Your Support Letters Needed

By Jennie Acklin

The Ellicottville-Great Valley Trail Committee is making great strides in the creation of a safe and accessible trail for the community and visitors.

Last Monday, April 21, 2014, Jim Cuozzo and Greg Szewczyk, regional TAP coordinators with the NYSDOT, came to Ellicottville to meet with committee members to discuss the details of the TAP (Transportation Alternatives Program) application.

Ken Hinman, Mark Alianello, Kate O’Striker, John Burrell, Charlie Coolidge and Jennie Acklin gathered at the Town Center for a meeting, followed by visits to various sites on the proposed trail to discuss details. Measurements were taken, pedestrian and automobile traffic was discussed, and many other design and construction points were taken into consideration, all with the input of Cuozzo and Szewczyk.

The application is due June 11, 2014, and the EVGV Trail Committee is currently looking to the local community for letters of support to accompany the TAP grant.

“The more positive input we have from the local community, the better the application is received by the DOT decision-makers,” said Acklin. “So please help us.”

“Our goal is to have hundreds of support letters,” said EVGV Committee member Ken Hinman. “We have a sample letter that outlines the pertinent information required in the support letter (formatted for anyone to follow), and we will also be circulating a petition for supporters to sign.”

Petitions have been distributed to many businesses in Ellicottville. A sample letter is posted on the trail’s Facebook page for easy access (www.facebook.com/evltrail).

Hinman asked that letters be submitted to any of the EVGV Trail Committee members, to the Town of Ellicottville office, or to the Village of Ellicottville office.

If you do not have Internet access, printed sample letters of support, as well as the petition, are available for signing at the Ellicottville Town Clerk’s office.

The EVGV Trail Committee believes that Ellicottville and Great Valley needs a safe, accessible trail for walkers and bikers to connect the many destinations in our year-round resort community. The planned trail will offer an alternative travel mode, avoid peak-season parking congestion, and link the Ellicottville Central School to the Ellicottville Library, the Village Park, and the Ellicottville Town Center. This route will increase the transportation options local residents and visitors can use to include safe bicycle and pedestrian facilities that link all of the activity centers in the Ellicottville area.

The 2014 Transportation Alternatives Program provides funding for programs and projects defined as transportation alternatives, including on- and off-road pedestrian and bicycle facilities; infrastructure projects for improving non-driver access to public transportation and enhanced mobility; community improvement activities; environmental mitigation; safe routes to school projects; and projects for planning, designing, or constructing boulevards and other roadways largely in the right-of-way of former Interstate System routes or other divided highways.

Please remember to sign the petition, or drop off a support letter to a committee member of the Town of Ellicottville office, or the Village of Ellicottville office by June 1. For more information about the EVGV Trail support letters or the project, please contact any of these EVGV Trail committee members:

Ken Hinman
(716) 474-8214

John Burrell
(716) 699-2100

Charlie Coolidge
(716) 699-4636

Jennie Acklin
(716) 699-4062

Kathleen Moriarty
(716) 699-2355

Kate O’Striker
(716) 699-2377, ext. 122

Jane Eshbaugh
(716) 699-2345

Mark Alianello
(716) 699-4650.