A “Non Profit” corporation is soliciting donations. They pitch the conversion of unused or abandoned rail lines to “Trails”, a term evocative of sheltered footpaths through woods and forests although they show photo’s of macadam paved roads and smiling people jogging and of senior citizens ambling along in comfortable sneakers. The reality is: they are a corporation. They collect donations. In addition, the “non-profit” corporation that’s running RTT will further alienate the angry birds when people realize the so called non-profit is really in it for the money. Both the “trail” and the adjoining property owners are the irrelevant cover issues for the real purpose of the RTT corp which is getting people to send them money.
How do you know that?

The people went thru the same thing with the Delaware Canal project several years ago in Lower and Upper Makefield. When they realized what it really meant they rejected it.

Consider: The RTT is an $9 million a year “Money Harvesting” (my term) corporation. Most of that money is paid to the members of the corporation which is the typical scam of non-profits.

The Northampton Board of Supervisors should be seen as doing something positive by at least proposing a “Stop Resolution” in advance of the long and bitter fight that’s coming. Being ahead of the crowd is one of the attributes of leader. Sp step up and lead.

Think of how silly it is to have a bicycle trail that crosses busy Bustleton Ave and a bit further along crosses busy Holland Road. Think of the injuries that will pile up as the bike riders whiz into cross traffic. Think of the increased liability for Northampton township, for the Northampton residents who will collectively have to pay the $8 to $10 million dollar bill and the Northampton residents.

Further, the entire RTT movement is part of Agenda 21. they want to stop road building and get people out of their cars and onto bicycles by exploiting the Green Movement and their instruction book is in the hands of the Bucks County Planning Commission.

In Northampton Township, the SEPTA right-of-way runs east of Village Shires, crosses Buck Road at Spring Road and continues to the southwest along a portion of Elm Avenue before crossing into Upper Southampton and then into Philadelphia. A large number of properties and property owners and users would be affected by their enthusiastically pitched Rails-to-Trails program so it would seem advisable for the supervisors to provide a measure of comfort to those who will be most affected. The land was taken from owners under the Eminent Domain process. It’s proposed by me that the land should be returned to the free market.

Notice to SEPTA. You are maintaining an attractive nuisance. You have a legal obligation and a moral duty to correct it.

Here’s a proposal for the Northampton Board of Supervisors.

RAILS TO TRAILS
COMMENTS:
The Northampton Civic Center and Recreation Center Complex is several hundred acres. It’s the home of 4 lighted baseballs fields, a brand new playground, 2 outdoor lighted basketball courts, 4 outdoor lighted tennis courts, 4 lit full size soccer fields, 4 small practice soccer fields, an outdoor bandshell, and both women’s and men’s softball fields. The perimeter is about two miles long. It takes and hour and a half to walk around the perimeter of the fields but there is little to no interest in walking, jogging or running around the Civic Complex.

Then there is Tyler Park, a huge park with about 12 miles of trails both paved and unpaved that are great for walking and getting back to nature.

Same for the Northampton Municipal Park which is over 100 acres. There is a long paved path that is more than long enough to accommodate walkers, joggers and runners yet very few people use the trails.

Warminster has a huge municipal park right across Bristol Road that is even longer than Northampton’s Municipal park. There is a sparsely used walking and running path but it hardly used.

NORTHAMPTON HAS PLENTY OF TRAILS, PARKS AND RECREATION FIELDS THAT ARE HARDLY USED. THERE IS NO NEED TO CREATE ANY MORE. There’s the “Law of Diminishing Returns” operating here.

Northampton has over-invested in government owned land which keeps that land out of commerce. There are so many places to safely ride bicycles, hike, run, jog and walk in Northampton township that no one knows how many tens of miles of such places are in Northampton. Most of the parks and open spaces as well as the streets and roads that are off the highways that are available to ride and walk that the amount hasn’t ever been calculated. No one knows how many trails exist in Northampton so why waste time trying to get more of what is already too much?

The Rails to Trails company wants Northampton to physically change the land that was once used to provide rail service to and through Northampton township. The land at issue is the Fox Chase-Newtown line owned by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA).

  1. Parts of the Fox Chase Line would be very dangerous if converted to a walking and jogging trail. It has numerous places for criminals to hide where they can jump out and overpower a hiker or jogger.

  2. There are no lights which makes the trails with hiding places more dangerous.

  3. There are no water fountains to properly hydrate children, seniors and adults who use the trail for exercise which require more water.

  4. The trail will have to be a large paved road. Read that again. It’s a road, not a trail. The road will need to be strong enough to accommodate police cars, ambulances and fire trucks. That makes the project even more expensive.

  5. That land has not been used recently.

  6. That land is severely neglected.

  7. Parts of that land are difficult to traverse.

  8. Parts of that land are deep below the grade of adjoining properties.

  9. Other parts are above the grade of the adjoining properties.

  10. A neglected iron bridge over busy Buck Road will make the walk dangerous because people could fall over the edge of the bridge onto busy Buck road.

  11. Over the years many properties that adjoin the rail line land have been developed.

  12. Over the years the adjoining property owners have been able to ignore the rail service property.

  13. Over the years the adjoining property owners have ordered their lives around the rail service property as though it was abandoned.

  14. It would be extremely disruptive to the lives of adjoining property owners to use parts of the rail service property.

  15. Some of the disruptions to their lives would be considered severe.

  16. There are no restrooms on or near the railroad.

  17. There are no sewers on or near the railroad.

  18. there are no fire hydrants on or near the so-called “trail”.

  19. There are no water fountains near or on the railroad.

  20. There are no lights on the railroad.

  21. Maintaining the so-called “trail” will be expensive because the so-called “trail” is really a road because maintenance vehicles must be able to travel on it to service the lights, water fountains and the sewage.

  22. The Northampton police force will have to drive along the so-called “trail” many times each day to make it safe.

  23. Emergency vehicles will have to drive along the so-called “trail” to rescue people.

  24. Large Fire trucks will have to drive along the so-called “trail” to put out fires.

RESOLVED:
1. Northampton township will not approve nor be a part of the Rails to Trails program nor of any part thereof.
2. Northampton township’s official position is the rail service property aka. Fox Chase-Newtown line owned by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA) should be returned to the free market or added to the properties of the adjoining property owners from which properties the SEPTA owned land was taken.