Friday, October 19, 2007
Hurley Rail Trail News
Hi, This section was supposed to be included in the Town's newsletter, but was inadvertently left out: Hurley Rail Trail Notes The summer flew by and the trail use stayed consistently strong, reflecting the importance Hurley residents place on a healthy lifestyle. Our committee did a sample trail census on Saturday, August 26 and found that the majority of trail users were Hurley residents in the morning, but visitors tended to come from a variety of locales through the afternoon. Hurley residents tended to use the trail daily -- Biking and walking were most popular. We counted 85 trail users even though the day was oppressively hot and humid -- over 70% of the activity occurred before noon. Another trail count will be done during a weekday to compare results. As we look back on the season, several items stand out: 1. Installation of the interpretive signs adds a further dimension for trail users. Both Hurley residents, as well as visitors, can now learn a little more about our heritage, thanks to the grant from the Hudson River Greenway. 2. The planted berms have all been adopted by various families or organizations that are responsible for maintenance. The berm sponsors are listed on the Town website at the Rail trail Committee page. We thank them for their efforts! 3. Many dog walkers use the trail (11% of our recent census). A dogi-pot sanitary station was added near the Esopus parking area and has gotten good use. If this experiment is successful, we will evaluate the addition of another station. 4. Garbage continues to be an issue. We have removed over 150 pounds of trash this year. The good news is that the volume of garbage has declined over the past three years. A good deal of trash seems to be sourced from Route 209 traffic; a smaller amount is related to children's articles, drinks, and snacks presumably sourced by trail users. Volunteers have picked up the trash -- and we hope that all trail users will get in the habit of keeping the trail a clean environment ('bring a bag' campaign). 5. Unfortunately, graffiti has been added to many signs and buildings this summer. The Rte 209 underpass is no exception. We have asked the NYSDOT for assistance in addressing the issue and we are planning a clean-up party to eliminate the freelance artwork. If you are interested in assisting, please send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org. Looking forward, there are issues which may affect trail users in the months to come. 1. A sinkhole developed near Russell Rd. which will require major engineering to repair. The cause appears to be the loss of embedment material along a major culvert which carries the Millbrook stream under Rte. 209. The NYSDOT will be addressing the repairs before winter and may result in closure of the trail at that juncture. 2. Ulster County is preparing a Non Motorized Transportation Plan which will outline all major pedestrian and biking routes in the county. The objective of the plan is to recommend trail projects which will create or link non motorized routes, such as our rail trail. Public meetings on the recommendations will begin October 9 -- please see http://www.altaplanning.com/ulsternmtp/ for more information.