Trail work is getting underway and being promoted to new audiences in two New York communities that have received technical assistance through PTNY’s Healthy Trails, Healthy People program.
In the Washington County Village of Granville, cold weather couldn’t keep local trail supporters and safe cycling enthusiasts from gathering for a Bike Expo. PTNY joined Washington County Public Health and Johnson & Son Bikeworks of Hampton, NY in hosting the first event of this type along the D & H Rail Trail which connects Granville, NY with several towns in Vermont. The trail passes right through the heart of the village, in an area that is known for its large deposits of colored slate. Located right beside the trail, the Slate Valley museum generously offered attendees free admission to the museum and allowed organizers to use its parking lot for the event.
Washington County Public Health provided free helmets to aspiring cyclists, along with a demonstration of why helmets are important for safety while cycling – The Bike Helmet Safety “Eggs”periment. Kathy McIntyre and Elizabeth St. John from the health department also had the pleasure of awarding two new bikes to raffle winners Molly and Dylan of Granville. The bikes were donated by Tim Johnson, from Johnson & Sons Bikeworks in nearby Hampton. Johnson brought along a fleet of demo bikes and offered free use to any attendees. He also brought his mobile shop for free tune ups and gave instruction in safe bicycle operation for young riders.
Thanks to Tim for all his work – be sure to check out Johnson & Sons Bikeworks if you are in the area. It’s a unique cycling shop that sells mostly refurbished bicycles, all in the middle of a working farm!
In Kingston, NY, another HTHP community, Friday marked an important turning point in the development of the Kingston Point Rail Trail, and the realization of the larger Kingston Greenline vision. The 1.5 mile Kingston Point Rail Trail is part of a larger, city-wide concept called the Kingston Greenline, which aims to provide bike and pedestrian accessibility throughout the city, as well as serving as a central connection point to several other rail trails in Ulster County. On a spot directly above Kington’s Hasbrouck Tunnel, trail advocates, cyclists, neighbors, and officials gathered to celebrate the beginning of work on the Kingston Point Rail Trail. The City has contracted a non-profit rail conservation company to remove the remaining rails and ties, and, in return for the value of the metal, prepare the corridor surface for trail use. The contractor has already started to remove rails, ties, and other debris from the trail corridor, as the large pile at the tunnel’s entrance demonstrated.
PTNY was an early supporter of the Greenline vision and has been providing technical and planning assistance to the Kingston Land Trust as part of its Healthy Trails, Healthy People program since 2010. Friday’s celebration and the beginning of work on the KPRT is the culmination of years of planning, public engagement, and volunteer activities on the trail corridor. Congratulations to the Kingston Rail Trail Committee, the Kingston Land Trust, and all the volunteers and supporters in Kingston! However, our experience with Kingston’s enthusiastic trai l team makes it clear that this is only the beginning – the best is yet to come with more work on Kingston Point and the entire Kingston Greenline.