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Traction Line Trail Extension Grant Sought by County

Morris County Park Commission application only includes design and engineering work, the mayor said.

The Morris County Park Commission is seeking state funding to have design and engineering work done for a proposal to extend the Traction Line Recreation Trail farther into Madison, according to Madison Mayor Bob Conley.

Conley said at Monday's Borough Council meeting he received the update in a conversation with David Helmer, the executive director of the Morris County Park Commission.

A Park Commisison engineer approached Madison's governing body two weeks ago to see if the borough would support the project, but was met with unanimous opposition from Borough Council members, though the mayor said he supports the plan.

The commission has heard Madison's concerns, but is proceeding with the application for design and engineering work—not for construction—to see how feasible the project is and to get more input from residents and neighbors, Conley relayed.

There would still be plenty of time for neighbors to provide input on the process, he said.

The design and engineering work hinges on the Park Commission receiving the grant because the Park Commission does not plan to use any county money for that purpose, Conley said.

"If they don't get any funding, it is dead for now," Conley said.

At the Borough Council meeting two weeks ago, some residents and all of the council members said they .

The Traction Line Recreation Trail runs from the Ford Mansion in Morristown along a New Jersey Transit line and ends at Danforth Road in Madison at Fairleigh Dickinson University. The Park Commission envisions continuing the 10-foot wide, paved path to Elm Street, running between the rail line and the backyards of Madison homes. It would be extended six-tenths of a mile. The Park Commission estimated engineering and construction costs combined would exceed $500,000.

have said it would promote a connection between Morristown and Madison.

Cartoongoddess July 24, 2012 at 11:17 AM
YES! What the world needs now is... more trails!
David Arthur July 24, 2012 at 02:34 PM
This is just like to Bridge to Nowhere.
Aladdin Sarsippius Sulemenagic Jackson III July 24, 2012 at 02:51 PM
NO! What the world needs now is... more cowbell!
DidUReallyJustSayThat July 24, 2012 at 03:17 PM
If the county planned to ignore the council, why even bother to show up and ask for support? To make this work, they'll have to clear-cut a15 - 20' wide swath of trees and brush the entire length of the new path, thus taking down what little barrier most of the residents along the proposed line have from the train tracks. If the residents were planning to cut down a swath of tress on their own property, the same community activists who are major proponents of this effort would be chaining themselves to the trees to stop the work! Additionally, if the same residents were trying to add that much impervious coverage to their property, Madison's Zoning Board would be denying the application for the work!
Local Joe July 24, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Will they also be installing garbage receptacles along the path to aid in disposal of all the empty beer containers and used prophylactics sure to accumulate in such an area?
Yelowhownd July 24, 2012 at 05:11 PM
Most county trails have a carry in/carry out policy. So if you plan on using the trail for drinking and sex then be sure to clean up after yourself. If you're a civilized human being, like the majority of people who use trails in the area, you already carry a bag to take trash with you and dispose of properly. Most--not all--people who actually get out and use the trails in the area like them and respect them and don't want them to be ruined for others so they help maintain them. I've worked and hiked along side these people and resent how people use terms like "sure to accumulate" as if there's already a predetermined outcome like we're all just a bunch of scumbags who litter and disrespect people's property or that we're child stealing, peeping Toms who have nothing better to do than leer at other people and their yards. The ridiculous predictions of the people in this town like the trail is going to be used as a crime alley or that people using it are a bunch of thieves and ne'er do well and we have no respect for others is just abhorrent and grounded in baseless fears and lies. If you've ever spent more than a few minutes outside in this area you would realize there are better things to do than chuck garbage on the ground and look at people's underwhelming back yards. I'd rather be outside than huddled indoors like an agoraphobic paranoid delusional.
Local Joe July 24, 2012 at 05:31 PM
I'll point out that my comment was in no way directed at a specific person and anyone that inferred that from my statement must be feeling guilty about something. If I was referring to anyone specifically it would be unsupervised teens. I also find it interesting that some people who claim to be so outdoorsy would spend so much time trying to start arguments with strangers on the internet. Maybe communing with nature is not working and a prescription for some chill pills are in order.
Kendra Arnold July 24, 2012 at 06:17 PM
The current Traction Line has 3 trash cans on it that are maintained by Morris County parks. I have never really noticed the type of trash mentioned here, it mostly seems to be train tickets blown around and things like apple juice boxes. Morris County Parks do a fantastic job of trail maintenance; it is tidy, cleared of snow promptly in winter and mowed where needed.
Yelowhownd July 24, 2012 at 06:20 PM
We could go back and forth like so many others on this site and I don't want to do that; I've seen it happen so many times. It's such a waste of energy to try to dissuade people who are against the extension because they come up with more and more baseless claims at every turn. I'll just chalk it up to getting lost in translation and the forum we have chosen to communicate. If we met under better circumstances I am sure we'd be able to come to a mutual agreement, which I hope the county and town can come to on this matter.
jerry stevenson July 24, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Let's add a little education to the mix. Go to Bing maps and type in "20 Elm Street Madison NJ." Zero in to the highest power (birds eye) and follow the right side of the tracks up to Danforth. Tou can see clearly what properties will be impacted and how close the proposed path will come to individual homes/. Then continue the conversation.
Jeff Thomas July 26, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Out of 10 comments I see maybe 2 that have an actual name on them, the others being psudos-- what's up with the patch- thought all names were required?

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