The NIMBYs Are Coming! The NIMBYs Are Coming!
A group calling itself the People For Pennsylvania's Future (not to be confused with the environmental group PENNFuture) is running a smear campaign to try to stop the creation of the Hay Creek Trail.
Additionally nearly 1000 residents of Caernarvon Township signed a petition in opposition of the trail.
We've heard this before, neighbors adjacent to a trail rise up in opposition to a regional trail project. Rhetoric reaches the point of hysteria. Wash rinse Repeat.
One tactic that such groups commonly use is to tie the trail to some sort of burden on the community. PFPC spokesman Jerry Thacker claims that want that the group wants "lower the tax burden for everyone by improper use of eminent domain".
That's an odd solution towards Berks County tax reduction, given that 80% of the trail would be paid for in federal transportation dollars. Additionally only tiny percentage of federal transportation dollars that is spent on right of way acquisition for trails, a fraction of one percent.
Odder still is that we "shouldn't be spending money on trails in the era of $4 gas...".
The truth is that none of those arguments have ever held sway, the health, economic, environmental and transportation benefits of trails are bulletproof. Trails encourage physical activity, have a positive effect on housing values and tourism. And yes they can encourage people to complete trips by bicycling or walking, trips that would otherwise have been done in vehicles that consume carbon emitting, $4 a gallon gas.
One thing is for sure, if the trail loving public does not rise up to support the Hay Creek Trail it will not be built. Leaving the land open to developers and further reducing the availability of transportation choices such as bicycling in Southern Berks County.
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Proposed alignment of the Hay Creek Trail showing its connection to the Thun/Schuylkill River Trails