Putnam Trail can wait


To the editor:

(re: “Historic graves might be disturbed near paved trail,” Jan. 10)

Reading the Jan. 10 issue of The Riverdale Press, I was delighted to learn that the Kingsbridge Historical Society is in the vanguard of the crusade to make sure the remains of formerly enslaved persons possibly still buried in Van Cortlandt Park will not have their final resting place unduly disturbed in the quest to pave the Putnam Trail.

Now, more than ever, is the appropriate time for New York City to do what it did prior to the construction of the Marble Hill Houses several decades ago: Undertake a full and thorough archeological survey before the area in question is permanently lost to development.

We cannot allow these people who suffered so much during their lives to be betrayed by a final indignity, especially in a community like Riverdale, which prides itself on its progressive principles.

There have been proposals both for and against paving the Putnam Trail circulating for years. Surely a final decision can wait until the dead have been accorded appropriate respect.

Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith,