New York State Department of Transportation and the State Department of Environmental Conservation have released a draft comprehensive plan for managing state highways in the Adirondack Park. Comments on the plan are now being sought.
An announcement sent to the media said The Draft Generic Travel Corridor Unit Management Plan for State Highway Corridors in the Adirondack Park (TCUMP), “is the result of collaboration between the New York State Department of Transportation, the State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Adirondack Park Agency, the State Department of State, local government groups, and organizations that promote protecting the Adirondacks.”
Public comments on the plan will be accepted through Monday, November 27, 2017. NYSDOT and DEC will hold three public hearings about it this fall. Each hearing will begin with an informational presentation, followed by an opportunity for the public to make verbal or written comments. The final plan is also subject to APA approval.
Upcoming hearings are scheduled for:
Thursday, September 28, 6 p.m. at the Adirondack Park Agency, Adirondack Room, 1133 State Route 86, Raybrook, New York, 12977
Tuesday, October 3, at 6 p.m. at the Town of Webb Town Hall, 3140 State Route 28, Old Forge, New York, 13420
Wednesday, October 4, at 6 p.m., at the DEC Warrensburg Office, 232 Golf Course Road, Warrensburg, New York, 12885
The Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan identified 28 state highway travel corridors within the Adirondack Park. Travel corridors are one of nine basic state land classifications identified in the State Land Master Plan.
According to the press release:
DEC and the APA develop unit management plans to guide how land in the Adirondack Park is managed. Unit management plans assess the natural and physical resources present in land units, identify opportunities for public use consistent with land classifications, and consider the ability of the ecosystem to accommodate that use. The generic TCUMP is unique because of the working, linear nature of the land involved, its varied landscapes and differing relationships with neighboring properties.
The plan outlines park-wide goals, strategies, objectives, policies, guidelines and best management practices in a manner that facilitates the development of route-specific corridor plans. The goal is a consistent planning approach, with strategic implementation based on a sound understanding of the corridors and the surrounding environment, both natural and built.
The TCUMP provides important guidance for NYSDOT about sustainable management practices that are consistent with the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan. It discusses a wide range of topics, including project design, maintenance activities, vegetative management, and highway operations such as mowing and snow and ice control.
NYSDOT already has implemented some practices identified in the draft plan, including:
Improving fish passage at culvert locations. For example, twin culverts were modified in 2010 on Route 3 over Lyon Brook, the Town of Franklin, Franklin County.
Reducing the spread of invasive species in the Adirondack Park by changing mowing strategies, timing mowing to reduce the spread of invasive weed seeds and raising mower deck heights to minimize soil disturbance, which also contributes to the proliferation of invasives.
Reducing salt application rates by at least 10 percent in some areas of the Adirondack Park by reducing plow speeds to minimize salt scatter and using salt brine to pre-treat roadways and salt treated with magnesium chloride, all of which lessen salt usage. The department also has emphasized best practices for salt storage to minimize salt spread into the environment.
Partnering with DEC to create a fishing access as part of a bridge replacement project this year on Route 86 over the West Branch of the Ausable River in the Town of North Elba, Essex County.
Collaborating with DEC and the APA to improve a parking area last year at the intersection of Routes 9N and 73 in the Town of Keene, Essex County, improving parking and enhancing the scenic vista.
For further information about the generic TCUMP, questions about the public meetings, or to request an assistive listening system or other meeting accommodation, contact Ed Frantz at [email protected] or (315) 793-2421.
Public comments about the TCUMP may be emailed to [email protected] or mailed to Ed Frantz, New York State Department of Transportation, Environmental Services Bureau, 50 Wolf Road, Albany, NY 12232.
The pdf of the draft UMP is available on the NYSDOT website. Copies are also available for review at the following locations:
Tupper Lake Town Hall, 120 Demars Boulevard, Tupper Lake, NY 12986
Johnsburg Town Hall, 219 Main Street, North Creek, NY 12853
DEC Ray Brook Headquarters, 1115 State Route 86, Ray Brook, NY, 12977
DEC Warrensburg Office, 232 Golf Course Road, Warrensburg, NY 12885
DEC Northville Office, 701 South Main Street, Northville, NY 12134
Town of Saranac Town Hall, 3662 State Route 3, Saranac, NY 12981
Town of Webb Town Hall, 3140 State Route 28,Old Forge, NY 13420
Town of Fine offices, 84 County Route 27, Fine, NY 13639