GOP Candidates Vow to Fight Bike Path
'We agree with the comments that there are other, less intrusive ways of promoting bicycling in town,' Don Links and John Hoover said.
Madison Borough Council candidates Don Links, a current councilman, and John Hoover, the Board of Health president, issued a joint statement Tuesday saying they support the residents of the Pine, Rose, Cedar and Beech section of the borough in their opposition to the Morris County Park Commission’s planned expansion of the Traction Line Trail that currently ends at Danforth Road.
They said there are environmental, flooding, privacy and security concerns with the project, and there are other ways to promote bicycling in Madison. They also expressed interest in holding a town hall meeting to organize a response to the Park Commission's plan. The full text of their statement is below.
“Our records clearly show our support for open space and recreation in Madison, both active and passive. However, as it pertains to the expansion of the Traction Line Trail, we feel the risks convincingly outweigh the potential benefits of this plan. The plan calls for the construction of a 10 foot wide paved bike path along the railroad tracks to Elm Street from its current terminus at Danforth Road. The path would be separated from the railroad by a chain link fence but without any barrier to the residential homes. The extension of the trail would run directly through many residents’ backyards, and in some cases, the path would be within a few yards of their homes. We feel strongly that such close proximity of the path to the homes would be aesthetically unpleasant and raise serious
privacy and security issues, while at the same time may significantly damage
property values. Furthermore, in order to complete construction on the plan, there would need to be extensive removal of trees and brush that could cause untold damage to the environment and wildlife habitats currently thriving in the area. The removal of trees would also cause an increase in noise pollution from passing trains.”
“In 2011, the borough council approved the spending of approximately $539,000 to remedy long overdue road repairs and poor drainage problems in
the area. The drainage was so bad in the neighborhood that some residents experienced flooding in their homes even with modest rains. Some residents had taken to building makeshift levees in front of their property to divert rainwater. In his presentation to the borough council on July 9, Arthur J. Vitale, Assistant Director of Engineering Services for the Morris County Park Commission, mentioned the possibility of significant drainage issues associated with the plan. We feel it would be irresponsible to subject residents to potential renewed flooding and drainage problems by supporting this extension plan only a few months after finally remedying this long-term situation.”
“It is simply not fair to ask a few residents to bear such a burden. We fully support our neighbors in this part of town and will fight to protect the quality of life of the families. We agree with the comments that there are other, less intrusive ways of promoting bicycling in town. If re-elected/elected, we commit to pursuing bicycle friendly transportation routes around the borough, especially to and from downtown. We also support the creation of increased bicycle parking and storage areas downtown and at the Madison train station.”
“Most importantly, we want to work with the residents of the borough, especially those that would be most affected by the proposed extension. We invite residents to contact us with their input on how to protect the borough from this potential environmental, security, and financial disaster. We are also keen to hold a town hall meeting to organize our response should the Morris County Park Commission proceed with the plan against the will of the Council, who voted unanimously against the project at the July 9 meeting.”
Links and Hoover said they urge residents to contact them at
Don Links - email@example.com / 973-886-3892
John Hoover - firstname.lastname@example.org / 973-410-9688