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Carole Estabrook

Some Auburn and Owasco residents are concerned that a planned project to build a scenic walkway along the Owasco River might run through private property, and that construction might cause maintenance issues for residents who live along the river.

The Owasco River Multi-Modal Trail, which is being funded by a $590,000 grant awarded by the Federal Highway Administration, will include a six-mile path along the river from Wadsworth Street to Emerson Park.

Residents who live along the Owasco River in the town of Owasco are concerned that the trail will lead to increased foot traffic and noise in their backyards.

The residents took their concerns to the town of Owasco. In response to the concerned residents, the Owasco Town Board wrote a letter to the city expressing the town's opposition to the project.

Frankly, I don't see how a trail could be any louder or more distracting to home owners than a sidewalk. And the trail will run along the river, and the river bank is part of the river, which isn't private property.

Residents of Auburn and Owasco have largely been in favor of a multi-modal bike and walking trail within the community.

Yet again, this is a classic example of people who simply don't like change.

"What if someone walks through my backyard? What if someone's dog breaks free of its leash and noses through my garbage? What if a meteor hits my house?!"

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Why not a meteor? It's just as arbitrary.

The reality is that someone could walk through your lawn whether there is a walkway or not. And a dog could run through your property and tear through your garbage whether there is a walkway or not. And, just as sidewalks run through home owners yards, a trail is really no more distracting or destructive.

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Frankly, with all of the public parks that were closed in the past five years, I think it is wonderful that Auburn and Owasco are actually expanding their parks and trails.

The city is currently working with the Owasco Town Board to make sure that the path is agreeable to all parties involved.

Hopefully residents along the Owasco River will be open to the project. Ultimately, the trail will be such a wonderful thing for the community. Not only does it promote healthy living and recreation, but it also makes the river accessible to everyone in the community so that everyone can enjoy it.

Estabrook's column appears

Mondays and she can be reached at estabrookcarole@yahoo.com

 

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