A plan by the Morris County Park Commission to extend the Traction Line Recreation Trail, which runs from Morristown National Historical Park in Morristown along a New Jersey Transit line and ends at Danforth Road in Madison at Fairleigh Dickinson University, has detractors and supporters.
The Park Commission envisions continuing the 10-foot wide, paved path to Elm Street, running between the rail line and the backyards of Madison homes.
Opponents, including the entire Madison Borough Council, , while supporters, including the mayor, say expanding a trail that connects Morristown and Madison would be good for the borough.
The entire six-member Borough Council not only unanimously voted against a resolution that would have registered their support for the project so the Park Commission could say the host community supports the project when applying for a grant, it also took an extra step to have a new resolution crafted to oppose the project and unanimously approved that.
The Park Commission said trees and brush would have to be removed and drainage issues would have to be addressed. Opponents said the project would affect homeowners' privacy, and could lead to security problems, and GOP Council candidates Don Links and John Hoover .
Mayor Bob Conley, though, said he supports the project. It's a trail he often uses, and bringing the trail farther into Madison would be a good thing. If he hadn't voiced his support for the project at the meeting, even after most residents and council members blasted the idea, he wouldn't have been able to sleep that night, he said.
John Morris and Chris Kellogg voiced their support for the project at Monday's Council meeting, and others expressed their support in comments on Madison Patch.
I'm very disappointed in the Borough Council's response. As a frequent user of the trail (much of which runs alongside back yards of homes on it's other end!), I was excited to hear of the planned extension.
Yardley said in an email the trail is away from car and truck traffic and delightful in how it changes with the seasons. Wildlife use it, too, and he's encountered several deer on the path, he said. Families, people on their way to and from work and school from the Convent Station rail stop, and numerous people exercising, including walkers, joggers, bikers and in-line skaters, all use the trail, he said.
"The traction line trail is much more than a bike path," he wrote. "In fact, that's a misnomer. If you spend enough time on it, you'll probably find bikers in the minority. It is a multi-town treasure. Ideally, it would connect from Morristown to Chatham."
This is so disappointing! The Traction Line is great, but right now ends just dumping pedestrians and bike riders at Danforth. Having a path like this that would go all the way into Madison from Morristown would be awesome.
. The path would promote public health, he said, and he resents the implication that most or all residents in their neighborhood are opposed to the path.
Others said that, even with the extension, the trail wouldn't take bikers to downtown Madison.
I have to say this is one of the stupidist ideas I've heard in recent history. To think this will bring bikers into downtown Madison makes no sense at all. They will be getting off at Elm street. Even if some do make it into town...what are they going to buy? Gatorade? When's the last time you saw a biker with baskets on a bicycle?