Wednesday, November 18, 2020

State Parks Releases Draft Greenway Trails Plan

 

Recommendations help partners and stakeholders expand the state’s greenway trail network

Development and expansion of greenway trails should target underserved communities

 The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) today announced the release of the Draft Statewide Greenways Plan/Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (DGEIS) for review and public comment. This Statewide Greenway Trails Plan provides a vision, goals and recommendations to guide future planning and development of greenway trails, including expanding greenway trails in underserved communities and improving connections between trails and other transportation modes.

“New York State is leading the nation in creating multi-use recreational trails, most notably through the development of the 750-mile Empire State Trail crossing the state, but also through the construction of many new regional and local trails and key connection projects,” State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said. “The Draft Statewide Greenway Trails plan creates a framework to build on this success and create new trails where they are needed most. It promotes the existing trail network, advocates for new connections in new areas, and establishes goals and recommendations that will help partners and stakeholders expand the state’s greenway trail network. I encourage all who are interested in expanding our trail network to review and comment on this plan.”

The release of the draft plan is the culmination of a year-long effort to develop a comprehensive document addressing New York’s statewide system of non-motorized multi-use trails (Greenway Trails). The plan also includes a GIS inventory of existing, planned, and proposed greenway trails across the state. The Statewide Greenway Trails Plan identifies seven key goals:

  • Prioritize the development and expansion of greenway trails in underserved communities.
  • Collect and publish information to aid in the planning, development, and management of greenway trails.
  • Expand the Greenway Trails System to reach more New Yorkers in more areas.  
  • Provide funding opportunities for the acquisition, planning, development, and maintenance of greenway trails.
  • Foster greater collaboration between agency & stakeholder partners to advance greenway trails in New York.
  • Promote the Greenway Trails System as a destination for tourism, healthy recreation, and active lifestyles.
  • Enhance bicycle and pedestrian transportation options by connecting greenway trails and communities.

The Draft Plan and associated trail inventory is available for review at: https://parks.ny.gov/inside-our-agency/master-plans.aspx  A non-digital copy of the document may be requested by contacting the agency via the email or phone number listed below. Written comments on the Draft Plan/Draft GEIS will be accepted until January 19, 2021. Comments should be submitted to StatewideTrailsPlan@parks.ny.gov or mailed to the contact address below.

State Parks will hold an online public hearing to receive comments on the Draft Plan and Draft GEIS. Public hearing will be held at: 6:00 p.m., Jan. 6, 2021 before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) via electronic webinar.

Instructions on how to “join” the hearing webinar and provide an oral statement are published in the DEC’s electronic Environmental Notice Bulletin (ENB) and posted on OPRHP’s website.  The DEC’s ENB may be accessed at https://www.dec.ny.gov/enb/enb.html. The OPRHP’s webpage for the Statewide Greenway Trails Plan/GEIS may be accessed at: https://parks.ny.gov/inside-our-agency/master-plans.aspx. Persons who wish to receive the instructions by mail or telephone may call DEC at (518) 402-9003. Please provide your first and last name, address, and telephone number and reference the Statewide Greenway Trails Plan public comment hearing.

Interpreter services for hearing impaired persons or persons with limited English proficiency will be provided at no charge upon written request submitted no later than December 23, 2020. The written request must be addressed to Chief ALJ James T. McClymonds, NYS DEC Office of Hearings and Mediation Services, 625 Broadway, 1st Floor, Albany, NY 12233-1550 or emailed to Chief ALJ McClymonds at ohms@dec.ny.gov.

Following the public hearing and public comment period, OPRHP will prepare and post a Final Statewide Greenway Trails Plan/FGEIS incorporating substantive comments.

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