Try a rail-trail compromise
To the editor:
Regarding the large number of letters printed by one faction or the other expressing sometimes contorted views pro or con on the rails-or-trails issue, I personally have reached the point where I no longer read them. Having said that, I feel there is a significant proportion, if not majority, of the population who could be impacted with cost but without benefit by the eventual outcome.
Many such as me, who likely won’t use the trail, will not benefit financially – as those whose businesses, such as food and lodging, may see gain from bicycles as they now do from snowmobiles – but will see our tax dollars spent to remove the rails and resurface and maintain the right of way to benefit the users only. Many users will not share the costs as they are not from this state or area, and I have heard of no plans for anyone to contribute financially in any way. The proposed influx of users may create liability and insurance problems for those whose property borders the trail, and whatever benefits that presently come from the railroad will be gone if compromise for both a rail and trail is not achievable.
The other possibility of reopening that unit management plan is that the rail corridor would become forever wild, as the wealthy and politically connected environmentalists would have it, and both rail and trail groups would lose entirely.
I urge all to consider a compromise, unified goal that would largely satisfy all involved.