To the Editor:
As a Tupper Lake resident and businesswoman I take great exception to your recent editorial, “Help a community under siege.” Not one of those listed as authors, on that opinion piece, live in Tupper Lake so what in the world do they know? Talk about outsiders trying to influence Tupper Lake’s future.
I and many other Tupper Lake residents are in agreement that although the railroad idea was a good one it has not done what it has promised it would do, and it has had over 10 years of trying. It is time to try something else. There are no new businesses or additional employment created in the last 10 years that are attributed to the train.
The DOT travel corridor is an asset that is totally underutilized and the communities along it should get together and capitalize on its use. I believe that by converting the rail bed into a trail we will get the most “Bang for the Buck” and we will be able to do it sooner than trying to build a trail all along the rail through wetlands, over streams and rivers, etc. I travel a great deal to other resort areas and I have seen, first hand, what a recreational trail can do to an area. We already know what Snowmobiling has done for Old Forge so let’s bring it here to Tupper Lake and make the season last longer. Bicycling is becoming the leading requested facility for vacationers. They are looking for dedicated paths away from traffic. Notice all the bikes attached to campers and cars going through our community in the summer.
Let’s give them a world class place to ride. Before you jump on the train bandwagon you better ask yourself which you would rather do, take a train ride once or be able to ride you snowmobile or bicycle every weekend? A recreational trail through the Park would bring thousands of people to these communities.
Don’t use false accusations about our motives or disparage our efforts to do something great for my community of Tupper Lake. I live here. I raised a family here. I have several successful businesses here.
Don’t tell me I’m doing this to support Lake Placid. How would you know? You never asked me. No, you are only listening to one side of the story and only to a few voices. I, on the other hand, have received many positive comments from my fellow Tupper Lake residents in support of my efforts and so I plan on continuing my efforts to educate the community about this trail. This Rail Trail effort has nothing to do with the ACR project. All it can do is be of a benefit to them. Because of my businesses I am well aware of what owners and buyers of million dollar properties are interested in and it is not riding a train.
Extending the train service is like the old definition of crazy: doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.
Editor’s note: Assistant Managing Editor Andy Flynn grew up in Tupper Lake and maintains close personal and business ties to the community, including having served as a board member of the Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce in 2010.