The Town Board has given the library board of trustees permission to design a trail linking the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Library with the neighboring Shenendehowa School District campus.
The path, whose design will cost $17,000, will give pedestrians a safer, more direct route to travel between the schools, library, YMCA and businesses. The collaborative effort connects more than just physical structures, calling also for partnerships between the town of Clifton Park, the library and the school district to work together to create a system of connecting trails downtown.
The path, which will be less than a mile long, will be added to 13 miles of trails that connect together various town sites. Once paved, the path will allow patrons to leave the library’s main door on Moe Road, walk to the edge of the parking lot and follow a paved route directly to school property. That’s good news for kids trudging to the library to do their homework after school.
“The town saw this as an opportunity to ensure safe passage for young people who would otherwise be walking the main roads, including Route 146 and Clifton Park Center Road,” town Supervisor Philip Barrett said Tuesday. “It puts an entire loop in the downtown area.”
This particular branch of the interwoven trails will run through mainly grassy fields, with a short section meandering through the woods. Jennifer Viggiani, open space coordinator in the town’s planning department, said the town’s public trails historically have been safe, so she doesn’t see a problem with students walking along the paths.
“All of our trails are on neighborhood pathways and along public roads, and we’ve never had problems with safety,” said Viggiani. “This path will have lots of foot traffic, so there will be lots of eyes on the trail along the way.”
Library directors were required to invest the $17,000 for the study when the construction of the new library was approved in 2006, but officials said they are in agreement with the town about the need for communitywide linkage.
“We support the project completely; it’s also a way to hopefully encourage people to walk and reduce fuel use,” Dave Golden, library board of directors chairman, said. “This will change the way people get to the library, although whether or not it will increase circulation is yet to be seen.”
The project faces a long road in the approval process, including review of how the trail will cut through a limited area of wetlands. Viggiani said a completion date won’t be available until after the design study.
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