VIDEO HERE: Support and suggestions for rail trail extension
Watch some of Thursday night’s meeting here:
LEWISBURG – Not everyone favors extending the Buffalo Valley Rail Trail. At a public meeting Thursday night, issues including parking, traffic, and safety were all concerns brought forth by residents and business owners. The Buffalo Valley Recreation Authority held the meeting to hear suggestions, input and concerns about extending the trail across Route 15 into downtown Lewisburg.
Steven Beattie of Larson Design Group told the crowd of nearly 75 people that there are a lot of challenges and competing interests in expanding the trail another mile and a half. Some business owners along St. John Street were concerned that the rail trail extension would take away parking spaces for their customers.
“We have an opportunity to work with businesses along St. John Street and Market Street,” says Beattie. “More visibility along St. John Street, with runners and bikers, will help businesses. This trail would provide a new audience that maybe they have never had before. “
Katie Davis is executive director of the Buffalo Valley Recreation Authority and says this meeting was to hear from all sides. “We are going to take this information back to the committee, dissect it, and make a list of pros and cons. We are going to come up with the best option that addresses all of the excitement and the concern for this project.”
Davis says there is no timeline for the project, as they are just in the conceptual phase, but by the end of the summer the planning committee will have met numerous times and there is a chance for another public meeting. So far, Davis said there is no set funding source for the project.