APPLYING GUIDELINES WHEN CONVENIENT
In these projects the Planners apply guidelines in an arbitrary manner - to suit their purposes. 

Is the failure to get an easement [on the first project] a reason to bypass ADA regulations, while environmental impact and human impact are not?   That is the position, apparently, of those administering the project.

The original project was approved, despite the fact that the planners acknowledged, in writing, that  10% did NOT meet ADA guidelines (due to steep slopes.)   The same planners who allowed that "exception" are rigidly adhering to "guidelines" in the Extension project, and refusing to consider the discretion they have.  Maybe it is an ego thing...

Alternative

The Coalition offered an Alternative, based on similar exceptions. But this was rejected in the Environmental Assessment.

In the First Auburn Trail Project Planners used a great deal of discretion in applying guidelines, and there are numerous "exceptions" from written guidelines.

On the Auburn Trail Extension Project, Planners have claimed that guidelines must be rigidly applied, despite the recognized environmental sensitivity of the area, and public concern.  



We provide some examples below - one regarding SAFETY, 
the other regarding  Trail Design Guidelines (ADA and AASHTO).

1. Which is the Safe Trail?


 

Maple Ave. Segment 
of the Auburn Trail

The approved trail design in the first Auburn Trail project (taxpayer cost - $1.5 million)  leaves the railroad berm for almost 1.5 miles, and continues on road shoulders and sidewalks.  The Maple Avenue segment (above photo) requires all cyclists over ten years old to ride on the road shoulder, just 4' wide with several grates.  It is the main north-south road from Victor with a great deal of traffic,  including trucks.  

The Planners say it meets safety guidelines.

 

Railroad Mills Special Environmental Area 
(RRMSEA) - of the Auburn Trail Extension

 Cyclists and walkers have shared the existing footpath, without any safety issues, for decades.  The Coalition has offered a compromise to widen it to 3', to meet ADA requirements.


The Planners say it does NOT meet safety guidelines.

2.  When Do the Planners allow Exceptions?

In the First Auburn Project, Planners used their discretion in adhering to ADA requirements and other guidelines.  In the DOT-approved Trail Design, they authorized a 29% grade along the trail (not close to meeting ADA requirements, or AASHTO guidelines), and stated that 10% of the trail would not meet ADA.

In the Auburn Trail Extension Project, planners have refused to consider any exception from guidelines - even for 3000' in a significant environmental area.  
 
Discretion regarding ADA, excerpts in quotations from the DOT approved Final Design Report:
"All elements of the project will strive to meet ADA guidelines." 
"Strive" implies there is discretion. 
"The Auburn Trail will be ADA Accessible for 90% of the project." (from Approved Design Report)
 In other words, 10% of the trail in the first project in the first project will NOT be ADA Accessible.
"A few short segments may be designated as (bicycle) dismount zones due to steep grades." (Image at right shows segment with 13%, 18% and 29% grades.)
These grades are NOT close to meeting ADA standards, or what the Planners refer to as AASHTO. 
 
There are several other examples of these "exceptions" and  allowed discretion  in the First Auburn Project.  In that project there was no public controversy, or known areas of environmental significance.
Yet in the  highly controversial Auburn Trail Extension project, planners claim there cannot be an exception for 3000' - in an area of documented environmental significance.  Why the Double Standard?

Why the Double Standard?
 
Our tax dollars are being applied in an arbitrary manner - to serve the agenda of the Planners - rather than the circumstances of the project.
Why haven't the Project Planners advocated to preserve and recognize one of the Town's most significant environmental areas?  Why haven't they even acknowledged its environmental significance?
 
Why haven't the Project Planners worked in good faith with the Coalition to reach a compromise to protect this area and progress the project?  

 



Additional ADA, AASHTO and safety issues with the original Auburn detours:

  • Route change from straight shared-use path to multiple roadways with vehicular traffic.
  • Seven intersections to navigate in the Village.
  • Bridge width on Trolley Trail - only 7ft wide (AAHSTO Guidelines state 8 feet.)
  • Shoulders and Grates on Maple St. - only 4ft  (AAHSTO Guidelines state 5 feet.)
  • Sidewalk interrupted by parking lot at factory. (Hazard for all users.)
  • Crosswalks - several intersections lacking any crosswalks. One on busy Maple St.
  • Partial Sidewalk - One sidewalk on Rawson only goes halfway. Users must cross the street.
  • Shoulders - Those on Rawson & School are only 2 to 2.5 feet wide. Cyclists share the road.
  • Share the Road Signs - There are NO "Share the Road" signs to warn motorists of bicyclists using the road on the Maple Ave segment.
  • Break Of Day Rd. (Intersection at East Victor Rd - photo right.)
    • Shoulder - there is only one 4 foot shoulder on the east side. ADA compliant?
    • No Sidewalks
    • No Crosswalks
    • No warning signs
For more detailed information on these detours, visit this page.