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See Northampton Twp Supervisors Mtg

19 Sep 2016

Northampton Twp Board of Supervisors

Northampton Twp Board of Supervisors

Please see the video recording and learn about the meeting to consider the Newtown Rail Trail by the Northampton Board of Supervisors. Click Here:

 

BBC Overview of Northampton Supervisors Mtg on the Newtown Rail Trail on 9/15/16:
The Northampton Supervisors invited the Bucks County Govt Planning Commission to present the Newtown Rail Trail at a special meeting last night. Executive Director Lynn Bush and Planner Paul Gordon presented a clear description of the conceptual plan and also provided references from nearby or similar rails to trails conversions. They assured residents that the conversion of the 135 yr old rail corridor into a walking/biking trail would not increase crime, would be constructed to be safe and would minimize affects on nearby homes. They also stated that insurance and liability issues would not have an adverse affect.

Regarding police costs and crime, they had talked to the police leadership in Doylestown Twp with 26 miles of trails and at the DE Canal State Park with a 60 mile towpath linear park with many adjacent homes. Both police groups had seen no increase in cost for police and crime from the trails. Neither had seen issues with liability from people leaving the trail and entering private property.
Friends of the Penn-Tammany Greenway Coalition estimated there were over 200 residents in attendance that supported the trail.

After the presentation by the County, the NH Supervisors allowed public comment for two hours. During that time, four pro trail presenters spoke for about 14 mins total presenting documented names and addresses of 1570 supporting residents gathered in the last few months alone. From those signatures, it was estimated that over 90% of Northampton residents would be in favor of the trail. From going door to door in the Village Shires area to over 450 homes, 84% of the residents living adjacent to the trail wanted the trail built. Overall in VS, 94% of residents were in favor of the trail.
The remaining 1 hour 46 mins of the 2 hours provided by the Supervisors for public comment was used by homeowners adjacent to the rail line that oppose the trail. They questioned the claims by the County Planning Commission regarding crime and safety and strongly voiced their preference to keep the 60ft wide SEPTA property next to their homes as a quiet wildlife sanctuary for their private use.
The meeting ended at 10pm with the NH Supervisor’s Chairman Larry Weinstein stated that time had run out and another meeting would be planned sometime in the future to continue public comment. No time schedule was provided.
The NH Supervisors asked that residents send them emails to voice their opinions. The can be reach at:
Barry Moore, Email:bmoore@nhtwp.org
Larry Weinstein, Email:lweinstein@nhtwp.org
Eileen Silver, Email:esilver@nhtwp.org
Dr. Kim Rose, Email:krose@nhtwp.org
Frank O’Donnell, Email:fodonnell@nhtwp.org

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