Internet post sparks debate on trail study

Published on Friday, 2 February 2018 22:58
Written by BRIAN M. JOHNSON

@brianjohnsonBP

PLAINVILLE - A public hearing is scheduled for Monday at the Middle School of Plainville involving the trail closure study.

Plainville Greenway Alliance member Peter Salomone posted on the Plainville Talks Facebook group encouraging supporters to let their voices be heard.

A debate between pro-trail and anti-trail forces ensued, with Town Manager Robert E. Lee responding to several residents’ posts.

“Since the trail study came up at a town council meeting the naysayers objected at every meeting,” said Salomone. “Between five and ten naysayers have commented ‘not in my backyard’, ‘not on my street’, ‘not in my park’, ‘not in my town.’ Over 100 objections have been made to the town council. Now it is time for the ‘yeasayers’ to speak up.”

Salamone said on Wednesday that he and members of the Plainville Greenway Alliance have been working hard to promote the upcoming meeting. They are leaving flyers at locations throughout town.

“I have spoken with another group called Farmington Bike Up and there will be 10 of them attending,” he said. “I’ve spoken with Tim Malone and he says that he has had more emails with positive comments than negative. It is important to get people to come out to this meeting, even those with negative comments. That way, we can try to address some of the negative perceptions.”

Several people commented in favor of the trail.

“There is no reason to object to this,” wrote Anne Baxter Bailey. “It’s a bike trail, nothing noisy or unsafe about it.”

Jay DeZinno wrote that he doesn’t understand the “not in my backyard people.”

“I wanted it to come through my neighborhood but the plan that was picked put it on the other side of the airport,” he said. “I would have loved it if I could walk to the end of my street and be on the trail. Bike trails don’t increase car traffic and they increase property values for homes adjacent to the trail.”

However, the post also drew its fair share of naysayers.

“It’s not a noise or safety issue once the trail is in place,” Bill Flynn replied to Bailey. “It’s the destruction of wooded areas in town to install the path. It will be noisy and unsafe during construction while chainsaws, wood chippers and stump pullers destroy the woods. Not to mention the loss of privacy. That’s my objection.”

“Great idea!” wrote Bob Balkow. “You’re having a nice family barbecue, in your backyard and people are walking by 20 feet from your party! How would you feel?”

Lee responded directly to several residents’ posts and tried to address their concerns regarding privacy.

“I personally met with several residents on Hemingway and they all agreed that the proposed location ‘made sense,’” said Lee. “Some would like the trail ‘built right away.’ They were concerned about ‘privacy’ and it was pointed out that screening from the trail would be provided as part of the project.”

Lee posted his office number and encouraged residents to set up times to meet with him and discuss the project.

The meeting will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., Monday, at 150 Northwest Drive.

Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or bjohnson@bristolpress.com.



Posted in The Bristol Press, Plainville on Friday, 2 February 2018 22:58. Updated: Friday, 2 February 2018 23:01.