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Letter: Replace LIRR line with trail

Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker, center, is flanked

Suffolk County Legislator Sarah Anker, center, is flanked by local elected officials as she announces a major step toward the development of a bike path in Shoreham. (Aug. 14, 2013) Credit: Ed Betz

Long Island desperately needs a recreational trail for its runners, bikers, strollers and walkers in order to separate them from the very aggressive drivers on Long Island roads ["At last, new bike trail is gaining momentum," Editorial, Aug. 23]. But Port Jefferson is not the place for it. It is the least accessible area of Suffolk County. It is not near any highways or parking. It is crossed by numerous roads. Worst of all, that area is an eyesore.

A better idea would be to build a recreational trail along the Main Line of the Long Island Rail Road from Ronkonkoma to Greenport. That's 60 miles of scenic trail through mostly undeveloped Pine Barrens, farmland, vineyards, parks and lakes. The New York State Department of Transportation considers this another form of transportation and provides funds in other parts of the state to develop these trails. The Rails to Trails organization is prepared to explain how this can enhance the economy of some rural parts of Long Island.

Most of the people of Suffolk County would be within a few miles of this recreational trail.

Lawrence Donohue, West Islip

Editor's note: The writer is a contributor to Rails to Trails, which creates trails from former rail lines.