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Opposition in Northampton to the Newtown Rail Trail

14 Oct 2016

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Existing Rail Line in Northampton Twp

Existing Rail Line in Northampton Twp

The same opposition, about two people and twenty of their friends, have been stopping the 40,000 residents of Northampton Township from getting the facts on the potential conversion of the unused rail line for years. Efforts by the Friends of the Penn Tammany Greenway Coalition have now informed thousands of residents about the possibilities of the new trail and 90%+ want to see the trail built. Even a concentrated focus in Village Shires showed that 84% of people living adjacent to the rail line WANT the trail built. Penn Tammany presented over 1500 signatures of support acquired just this summer to the Supervisors at the public meeting in September. At the September public meeting, 300-350 people attended with an estimated 250-300 in support of the trail.

Opposition to the trail comes from some of the approximately 185 homes adjacent to the rail line over the 4.5 mile span. Many of these homeowners also fully support the rail to walking/biking trail conversion. This SEPTA owned travel corridor is very similar to the street adjacent to most people’s homes. If given the option, many people would prefer to use the street adjacent to their homes as a private park, enjoy the privacy, wildlife, and restrict their 40,000 township neighbors from walking, biking, or driving on the road. In a democracy, we find this behavior unacceptable and recognize when we buy our homes that existing transportation corridors are for the public, not only the adjacent landowner. All of these 185 homeowners were fully aware of the rail line before they purchased their homes. Can a few people with personal interests stop the 40,000 residents from using this 135 year old travel lane?

Come to the public meeting next Monday, October 17th and ask the Board of Supervisors to vote YES on the conceptual approval.

(slight edit at 1217pm regarding 185 homes and walking/biking trail)