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Connecticut Town Agrees To Remove Bike Trail FenceBy STEPHANIE REITZ From the Hartford Courant AVON, Connecticut- The town council has agreed to remove 11,700 feet of chain-link fencing along the Rails-to-Trails path in town. Residents whose homes abut the path had requested the move. The fencing, which was installed years ago to ease the security and privacy concerns of some homeowners, is not needed after all and is unattractive, other neighbors told the town council recently. The paved path was created in the late 1990s along the old Boston & Maine Railroad route. It has become a place where residents go to chat, get exercise and enjoy their community, the nearby homeowners say. "After years of listening to the choo-choo train going through, it's a pleasure to watch the bikers and walkers go through there," said resident Susan Namerow, whose home abuts the trail. "It seems to be a really friendly situation, and I wouldn't like to see it changed." Namerow and other residents surveyed homeowners whose property abuts the trail and found that they overwhelmingly supported the removal of the fencing. Town council members responded enthusiastically.
A great article by Richard Louv on Citiwire.com.
In times of increasing energy costs and growing public awareness of environmental issues rails-to-trails conversion initiatives are facing the argument that the expansion of mass transportation should have priority over recreational use of unused rail corridors. As a result, there is a legitmate conflict of interest between supporters of multi-use trails and supporters of commuter rail expansion over a limited resource - the land that is available in the form of abandoned branch lines.