Access road may save Fonda

The greatest red herring in the controversy over the proposed connector highway between Fonda and Johnstown has been possible creation of an industrial park. This plan has portrayed Fulton County as the “evil empire” trying to stimulate growth at the expense of Montgomery County.

For me, the true need for the connector is to relieve Fonda from the insidious parade of truck traffic through its narrow streets. The present Route 30A path has about destroyed that once peaceful village.

Something must be done to save that village and the connector could do it. The ultimate savior should be the state Department of Transportation, which could build this arterial and use its power of eminent domain to facilitate its construction.

I even see Fulton County as a generous friend of Montgomery County in funding the studies for the possible road. Jim Mraz, Fulton County planner, showed me the three possible routes. The direct one from the Fonda bridge up to the Fulton-Montgomery border seems the best. This should save Fonda and eliminate the dangers present on the two-lane Route 30A.

Then, the two counties could invest in another industrial park, if it’s their choice.

But saving Fonda seems to be the key to the entire idea. As for farmers affected by such a new road, we must remind them this is not the 19th century. Mankind has adapted to far worse than new roads. In fact, some farmers might even see the value of their land rise with the new access road.