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How does one turn the problem of the now too
big, proposed Belleayre New York Resort into an opportunity?
First, of course, scale it back substantially and require that most all of it be built within or directly adjacent to already developed areas. In addition, require the developer to join forces with the state and rebuild the old Phoenicia rail from Amtrack right on up to the Resorts door.
Why might one want to consider this train accessable,
more compact development?
To allow limited growth in exchange for increasing the peace & quiet of the Catskill Mountains by rebuilding an alternative to motor vehicle transport of people and goods. People getting off a train do not need parking lots, roads, gas stations etcetra. In fact they need very little space at all. By taking advantage of the available developement money to create this now very compacted plan, destination points all along the rebuilt rail corridor benefit from reduced motor vehicle related blight yet are able to look forward to increased business. We might imagine that in 100 years we probably would see that much future growth has simply chosen to 'zone' itself an easy walk from the train stations.
Imagine a (mostly) CarFree Resort accessible primarily by rail. (Imagine your next holiday on board the "Catskill Mountain Dinner Train" simply sitting back and enjoying the ride as you cruise along the Hudson. After a while, you might stroll to the club car for a refreshment and some entertainment. Then, you stroll to the dining car for a leisurely dinner. Later, as you enter the Catskill Mountains, you notice the natural landscape comes so close to the tracks it seems like you could reach out and pet the wild life.
As you enter the Belleayre Resort station, one sees a variety of amenities within steps of the train station. The main resort building has many interesting windows and entrances facing the street. For those going to further points, there is a regularly scheduled trolley loop transit corridor around which the entire resort is designed. This track roughly parallels a walking path and a bike path.
What might be the results entirely killing
the Belleayre Resort plan?
Over the next 100 years as population increases, more and more people will come anyway, even if only day trippers. A few extra cars this year, still more next year. As motor vehicle traffic increases, so does pressure to "Do something...". " That "Something" usually is widening a road here, building a parking lot there. That in turn paves the way for even more traffic and the cycle goes on and on. A little step here a little step there on down the road, unless..... we take a big step now to provide an alternative.
Imagine. Getting away to a place free of auto traffic and all its related noise and hassles!
Imagine a development plan that might actually reduce existing Catskill Mountain auto related blight.
What might a (mostly) Car Free Resort look like?
Where would the railroad run? The likely possibility would be rebuilding the old Phoenicia rail line.
What if I want to spend some time out of the
"Rail Corridor"?. For that, ZipCars are located
at various points around the resort. ZipCar.com
With Zipcar, you don't need it. Drive hassle-free, anytime. The low hourly rate includes gas, insurance, maintenance and designated parking. Your Zipcard gives you instant access to a variety of great new cars near work, transit and home.
Sound like a farfetched idea? For just
one example of many "Cruise" Trains now in operation
Michigan Star Clipper Dinner Train
Hailed as one of the finest dinner trains in the country, recaptures the grand era of fine rail dining and travel. Five full courses of delicious cuisine are all freshly prepared on board and enjoyed throughout the 3-hour journey along with fine wines and liquors. .... live professional Comedic Murder Mysteries, Various Special Spoofs about Class Reunions, Weddings, Jazz, Broadway & 50-60 Oldie Musical Revues. All shows are performed table-side for your personal enjoyment, thus creating a very special, adult-oriented, romantic, fun and certainly unique evening on a real moving train.