The state has released for public comment a draft plan for managing highways in the Adirondack Park that aims to maintain a park-like atmosphere. The lengthy document covers such topics as scenic overlooks, bicycle-friendly roads, and access to trails and rivers. Click the link below to read the document.
Public hearings will be held September 28 in Ray Brook, October 3 in Old Forge, and October 4 in Warrensburg. A news release follows:
STATE DEPARTMENTS OF TRANSPORTATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION RELEASE DRAFT MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR STATE HIGHWAYS IN THE ADIRONDACK PARK
Comprehensive Guide Will Protect Character of the Park
Public Hearings on Proposal Set for September 28, October 3 and 4
New York State Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Cathy Calhoun and State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the release of a comprehensive plan for managing state highways in the Adirondack Park while retaining the park-like character that compliments the Adirondack experience.
“The Adirondack Park is a national treasure and an economic engine for the North Country region,” New York State Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Cathy Calhoun said. “This new blueprint will safeguard the beauty and character of the Park for generations to come while enhancing the safety of the traveling public.”
DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “The plan we are presenting to the public today was carefully crafted to enhance public safety and improve the State’s highway infrastructure to support and sustain economic development in the Adirondack Park while protecting our natural resources. This is a solid plan that strikes a delicate balance between protecting New York’s famed Adirondacks and ensuring the safety of travelers on the park’s highways.”
The plan – the Draft Generic Travel Corridor Unit Management Plan for State Highway Corridors in the Adirondack Park (TCUMP) – is the result of collaboration between the New York State Department of Transportation, the State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Adirondack Park Agency, the State Department of State, local government groups, and organizations that promote protecting the Adirondacks.
The draft plan is subject to public comment. Comments will be accepted through Monday, November 27, 2017. NYSDOT and DEC will hold three public hearings about it this fall. Each hearing will begin with an informational presentation, followed by an opportunity for the public to make verbal or written comments. The final plan is subject to APA approval.
Upcoming hearings are scheduled for:
- Thursday, September 28, 6 p.m. at the Adirondack Park Agency, Adirondack Room, 1133 State Route 86, Raybrook, New York, 12977
- Tuesday, October 3, at 6 p.m. at the Town of Webb Town Hall, 3140 State Route 28, Old Forge, New York, 13420
- Wednesday, October 4, at 6 p.m., at the DEC Warrensburg Office, 232 Golf Course Road, Warrensburg, New York, 12885
The Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan identified 28 state highway travel corridors within the Adirondack Park. Travel corridors are one of nine basic state land classifications identified in the State Land Master Plan.
DEC and the APA develop unit management plans to guide how land in the Adirondack Park is managed. Unit management plans assess the natural and physical resources present in land units, identify opportunities for public use consistent with land classifications, and consider the ability of the ecosystem to accommodate that use. The generic TCUMP is unique because of the working, linear nature of the land involved, its varied landscapes and differing relationships with neighboring properties.
The plan outlines park-wide goals, strategies, objectives, policies, guidelines and best management practices in a manner that facilitates the development of route-specific corridor plans. The goal is a consistent planning approach, with strategic implementation based on a sound understanding of the corridors and the surrounding environment, both natural and built.
The TCUMP provides important guidance for NYSDOT about sustainable management practices that are consistent with the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan. It discusses a wide range of topics, including project design, maintenance activities, vegetative management, and highway operations such as mowing and snow and ice control.
NYSDOT already has implemented some practices identified in the draft plan, including:
- Improving fish passage at culvert locations. For example, twin culverts were modified in 2010 on Route 3 over Lyon Brook, the Town of Franklin, Franklin County.
- Reducing the spread of invasive species in the Adirondack Park by changing mowing strategies, timing mowing to reduce the spread of invasive weed seeds and raising mower deck heights to minimize soil disturbance, which also contributes to the proliferation of invasives.
- Reducing salt application rates by at least 10 percent in some areas of the Adirondack Park by reducing plow speeds to minimize salt scatter and using salt brine to pre-treat roadways and salt treated with magnesium chloride, all of which lessen salt usage. The department also has emphasized best practices for salt storage to minimize salt spread into the environment.
- Partnering with DEC to create a fishing access as part of a bridge replacement project this year on Route 86 over the West Branch of the Ausable River in the Town of North Elba, Essex County.
- Collaborating with DEC and the APA to improve a parking area last year at the intersection of Routes 9N and 73 in the Town of Keene, Essex County, improving parking and enhancing the scenic vista.
For further information about the generic TCUMP, questions about the public meetings, or to request an assistive listening system or other meeting accommodation, please contact Ed Frantz at Ed.Frantz@dot.ny.gov or (315) 793-2421. Public comments about the TCUMP may be emailed to https://www.dot.ny.gov/programs/adirondack-park, or mailed to Ed Frantz, New York State Department of Transportation, Environmental Services Bureau, 50 Wolf Road, Albany, NY 12232.
The draft UMP is available on the NYSDOT website at TCUMP Master Final Public Review. Copies of the draft UMP are available for review at the following locations:
- Tupper Lake Town Hall, 120 Demars Boulevard, Tupper Lake, NY 12986
- Johnsburg Town Hall, 219 Main Street, North Creek, NY 12853
- DEC Ray Brook Headquarters, 1115 State Route 86, Ray Brook, NY, 12977
- DEC Warrensburg Office, 232 Golf Course Road, Warrensburg, NY 12885
- DEC Northville Office, 701 South Main Street, Northville, NY 12134
- Town of Saranac Town Hall, 3662 State Route 3, Saranac, NY 12981
- Town of Webb Town Hall, 3140 State Route 28,Old Forge, NY 13420
- Town of Fine offices, 84 County Route 27, Fine, NY 13639