I see a large part of the problem seems to lie in folks not knowing the difference between a railroad right of way and an easement. According to the Assessor's Maps, the trail would cross several privately owned pieces of land. More than one owner has said they will not grant an easement for a trail, at least not without a lot of money.
When design drawings were presented 15 years ago showing how trails and rails could coexist, they were turned down with abusive language. When they were presented 4 years agom they were turned dowm with abusive language followed by telephone threats. This "new" plan was turned down 2 years ago as impractical, and the County Planning Commission turned it down after RAAA sneaked it into the Master Plan draft. Now it is dug up again after we know railbanking is unconstitutional (see Jack's posting above).
NWP announced that materials are arriving (ribbon rail and concrete ties) to extend the main line revamping another 30 miles. The temporarily out of service tracks are not abandoned and will not be. And they do not belong to bicycle enthusiests. No matter how loud you yell and how hard you whip that dead horse, it won't get up again. People are being played for suckers and donating to something the organizers know won't ever happen. But look at all the free publicity some guys with political ambitions are getting. Sorry it didn't work fot Cliff.
I can tell you why somebody might be afraid to post their real name in this rag. Some of the trails people have not been satisfied with debate and have taken action of a nasty sort.
Great cartoon. Goebbels would have been proud of it.
The right of way isn't public property, not a public resource, and not the best place for a trail. Ir does cross wetlands that prevent removing the rails and replacing the embankment other then by doing it by rail. Catch 22, to remove the rails you would have to first restore them for access of equipment.
Whenever a biker gets hurt on 101, I regret that the City of Arcata killed off the Eureka/Arcata trail through Indianola.
There is also the nasty little fact that rail banking has been declared unconstitutional in Federal Court. Sixteen times lasr year and more in 2012. That means no trail unless it is a subordinate function of the easements. It also means the A&MRR Trail will never be built. So where does (and where has) money collected for that go? NCRA has consistantly said no railbanking, the Federal Courts say no rail banking and a year and a half ago the HUmboldt County Planning Commission also said no. Every year the half dozen people fixated on destroying the railroad con a few new suckers into making noise about a scam that isn't going to happen. If building rails with trails is going to cost so much, lets drop the trails part of it and restore the rails, which are not in all that bad shape except for one very short and much photographed stretch.
I'm switching my support from rails with trails to rails without trails.
In 2011, the Federal Courts have declared rail banking to be uncostitutional where the right of way is not owned completely by the railroad. It is an illegal appropriation of private property for the use of a minority of the population for recreation. The NWP is such a line. Even if they wanted to, which they and the NCRA have repeatedly said they do not, the could not rail bank the NWP. If we want to have a trail along the NWP line, it has to be as a secondary use of the railroad whith the tracks restored. Hiking down the Highway 101 section between ARcata and Eureka, I noted only one questionalbe stretch of track, easily repaired, except where the City of Arcata removed rails without permission. That piece has to be repaired at City of Arcata expense and will be the most costly repair on the line.
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In Print This Week:
Dec 5, 2013
vol XXIV issue 49
The North Coast Journal Weekly
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