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Draft Environmental Assessment Released
Despite almost 4 years of public outcry, documentation of a Special Environmental Area and even comparison to exceptions on the original project, Victor is now planning to build an even wider trail than previously designed. Plans now recommend a 10' wide swath of destruction right through the most scenic and sensitive environmental area.

  
The trail drops off precipitously to wetlands on either side.
Compare other Trail Photos

A $1,000,000 Bike Path to Nowhere 
 Victor residents are paying for a 2 1/2 mile bike path that is 20% is in Pittsford and Perinton - in Monroe County.  The Monroe County Towns are paying nothing.  This taxpayer funded project is being built by Victor highway department, and  Victor will maintain it for perpetuity.  Taxpayers are paying for construction and maintenance (no estimates of future costs) in another county!

Project Costs

$150/household for bike paths that look like roads, wider than the canal path!  

Any ideas for a better use of $1,000,000?

READ MORE about Taxpayer Costs

   
How did this come to be?

It's simple - $.  The Town of  Victor saw easy federal money and misrepresented the purpose of the project in order to fix a damaged culvert.   It is a recreation trail - yet the Town claims  - in order to qualify for money - that it will be used to COMMUTE - for transportation purposes.  Perhaps the deer in Powder Mills Park will commute to the Fishers Firehouse. 

It's a RECREATION Trail - not a TRANSPORTATION CORRIDOR.  How many people will regularly COMMUTE to work on this path, as the Town claims?  It is a bike path to nowhere.   It will NEVER join with the canal path. - Pittsford has no intention of coming up with the tens of millions of dollars to cross Rt. 96 and the canal, though the project planners claim it is part of a regional network. 


Double Standards
Applying Guidelines When Convenient

Exceptions made on the First Auburn Trail project  - with no one watching - are not acceptable on this project. Why? In the first Auburn Trail project, planners used a great deal of discretion in meeting guidelines.  Significant exceptions were given with respect to ADA and safety.  Despite a well documented Special Environmental Area and far greater public outcry and attention, NO EXCEPTIONS are being considered for this unique section. Period.



Welcome to our government in action.  
The Town of Victor, NYS DOT, and the Feds have joined forces to transform a narrow, grassy meadow to a wide Stonedust Road, destroying a Sensitive and Unique Environmental Area, used by thousands.   Thousands of  public comments, statements to the Town Board, user data and environmental information discounted - to build the trail planned from the start.  





Steve - this is as far as I've gotten... 
could leave it at this much for now and make it live - if you like any of it.







There have been ballooning project costs,  violations of guidelines and ethics.  Our government agencies brush these all off  - and continue to railroad the project through.

The Process is a Sham. 







Is this how Our Tax Dollars should be used in a Recession?
• Taxpayer Cost Deception - It's Not ALL Federal Grant Money - It's Your Money Too.
• Consultants WELL paid and costs continue to increase - despite numerous poor decisions
• Nearly 1/5 of the trail isn't even in Victor - it's in Monroe County - but Monroe County taxpayers aren't paying a penny.

The real taxpayer cost of the two Auburn Trail projects is over $150 per household.

Read More about Taxpayer Costs and Ballooning Consultant Fees


Double Standards - Exceptions made on the First Auburn Trail project  - with no one watching - are not acceptable on this project. Why? In the first Auburn Trail project, planners used a great deal of discretion in meeting guidelines.  Significant exceptions were given with respect to ADA and safety.  Despite a well documented Special Environmental Area and far greater public outcry and attention, NO EXCEPTIONS are being considered for this unique section. Period.



Project Violations  - Shrugged Off as "not a fatal flaw" by NYSDOT Regional Project Liaison
Several documented procedural violations have been blatantly ignored as inconsequential by the Town of Victor, the NY Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Department. These procedures are part of the regulations for projects of this type and are not guidelines - they are rules. And yet in the same manner that these agencies allow exceptions in one project but stubbornly refuse the same exceptions in RRMSEA, they also overlook violations to their own rules.

(Have to work on this page. Lots of details...)


Agency FLIP-FLOP - Until recently, all of the agencies were in agreement that a 6 foot wide trail design exception would be acceptable. But then they changed their minds and decided that no less than 8 foot is acceptable, stating that this best meets all of the concerns for the environment.  In one document, an FHWA engineer rationalizes a 6 ft exception based on environmental concern and public outcry. In another document, another engineer uses THE SAME rationale to justify 8 feet. Is this how our government agencies should manage the NEPA process in our best interest?

(Also need to do this page.)



Project Coordinator Mismanaged Project - The Town of Victor has from the beginning relied on Parks Director, Brian Emelson, to manage this project in the interest of all of the users, neighbors and residents. (The same project coordinator that managed the ill-conceived Rec Center voted down by residents.) Why then are there so many cost overuns, delays, public outcry, and project violations?  One should ask if his close association with GROC has clouded his objectivity in this public process to the serious detriment of trail users and additional financial burden to Victor residents. [Steve- note I did not say "ethics." kh]  Read more







Other News and Updates
Winter 2010 

Victor must complete an Environmental Assessment (EA) to  meet the requirements of NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act)
In response to the Coalition's documentation of threatened plant species, and the widespread  public outcry, the federal agency overseeing the project (FHWA) is requiring a more stringent review process (EA).  There will be a public hearing, and a chance to review and comment on the EA sometime this winter.


Our Presentation to the Town Supervisor, Offering justification for a narrower trail and partnership opportunities to showcase a jewel in Victor for community and educational enrichment.

 Counterpoints to Common Arguments

What others have Written

Website Award Winner
  NewNot an Ordinary Rail Bed  
December 2009 New York Flora Association article
highlighting and explaining the rich botanical diversity
along this unique section of trail.


Visit this unique environmental area
through our Website.

Who are the Users and the Numbers
  • The Trail is always changing, there is always something new to see in an area as diverse as this one. Beavers are in the area looking for new areas to work.
  • Visit the Trail at anytime;  you will see why it is valued by many as a destination, a special place to experience "nature up close."

*Check Back for Updates*
E-mail us to join our Updates List


"Awareness inevitably leads to concern."  Roger Tory Peterson

  

Learn about the unique environmental section of the Auburn Trail known as the Railroad Mills Special Environmental Area, an area rich in diversity.
 

Scenes from the Trail


See what Victor's proposed trail will look like
What can you do?

• Contact Project Planners and Administrators  - Let them know your thoughts
• Peruse this website to learn more about the Railroad Mills Special Environmental Area (RRMSEA).
• Visit the Trail in person or online - Google Map
• Send us an E-mail requesting that we keep you informed



Help us Preserve & Protect:

The Plants

That help create the habitat
 The Butterflies
...that use the habitat
The Birds
 ...that use the Trail
The Turtles
...that nest in the Trail



For more information, please e-mail rrmsea@gmail.com
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