The village of Dolgeville will take measures to impede the use of the bicycle and pedestrian trail that runs between Main and Spencer streets by all-terrain vehicles.
The board of trustees made the decision to install Jersey barriers and signage at the trail’s entry and exit points after listening to comments made by Spencer Street resident George DeLuco Monday night. April’s vandalism to the wooden gates that blocked the trail also played into their decision.
In his comments DeLuco called the trail that is roughly 370 feet from his home a “motorized race track” and said the traffic has become “annoying to homeowners who reside along the path.”
“The village has little ability to monitor or police the pathway,” he said as he called the recreational trail “unsafe” for pedestrian use due to the increased motorized ATV and dirt bike traffic.
DeLuco also cited the loud noise that comes from the “revving engines” along the trail as an annoyance, as well as the increased water flow onto his property after a weather event.
Trustee Donna Loucks said she was unaware signage describing the recreational trail’s intended uses had not been installed at the pathway’s three entrance and exit points.
“At the very least signage needs to be installed to inform people the trail is intended for bicycle and pedestrian use only,” she said. “The trail is not to be used by motorized vehicles in the fall, spring and summer. Only snowmobiles can use the trail in the winter. That was the understanding.”
Trustee Larry Brandow said the Jersey barriers will be installed in a manner to prevent ATV access.
“They are very difficult to move once they are put in place, so they should cut down on the ATV traffic if they are installed in way that only people or bicycles can pass by them. I won’t say the barriers will eliminate the problem completely, but they should make a difference,” he said.
The village last year received $11,950 from Herkimer County HealthNet to develop a section of the long-planned Salisbury-Dolgeville Greenway. The bicycle and pedestrian trail travels along a section of the former railroad bed that runs from Main to Spencer streets, and was created to encourage people to be active and to give residents a secure place to walk, jog or ride their bicycle.
The funds for the project came from a New York State Department of Health Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work and Play grant, an initiative that focuses on the prevention of obesity and Type 2 diabetes through projects and messages that aim to increase good nutrition and physical activity.
To prevent ATVs and dirt bikes from accessing the greenway, wooden gates, similar to those found at the start of the recreational trail near the Herkimer Home State Historic Site in the town of Danube, were installed at the trail’s entrance and exit point at Main and Spencer streets.
Page 2 of 2 - The gates were damaged beyond repair last month by individuals riding ATVs.
While Mayor Bruce Lyon said Monday night no arrests have been made thus far, Dolgeville Police Chief Richard Congdon said his department is in the process of following a number of leads.
“We have received information about the incident and we are working to identify and arrest or ticket the individuals who were involved,” said Congdon. “This is an active investigation.”
Anyone with information regarding the April 21 incident is asked to call the police at 429-9409.