[quote="JBC"]I just tried to get a crossing easement in Dennysville but the state does not grant easements, just licenses. As the man at DOT said, " you don't want to go there".[/quote]
Cool, you tried getting a crossing easement in Dennysville? That's were I live. A whole lot of nothing lol.
The REAL PEOPLE of Washington County will get more benefit out of the new bridge in Verona than they will from a bike path in the woods.
The Maine DOT owns the entire 87 miles?
Yes. It is one of many defunct rail lines that Maine has bought. We have thrown millions at these lines.
I regret the loss of public transportation throughout Maine--the B&A, MEC, Boston & Maine, etc. It will make more sense to maintain the RR line, provided the use of it will pay for its mainenance and continued operation. I, for one, would love to see the RR's return as they were in their heyday!
Most of todays society won't walk from the parking lot to Walmarts so why would they take a train anywhere and have to walk at the other end. Most who want the return of trains would not support them by their ridership. If they did the trains would still be in service.
The bike path should be paid for by bikers and leave the rest of us who don't ride out of the cost of building and supporting it. How about making it a toll bike path?
Gaffer, how would you know that many who wish the trains to return would, in fact, not ride those trains themselves? If I were to travel I'd favor rail, but I don't travel much. I do realize that passenger service may be difficult to turn a profit, but rail freight would pay for itself, wouldn't it?
I find it inconvenient to walk from one section of the Bangor Mall Boulavard to another, say, from the Curtain Shop to Buggaboo Creek Rest., then to Boarders, then to Staples and then to the Mall itself. There are no sidewalks between these places. This section of Bangor was intended to be driven to, not walked to. I think this is unfortunate.
Why don't we build a heavy haul truck road on this line that would allow trucks with multiple trailers? It could cut transportation costs to Washington County, and the port of Eastport.
I must admit that, while logistically feasible, the idea of a heavy freight road is not currently possible under state statute. If the state (the MDOT) were to construct a new road for freight, then, given that it was constructed and maintained by a state agency, current statute only allows for a GVW of 100,000 lbs to be carried on collector and arterial loads, and 80,000 lbs on the interstate. That is of course the same weight allowable on Rte 1 and thereby not increasing freight transportation from the perspective of the hauler (although getting getting trucks into their own shipping lanes has other great benefits). I was however in attendance a couple of weeks ago when the DOT commissioner recognized that a lot of Maine's northern roads are deteriorating due to an increase in truck traffic. He seemed bewildered by the fact that trucks were opting to use Rte 2 instead of I-95 (the better built road). He speculated that if more freight was hauled across the interstate, then the lesser roads would be in far better condition. Of course he seemed to forget the 10 T weight limit difference and offered no solution to the problem. He did however allude to the possibility of (gulp!) tolling.
Downeast Sunrise Trailâ€¦ Maineâ€™s Newest Rail Trail
May 21st, 2008 Â· No Comments
The State..is ready to begin rehabilitating the...Calais branch rail line, turning the...trail bed into the Down East Sunrise Trail...with...87 miles stretching through woods, mountainous areas, blueberry country, bogs/wetlands.., towns. There will be stopover points for camping in Public Reserve Land, links to...towns that offer B&Bâ€™s and other lodging.
The state plans to recycle/resell the steel rails removed from the rail bed, earmarking that money toward...the pathway.
re: how much fed money
None. It's all taxpayers' money.
And fed money is pennies from heaven?
DOT just might be able to fix the most dangerous section of road in Western Maine. That section of Route 219 from Greenwood City to West Paris. Dugout have a very narrow roadway curve and a drop-off to the river about eighty ft below. :?
[quote]Dale Henderson has no intention of giving up a fight.
For weeks, the prominent eastern Maine landowner has been battling the Maine departments of transportation and conservation on their rail rehabilitation project, part of which runs through his land in Hancock.....
.........Now, Henderson and his attorney, Tim Pease of Bangor, are examining whether the state even has ownership rights to the railroad land in the first place.[/quote]
[quote]DOC will manage and maintain the trail and corridor until circumstances warrant the return of rail use to the area.[/quote]
[i]Editor's Note: How will this impact Maine's transportation funding? How will Maine cope?[/i]
The Wall Street Journal
Funds for Highways Plummet As Drivers Cut Gasoline Use
By CHRISTOPHER CONKEY
July 28, 2008; Page A1
A report to be released Monday by the Transportation Department shows over the past seven months, Americans reduced their driving by more than 40 billion miles.
The cutback furthers policy goals, i.e. reducing oil consumption/curbing emissions. Coupled with a shift away from gas-guzzling vehicles it means consumers paying less in federal fuel taxes, which go largely to help finance highway and mass-transit systems. Many such projects may have to be pared down or eliminated.
URL for this article:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121721483297789245.html
It could, and perhaps it should, cause a reduction in road construction and repair projects. (But it probably won't). Many of these jobs are planned for years, and were probably budgeted for assuming revenues would stay up, so it will be a tough pill to swallow. Re-prioritize things based on actual condition of the road/bridge. etc., and put some off until later on.
What will they do?
The light will come on and they'll figure out that they can't afford to build bike pahts. The funding for those projects will be transfered to cover "real" transportation needs like fixing roads.
And if you believe that.....
The Wall Street Journal
Bush Calls for New Highway Tolls, More Private Funding of Roads
By CHRISTOPHER CONKEY
July 30, 2008; Page A3
WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration unveiled a plan to impose new tolls on freeways and encourage more private investment to finance road and mass-transit projects, a move aimed at stirring debate as lawmakers prepare for a major overhaul of transportation policy.
The White House says more tolls and public-private partnerships can solve perhaps the biggest problem confronting the nation's aging infrastructure: There are limited funds.
Americans are driving less and shifting to more fuel-efficient vehicles.
URL for this article:http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121737711076695281.html
Bats versus bicyclists
Old W. Md. rail tunnel attracts both, but coexistence in doubt
By Frank D. Roylance
November 15, 2008
LITTLE ORLEANS - The 4,350-foot Indigo Tunnel hosts an estimated 1,400 bats during winter hibernation, some rare/endangered species. The bats could derail plans to extend a popular bike trail through the tunnel - a route supporters hope will help lure thousands more tourists to this hard-pressed region.
The Gov. Erlich administration =set aside $4.6M in state/federal funds to extend the Western Maryland Rail Trail through Indigo Tunnel to the hamlet of Little Orleans.