We are writing in response to the article published Sept. 5 in The Leader-Herald, "County skips buying land for rail trail," in which Bob Subik of Johnstown advised the Montgomery County General Services Committee not to purchase the land for the continuation of the Rail Trail to Fonda.
Mr. Subik claims traffic on the trail is "minimal." On Monday and Thursday, during 90 minute bike rides on the trail, we encountered 24 and 47 people, respectively: mothers walking babies, joggers, dog walkers and other bikers. We often see preschool teachers with groups of children as well as Lexington Center caregivers and clients using the trail. In fact, a Lexington Center spokesperson said clients and employees use the trail extensively in programs that promote and support wellness.
Mr. Subik claimed the trail "has a lot of crime." We asked the Johnstown and Gloversville police departments if there was a disproportionate amount of crime on the trail as opposed to any other parts of either city. Both police departments responded with a resounding "No." We got the sense from the police that crime on the trail is minimal. This coincides with our experience. We have never encountered any problems or crime on the trail in all the years we've used it.
The Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce features the Rail Trail in promotional brochures. Earlier this summer, we met a couple who came from Rochester specifically to ride the trail and they were staying at the Johnstown Holiday Inn.
Mr. Subik claims the trail has no destination. He fails to understand the journey along the trail is the destination. He claims that rail trail projects are not effective ways to make a profit. Not all profit is measured in money. Having a venue that is safe from traffic where people can enjoy exercise and fresh air is priceless.
Mr. Subik says he has "a personal interest in the Fulton County Railroad properties land because he wants to see trains on the tracks again." How likely is that to happen? In the meantime, why not benefit the community by adding another section to the trail? We are hopeful the Montgomery County General Service Committee will support the expansion of the Rail Trail to Fonda.
ROSEMARIE and JOE SHEPERD