money,

· Environmentally friendly—minimal new materials and reuse of existing asset,

· Low traffic impact—both roads are under 10% capacity use currently (combined),

· Fit for multi-use—duck hunting, snowmobiling, horseback riding, cycling, etc.,

· Increases maintenance—State Parks have exclusive control, no longer with DOT,

· Prevents parking lots—again, no new lots,

· Stops Development—no commercial development, it stays green, and

· Positively affects property values—National Association of Realtors consistently state that trails, like good schools create an amenity that increases property values.

I championed re-purposing the parkway into a multi-use bike because I believe, after much consideration and a review of the objective data, that it is the most economically feasible, safe, and environmentally friendly option for Grand Island.

But I have also tried listen to your concerns, and I have advocated for the removal of the parking lots and for increased maintenance. Thankfully, I can now report that under the revised plan, there will be NO additional parking lots and the state has committed to increased maintenance.

I know that many of you feel very passionately about this issue and remain concerned. I hope these materials (including the renderings) help address some of your concerns and help clear up any misinformation.

If you would like to speak with me in person, I would be happy to set up a time. Please contact Cyndy at my office, 716-773-9600 x658 or cmontana@grand-island.ny.us. Evening and weekend appointments are available as well. Also, the renderings for the project are now on display in town hall.

I know many of you feel very passionately about this space. It is your home. And for some of you, it has been and will be your home for generations. You may feel that it is already perfect, so there can be no improvements. If my excitement for the plan has offended you or made you feel some discomfort, I sincerely apologize. It is my deep hope that we can work together to ensure that the final work is a great success.

With humility and respect,

Nate