To the editor:
(re: “Vannie nature lovers mourn Putnam Trail paving,” Aug. 15)
Thank you for your informed write-up on the Nature Group’s walk in Van Cortlandt Park.
Although a resident of New Jersey, I participate in these walks and have followed the efforts to preserve the natural elements of the Putnam Trail.
Unfortunately, you were taken in by the parks department’s oft-repeated comment that pavement would bring the trail into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, a very misleading statement designed to win favor, but lacking full disclosure.
There certainly are alternatives to pavement that are ADA-compliant. A permeable surface would calm traffic, something wheelchair users and others with walking aids or limited ability would appreciate.
Families with children, birders, bikers, exercise seekers, and all who seek a nature outing know they’re losing a unique and uniquely accessible walk in the park.
Already an issue, there will be increased concern about safety, while too many are concerned about maintaining speed. The information about the negative effects of pavement, which you do include in your story, should give pause to environmentalists.
There is time to remedy this. Government projects have been known to make adjustments in light of more enlightened considerations.