he owner of the top of Flagstaff, Jake Arner, is proposing a new trail as part of his housing development. On Sept. 26th at 6:30 p.m. a public meeting is scheduled at Memorial Hall in JT (on 10th St.) to discuss the proposal. While not everyone is crazy about the idea of the housing development, I'm sure most of us love the idea of a new trail from Switchback to the top of Flagstaff. Let's make sure that the PA mountain bike community is well represented at this meeting. I personally will not be able to attend as I will be out of town on business.
Morning Call article: http://www.mcall.com/news/local/all-...0,548389.story
Please Support JT Trails!
Here is a letter from Jake:
Dear Mountain Bike Trail User,
After having a conversation with Jim Thorpe Borough's Engineer it is my opinion that she does not support and will probably not recommend the new mountain biking and hiking trail which is scheduled to be reviewed by the Jim Thorpe Borough Council this Wednesday September 26th 6:30pm at Memorial Hall.
The Borough's Engineer pointed out the following problems over the phone:
1) The increase of soil erosion on Flagstaff Road due to mountain biking and hiking on the haul road. My response was yes there is existing soil erosion which accumulates on Flagstaff Road in front of Nick East's B&B, however the improvement of the trail (Phase 1) through adding stone that will greatly decrease future erosion of the surface and will improve this condition. If the trail is allowed to continue (Phase 2) along the Borough's property there will be an opportunity to create a drainage culvert and sedimentation pond upslope of Flagstaff road which would divert any stormwater and sedimentation off of Flagstaff Road.
2) Concern over erosion from mountain biking and hiking entering the water intake along the Mauch Chunk Creek. This is interesting to me because Mauch Chunk Creek already has a mountain biking and hiking trail along it, which actually separates the proposed Phase 2 trail from the Mauch Chunk Creek. If the new trail is properly designed there will be no more erosion then exists now because the existing trail separates the proposed trail from Mauch Chunk Creek.
3) Concern over ATV's and motorcycles using the trail. I pointed out that if the Borough did not want motorized vehicles to use their trail they could install vertical pipes at the entrances of their property which would limit the width of handlebars to mountain bikers.
4) Increased liability over bikers and hikers use of the trail. In 18 years of supporting mountain biking and allowing it across my property I have never had a claim for liability. The Borough's solicitor pointed out that the Borough already has liability for the bikers that ride on Flagstaff Road (a Borough Street) and there would not be much difference in liability. I believe there would be less liability since the damage that would be inflicted from a car hitting a mountain biker would be far greater than a mountain biker falling on the trail.
5) The cost to the Borough of constructing the trail. Fortunately I attended the Carbon County Partners for Progress meeting this Friday. Dennis DeMara of DCNR gave a presentation about Carbon County's New Comprehensive Plan and the establishment of Greenways. After the meeting Dennis said that DCNR would be willing to provide funding for the construction of this trail on the Borough's property.
In regard to costs; this trail will act as an amenity to the current citizens of Jim Thorpe. Is there any value in this? Ask any kid from Jim Thorpe if there is enough to do in our town. Ask any mountain biker about their feelings on the loss of trails in our area due to State Game Land issues. This proposed trail will strengthen the existing Trail Network for the mountain biking industry and all the business's which get business from the mountain bikers (hotels, campgrounds, restaurants, shops, convenience stores etc.) Our businesses pay taxes to the Borough shouldn't we have a say in what the Borough does with Borough Property (actually if you think about it this property is the Borough resident's property).
This proposed trail needs your support! If you do not come to the meeting on Wednesday 6:30pm at Memorial Hall or call members of the Jim Thorpe Borough Council. I am sure this trail will not be approved, based on the negative response from the Borough's Engineer.
Don't let our proposed new trail die,
Jake Arner, President
Canyon Rim Estates, Inc.
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