By Rick Dandes
The Daily Item
LEWISBURG — Now that the nine miles of the rail trail from Mifflinburg to East Buffalo Township is completed to the great satisfaction of area walkers and bike riders, officials of the Buffalo Valley Recreation Authority and a design team representative rolled out several options for the next phase of the project, the 1 1/2-mile trail through Lewisburg borough to the railroad bridge over the Susquehanna River.
A crowd of more than 60 area residents, including borough and East Buffalo officials, crowded into the William Cameron Engine Company conference room Thursday night to hear Steven Beattie, of the Larson Design Group, Williamsport, explain several ways the trail could be laid out through the borough.
“The first nine miles was easy,” Beattie said. “The last 1 1/2 are a lot tougher.”
That’s because the trail will align from Eighth to Fifth streets, with extension to Market Street, and inevitably affect traffic, parking and businesses in the neighborhood.
Presenting six basic options, and variations, Beattie laid out scenarios where bike paths could mean up to 55 parking spots along the route would be lost, an idea that didn’t please several business people in attendance.
Beattie, however, noted that this was an educational meeting, with the purpose of eliciting people’s opinions, both positive and negative, about the various configurations that could be used on St. John Street.
In a question-and-answer session following his presentation, residents expressed both concerns about traffic and optimism about the prospect of having a cycle lane as part of the rail trail.