Fjord Trail Forms Data Committee

Eight members will review counts

An eight-member committee created by Hudson Highlands Fjord Trail Inc. to review its traffic and pedestrian data met for the first time on Aug. 18 at Little Stony Point near Cold Spring.

The Visitation Data Committee includes Chris Winward, the mayor of Nelsonville; Thomas Campanile, a Nelsonville trustee; James Labate and Henry Feldman of Cold Spring; Mary Kate Ephraim and Jeffrey Robins of Philipstown; Sarah Mencher of Beacon; and Greg Totino, assistant to the Town of Fishkill supervisor.

In a statement, the Fjord Trail said the volunteers “will review and assess the work of HHFT’s visitation management and environmental review consultants to ensure that the traffic count and pedestrian visitation pattern data is adequate to determine the potential impacts of the Fjord Trail on local communities.”

HHFT is providing the advisory group with a stipend to hire a consultant to provide technical assistance.

14 thoughts on “Fjord Trail Forms Data Committee

  1. How will this committee not be biased since it was formed by the outfit that is trying to push this debacle on residents who vehemently oppose the idea as presented? Will this be more “fake science” from the shoreline destroyers?

  2. The residents of the cities, villages, towns, etc., have the power to hold their representatives accountable, both in the voting booth and with their voices. Imagine if all were held accountable and not just the average Joe.

  3. It seems to me that the data set was taken from the off-season, which has been particularly slow this year, and will not measure the fall season, which is the most critical set of data. This being the case, any report derived from this data-set is an ill-conceived a waste of time.

  4. I want to ask “anti-trailers” if they understand the Fjord Trail is actually a traffic management program designed to…

    1. Help ensure Route 9D remains as free as possible from parked cars
    2. Help prevent hikers from unnecessarily overflowing into our streets from existing trails
    3. Help ensure our merchants are not descended upon with requests to use their bathrooms.

    The reality is that we can’t live in a bubble, sealing us and nearby trails off from neighboring communities. It just doesn’t work that way. So why not accept this fact and support this effort to anticipate and manage the presence of visiting hikers, thereby minimizing inconvenience to villagers?

    By fighting the Fjord Trail, we fight the very solutions to the problems we face. In all honesty, things will not get better if the Fjord Trail project is cancelled; they will get worse. Please, folks… Read the plan.

    • The project does not eliminate any parking on 9D; it adds to it. The chalet will be razed and a new parking lot built in addition to the parallel parking that will remain between Breakneck Tunnel and Wade’s Hill. There are no “alternative alignments.” There are much easier ways to solve this issue then a $100 million concrete boardwalk.

      Nobody is proposing a bubble. In fact, the majority of the “anti-trail” meetings are spent lamenting about the earlier proposal of a bike lane and trail to the east of 9D, before the mega donors became involved. This project is similar to the proposed Scenic Hudson green hotel at Long Dock Park that also fell apart because of environment concerns. It’s a vanity project and ignores the problems it’s intended to fix. That’s why people oppose it.

  5. I am not particularly for or against the trail plan per se, only those wholly superfluous elements south of Little Stony Point, which were unilaterally appended in 2016. I have not been inspired with confidence that the trail is a viable anti traffic plan. I see only a lot of conjectural speculation and Pollyanna smoke, that has no basis whatsoever in fact. Contrary to some condescending comments, I don’t perceive those against the trail as uninformed. To the contrary, they are my neighbors, and very much in the loop, at least enough to understand when they are being hoodwinked.

    Until this year, the traffic plan never even considered Cold Spring, thus there really is no such plan to read. Moreover, the sample data for Cold Spring was taken from a low density period, not high season. That fact oversight should alarm people. A traffic plan should have been presented pro forma, with a feasibility study. Had a feasibility plan ever been entertained — as is with any competent development group — the Cold Spring phase of the project would never have left the board room. Indeed, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

  6. I encourage anyone with questions about the Fjord Trail to join Executive Director Amy Kacala and other interested residents at one or more of the monthly Sunday afternoon chats held from 2 to 4 p.m. at Hubbard Lodge. The next one is Sunday, Sept. 24. These informal sessions are a great opportunity to learn facts about the Fjord Trail plan, get questions answered and share ideas. Candid conversation is a great way to separate fact from fiction.

    Martin is the director of development & community engagement for the Fjord Trail.

    • I think it’s important to point out that Amy Kacala is being paid upward of $160,000 per year by Scenic Hudson (2022 form 990 data) to sell the idea of the Fjord Trail to the community. Before any true candid conversation can occur, all the cards need to be on the table in regards to the amount of donor money being used for the Fjord trail project, and to what regards.

  7. Once again some “anti-trailers” peddle their condescending “we know best for the community” and “everyone’s against the trail” rhetoric.

    The review committee appears to be broadly representative of residents who will be impacted by the proposed trail. I know a few personally and, while they hold opposing views to mine, I respect their judgement, their competence and their objectivity.

    Let’s allow the review committee to get on with their work, to lend them our support and gratitude, and, in due course, carefully consider their counsel.

    Thompson is a member of Philipstown Advocates for Trails.

  8. As I have noted, the data set to be reviewed by the ad hoc committee is taken from a low traffic season, and not suited to its intended purpose of measuring traffic density: You wouldn’t try to gauge rainforest rainfall out in the desert. Wildfire smoke and heatwaves kept most visitors away. Surely the ad hoc committee has sense enough to realize this, and will insist on a proper data set taken from the fall high season, when the tourist barges and leaf seekers arrive. Proper form would have been for the village to hire its own traffic consultant to review the data, not a lay committee. But then proper form is not the village’s strong suit.

  9. I have been accused of being an “anti-Trailer,” a NIMBY, a backwards “Springer” and a host of other made-up things. I am not against the Fjord Trail. I am for the trail and have been since it was first talked about over 15 years ago. It was originally conceived as a trail people could walk or bike on but has turned into a mega project that will destroy the area and cost the village a ton of money to support.

    The fees for garbage and first responders, will increase dramatically, not to mention the world-class attraction will destroy the shoreline with a gigantic concrete structure. It will also bring hordes of travelers into the village and surrounding areas that will ruin the character of our village by creating a Disneyland atmosphere. Can’t we just apply a KISS strategy to this overblown plan by big dollar donors and out of control nonprofits? This will end up being a blight on the area. Like my old friend says, it will look like a turd in a punch bowl.

    I encourage all concerned about this to do your research for yourself. Do not fall for slick mailers and fearmongers who do not want any change. To address the accusations of being a backwards Springer: We moved here 40 years ago and we never lost the “carpetbagger” status we were given by the real Springers. We have made headway into “provisional Springer,” but not a true Springer.

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