I have been following the rails-versus-trails debate closely and would like to express the opinion of a person who was been sitting in a wheelchair for over twenty-five years. I am paralyzed from the waist down as the result of a car accident, own my own home, and consider myself to be a pretty independent person. I enjoy spending time outside but can tell you that my options for outdoor activities are fairly limited in the Tri-Lakes area. I have never ridden the Adirondack Scenic Railroad and really have no desire to. I actually try to limit the times I have to use public transportation because it is never a pleasant experience for me. I do not enjoy having to rely on people to pull or carry me onto a plane, bus, or train, only to be strapped into a set position for the duration of the trip.
What I would enjoy is a smooth and level recreation path to roll on anytime I want. I believe the recreation trail proposed by the Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates would be a great asset to all residents of the Tri-Lakes, including those with disabilities. It would allow local residents and tourists alike to roll, walk, or bike and enjoy the outdoors in a safe and peaceful environment.
Dean Ellis, Tupper Lake, NY