Saturday, August 14, 2010

Rail trail construction from Southington to Cheshire

The NHRs Luther Turmelle wrote about the DOTs recent approval allowing Cheshire to transfer the use of $320,000 of grant money from the linear trail's proposed Cornwall / West Main section to any other proposed section between West Main and the Southington line.

Luther reports:

Republican Town Councilman David Schrumm, who chairs the budget committee, said this week that he believes there is a consensus among members of the governing body to develop the next portion of the trail from West Main Street to Jarvis Street.

Count me out. And with regard to describing the West Main / Jarvis section as "economic development," I repeat what I said in 2005: It's not economic development. It's a quality of life issue.

Do you prefer lower property taxes and fewer services? Or higher property taxes and more services, such as more miles of linear trail? I prefer lower property taxes.

But if the Budget Chairman insists on moving forward with the linear trail in the near future, I think it would make more sense to start at the Southington line and head south. As such, I visited Southington's rail trail as their construction work approaches Cheshire. Here's a short vid:Here are some fuzzy pix of where the trail apparently reaches the town line:

Here are a couple pix of the rail trail bridge that crosses the Meriden / Waterbury Turnpike:And here is an east-facing view of Route 322 from the bridge:And then back in Cheshire, I took a few shots of the railroad bridge that crosses I-691 in Southington line / West Johnson section of the railbed:And since I was only a kid -- living in the south end of town and "graduating" from Dodd in 1986 -- I didn't pay much attention to this stuff back then and I'm guessing that 1986 is the year that all three bridges (Peck, Dickerman & the railroad bridge) were built to bypass 691:My only memory from that time was that my mom no longer got to Meriden Square exclusively by way of South Meriden Road. The highway gave a second option to go shopping! And I knew that option was available by the time I was in college, but not when I was a kid. So I'm assuming the highway and bridges were all built around 1986.

Any thoughts on extending the rail trail south from Southington? How about revisiting the million dollar mile? I'm pretty sure the voters already spoke on that idea.

Frankly, I don't see the Council moving forward with any section of the rail trail in the foreseeable future. But who knows?

Tim White

P.S. Thanks to JM for the head's up on Southington's progress.


Anonymous said...

Southington - south is a good idea. Continue what has already been started and allow more of a trail for people to use. Who would use the Jarvis to W. Main section? The people that are already suppose to be walking on W. Main St? The Jarvis to W. Main section is going to need alot more work and fill brought in than our council members may realize. Most of the trail is under water and unpassable.

Anonymous said...

It is ridiculous to do one small section that won't be connected to miles of other trails.
I feel they should go from the Southington line to as far as they can go.
If they should do from West Main to Jarvis, what happens when people want to keep going? They will have to get on a busy road until they meet the trail again.
Not a smart decision.

Anonymous said...

So you think Cheshire taxpayers will fund a 3 million dollar investment in the Linear Trail?

I can't imagine they would, could or should.

Anonymous said...

Not saying that...
The grant of $320,000 should be used to connect a section that will attach to a much longer section, not in the middle.

Anonymous said...

Agreed...but what that grant pays for is very little distance indeed.

Anonymous said...

Take whatever they give you for now.
Eventually, we hope it will connect the rest of the town.
Just think it isn't wise to do a section in the middle of the town that isn't connected to anything.

Anonymous said...

Do we need more trails when some of our roads are in need of repairs? What are we thinking?

Anonymous said...

Wants and needs is what this is always about.
Do we need more trails? No, but the grant we received was specifically for that purpose, so we should use it wisely.
Roads will always need repairs, but we will never get enough to fix all of them, so that will have to come out of the town budget,which is pretty strapped right now.

Do we need parks? Yes we do if we want to attract and keep people in this town.
Do we need more trail? Not necessarily, but consider the possibility of once the trails are connected in Cheshire, this park will be an amazing draw for people. I agree, we don't have the money to spend on it right now, but hopefully in the future, it will get done.
I recall when we were first building it, there were many detractors. Now it is probably one of the most used parks we have.
So lets not get ridiculous about it.
We aren't asking everyone to dip into their pockets right now.