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[NARROWSBURG] – The Upper Delaware Scenic Byway, Inc. (UDSB) unanimously approved a resolution at its August 22 monthly meeting calling for all levels of government to enact regulations that would prohibit the passage of large trucks on New York State Route 97 if they are involved in new forms of heavy industrial use and mining. Instead, it calls for use of the adjacent railroad to transport heavy industrial equipment and materials.
The resolution specifically supports the continuation of traditional forms of truck usage such as vehicles for agriculture, lumbering, bluestone mining and transport of canoes.
The resolution states:
“WHEREAS , The majority portion of New York State Route 97 was legislatively designated as a component of the New York State Scenic Byways System on August 6, 2002 under a nomination as the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway; and
“WHEREAS , The Enhancement Concept for the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway (final corridor management plan, January 2002) expresses a vision to ‘highlight what is already an exceptional feature of the region’s appeal to residents and visitors alike – the highway itself. The most significant and attractive aspects of the byway will continue to be its spectacular highway vistas, access to the Delaware River and its resources, and the uniqueness of the communities along the byway’; and
“WHEREAS , The Upper Delaware River Valley is seeing proposals to introduce new forms of industry and mining involving heavy industrial equipment and materials, which will change the traditional patterns of transportation on New York State Route 97; and
“WHEREAS , An alternative for transporting heavy industrial equipment and material exists in the form of the Norfolk-Southern railroad tracks, which run parallel to New York State Route 97 for its entire length; and
“WHEREAS , The railroad has been the traditional form by which industrial equipment and materials have been moved through the Upper Delaware River Valley since it was constructed in the 1850’s as part of the old Erie mainline from Hoboken, NJ to Chicago, IL; and
“WHEREAS , The Upper Delaware Scenic Byway, Inc. non-profit organization, as managed by a board of representatives from the member municipalities, is tasked with protecting, promoting, and enhancing the designated byway route; and
“WHEREAS , Upper Delaware Scenic Byway, Inc. has aesthetic concerns over the potential visual intrusion impacts from this industrial activity and safety concerns that an increase in associated heavy traffic could interfere with safe travel along the highway, as well as cause a deterioration in New York State Route 97’s physical condition; and
“WHEREAS , Upper Delaware Scenic Byway, Inc. has already expressed an initial view on these issues in a resolution adopted at its February 28, 2011 meeting;
“NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED , that the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway Inc. urges all levels of government, specifically including towns, villages, cities, counties, states, the federal government, and all regional authorities and bodies to enact or exercise their respective regulatory authorities to:
1) Prohibit the passage on New York State Route 97 of all large trucks and vehicles involved in new forms of heavy industrial use and mining; and
2) Support the continuation of traditional forms of truck usage on New York State Route 97, such as the use of vehicles for agriculture, lumbering, bluestone mining and transport of canoes; and
3) Place the burden on all non-traditional forms of heavy industrial and mining uses to disallow any activities that will detract from the inherent scenic qualities that were the basis for the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway’s designation.
“BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED , that a copy of this resolution be sent to every municipality and regional governmental body that has jurisdiction over the Upper Delaware River Valley, and to the newspapers of general circulation within the valley.”
Go to www.upperdelawarescenicbyway.org for more information on the Upper Delaware Scenic Byway and its activities. A travelogue brochure is available by calling toll-free 866-511-UDSB (8372). The organization’s meetings are held every fourth Monday at 7:00 p.m. at 211 Bridge Street in Narrowsburg. They are open to the public.
UDSB officers are Chairperson Nadia Rajsz from the Town of Lumberland, Vice-Chairperson Rosie DeCristofaro from the Town of Delaware, and Secretary-Treasurer Larry H. Richardson from the Town of Cochecton. Member municipalities include Village of Hancock, Town of Tusten, Town of Highland, Town of Deerpark, City of Port Jervis and Sullivan County. Sullivan Renaissance is a nonvoting member of the UDSB.