Much of the current South Hill Recreation Way runs through lands owned by the City & Town of Ithaca. This is the City’s watershed, and is home to many public trails.
Local government officials want to extend the trail into rural, private property, sending a finger of the City into our valley, clearing woodlands, destroying natural habitats, and imposing City on Country. In doing so, the Government seeks to exploit the natural resources- a healthy ecosystem, space, and solitude- of the Country. This is urban sprawl.
The following diagram depicts the current South Hill Recreation Way (the spur near Therm is not included in the image, although much of that land abutting the trail is also owned by the City of Ithaca). The pink area shows land abutting the trail currently owned by the City and Town of Ithaca.
- The main section of the South Hill Recreation Way is about 2.3 miles long
- The current South Hill Recreation Way abuts ~73 homes (based on counts from aerial maps available online)
- ~89% (65 of these 73 homes) are small lots in the City or Town of Ithaca near Ithaca College and Therm
- ~11% (8 of these 73 homes) are larger, rural lots in the Town of Ithaca
The proposed “trail” is an improved surface road, 10′ wide plus access for construction, and is for urban recreating, not rural landowner access to the City.
The following map shows a 0.5 mile radius drawn around the South Hill Recreation Way near the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and Coddington Road in Ithaca. Hundreds of homes, and a college of over 6,000 students are within 0.5 mile of the trailhead.
The following map shows a 0.5 mile radius drawn around the terminus proposed in “South Hill Recreation Way Extension Phase C- Banks Road to Middaugh Road”. The terminus is in fact the driveway for Under the Tree Farm, a fruit orchard in Brooktondale, and a neighbor’s parking area and garage. There are only an estimated 30 homes in a 0.5 mile radius from this proposed terminus (based on counts from aerial maps available online).
Although a bike trail may seem benign, it is the tip of the spear, and rural landowners have wised-up to the schemes of starry-eyed urban planners. We are standing our ground, literally, to defend our way of life and the land we love so much.