Save the Putnam Trail Announces that Poll May Call for Mayor Bloomberg’s Intervention

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Poll uncovered at a city website shows residents appreciate nature trails above other park activities, yet the city is still poised to pave.

Lake next to Putnam Trail enjoyed by local fishermen. Environmentalists say asphalt leads to water runoff problems

We believe the city should listen to its own polls.

A poll at the NYC Parks Department website for Van Cortlandt Park asks: if you could visit Van Cortlandt Park every day for one activity, what would it be? 54% of people chose “wandering the nature trails” with remaining votes scattered among a handful of other choices.

POLL (as of 1-11-2013):*

If you could visit Van Cortlandt Park every day for one activity, what would it be?

Wandering the nature trails
906 (54%)

Bird watching
101 (6%)

Fishing
145 (9%)

Golf
102 (6%)

Horseback riding
412 (25%)

Despite its own poll, the city is proceeding ahead with plans to pave over an historic nature trail called the Putnam Trail, beginning in fall 2013, according to Save the Putnam Trail, a grassroots group based in New York City.

The poll shows nearly 1,700 respondents in addition to nearly 1,300 people who have signed the anti-paving petition at the Save the Putnam Trail website.

“We believe the city should listen to its own polls,” said Michael Oliva, a coordinator of the campaign.

Van Cortlandt Park is the city’s fourth largest park and has the following recreational outlets and facilities:

Barbecuing Areas; Baseball Fields; Basketball Courts; Bathrooms; Bicycling and Greenways; Bocce Courts; Cricket Fields; Dog Runs; Eateries; Fishing; Fitness Equipment; Football Fields; Golf Courses; Handball Courts; Hiking Trails; Historic Houses; Horseback Riding Trails; Ice Skating Rinks; Nature Centers; Playgrounds; Pools; Running Tracks; Soccer Fields; Spray Showers; Tennis Courts; Water Fountains

In 2005, the city obtained $500,000 federal highway money (SAFETEA, 2005) through Rep. Eliot Engel and $950,000 from Rep. Anthony Weiner to improve the trail. An additional $960,000 was added later by Mayor Bloomberg, for a total starting at $2.41 million.**

*Poll site: http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/VanCortlandtPark
**http://riverdalepress.com/stories/Save-the-Putnam-Trail-asks-Engel-for-action,49477

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