JOHNSON CITY (WBNG) — You may have spent time walking or riding your bike along some of the trails found throughout the Southern Tier. Now, Johnson City is looking to add to the map with its own rail trail.
The stretch will take joggers and cyclists from Riverside Drive, paralleling Grand Avenue down to Wells Avenue. For some, it’s a much needed revitalization tool for Johnson City.
“Health benefits, recreation, and commerce. I think it hits a lot of the good things we need to see in this area. With all the activity with Binghamton University and the private sector investment, not only on Main Street, but the outlying areas, it’s really positive for the community,” said Town of Union Director of Economic Development, Joe Moody.
For local cyclists, the plans will provide a safe place to exercise.
“I ride over 5000 miles a year. To have a meaningful cycling infrastructure in the core of Binghamton is critical. Keep us away from traffic, keep us safe,” said Regina Losinger, former president of the Southern Tier Bicycle Club.
While the Johnson City rail trail still has a long road ahead in development, planners are taking the time to listen to the public about what they would like to see included in the project.
“For me, it’s critically important to have asphalt. This isn’t the Great Allegheny Passage, this is not a 150 mile route that we’re coming to for vacation. This is what we’re going to be on day, after day, after day, on our road bikes,” said Losinger.
The rail trail received more than 500,000 dollars in grant money from the Greater Binghamton Fund. While a timeline is unclear, Johnson City Mayor Greg Deemie says it could be several years before the project is complete.