20130225 rail trail presentation

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20130225 rail trail presentation

  1. 1. “We have a unique opportunity to create a world-classtourism destination, directly impact public health, and improve the overall quality of life in our region.” -Ulster County Executive Michael P. Hein 1
  2. 2. Project Vision:Develop a multi-use recreational trail fromKingston to and along the Ashokan Reservoirthat will link the Hudson River and Walkwayover the Hudson to the Catskill Park andcreate a world-class tourism destination. Project Goals:  Connect City of Kingston neighborhoods to open spaces (Ashokan Reservoir)  Increase tourism to Ulster County and Hudson Valley region  Encourage outdoor recreation & promote healthy lifestyles  Expand non-motorized transportation alternatives  Create links to the Hurley Rail Trail & Wallkill Valley Rail Trail 2
  3. 3. Background and Brief History: Railroad chartered and construction started (1866) Railroad line extended from Kingston to Oneonta (1900) U&D Railroad carries 676,000 to Catskill resorts (1913) Last commercial passenger train leaves Kingston (1976) Ulster County purchases 38.6 miles of U&D corridor-- City of Kingston to Delaware County border (1979) County signs 25-year lease with Catskill Mountain Railroad Company (1991) for tourism railroad operations Planning Study considers feasibility of rail trail (2006) County Executive Michael Hein proposes development of Catskill Mountain Rail Trail (2012) from City of Kingston to the Ashokan Reservoir and west into the Catskills Governor Andrew Cuomo includes $2 million for rail trail in 2013-2014 Executive New York State Budget (2013) 3
  4. 4. Future Linkages to Regional Trails and Tourism Attractions: Historic City of Kingston & Hudson River O&W Trail/ Hurley Rail Trail Wallkill Valley Rail Trail & Rosendale Trestle Belleayre Mountain Trails Pine Hill Lake Day Use Area Walkway over the Hudson & Dutchess County Trails 4
  5. 5. Connecting midtown Kingston neighborhoodsto the Ashokan Reservoir and Catskill Park 5
  6. 6. Trail Section from midtown Kingston to Route 209 6
  7. 7. Trail Section from midtown Kingston to Route 209 7
  8. 8. Trail Section from Route 209 to Ashokan Reservoir 8
  9. 9. Ulster County Support for Trail Development:2006: Trail Feasibility Study for U&D Corridor2007: Ulster County Open Space Plan highlights goals to link County’s rail trails and connect neighborhoods with open spaces2008: County Non-Motorized Plan cites U&D trail project2010: Long Range Transportation Plan includes U&D project as future public multi-use trail2012: Ulster County Trails Advisory Committee supports rail trail proposal announced by County Executive Michael Hein 9
  10. 10. Trail Development Steps & Issues:Resolve Outstanding Legal Issues  Contractual issues with Catskill Mountain Railroad (CMRR)  Rail banking & protection of corridor right-of-wayClarify Strategy for Project Development  County or non-profit lead-- State agency involvement  Funding sources for planning and construction  Agreements with NYC Department of Environmental Protection (NYC DEP)Address Constraints and Challenges in Corridor  Crossings of Esopus Creek and roadways, e.g. Route 209  Drainage improvements & replacement of damaged embankments  Examine dual use feasibilityDetermine Long-Term Operations and Maintenance Model  Public/ non-profit/ hybrid model  Partnerships with businesses and State agencies (e.g., ORDA) 10 •
  11. 11. How You Can Help: Voice your support for the trail proposal Offer technical assistance and guidance for project Identify existing and anticipated funding sources Consider potential roles in development and future maintenance of rail trail sections Assist with required permits and approvals Support marketing and promotion of the rail trail Facilitate and assist in connecting Catskill Mountain Rail Trail to other County and regional trails 11
  12. 12. Potential Project Partners: National Park Service • NYS Empire State Development NYS Dept of Environmental Conservation NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic PreservationNYS Dept of Transportation • Olympic Regional Development Authority New York City Department of Environmental Protection Hudson River Valley Greenway • Rails-to Trails Conservancy City of Kingston • Kingston Land Trust • Open Space Institute Catskill Mountainkeeper • Woodstock Land ConservancyNew York-New Jersey Trail Conference • Catskill Watershed Corporation 12
  13. 13. Thank You for Your Support!! Ulster County Executive Michael P. Hein 244 Fair Street, PO Box 1800 Kingston, NY 12402 (845) 340-3800 For additional information,please contact Chris White at (845) 340-3338 or cwhi@co.ulster.ny.us 13

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