The Locally Owned Voice of the Capital Region

Protect Mohawk scenic byway

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
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By the way, did you know that this area has something called the Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway? It runs from Schenectady to Waterford on roads and land bordering the Mohawk River, often following the route of the old Erie Canal. Very historic, very pretty (think the hamlet of Vischer Ferry), and worth preserving.

Fortunately, an action plan has been created that would do this. It would help prevent the kind of sprawl visible in too many parts of the Capital Region as development occurs in these Mohawk Valley towns.

The plan calls for specific measures such as hiding large parking lots behind commercial businesses, clustering new homes to allow for more uninterrupted open space, and making the design of new buildings match old ones.

These are good ideas and land use practices anywhere, but especially in places with historic and aesthetic value. They’re keys to protecting quality of life and attracting tourist dollars — one of the goals of the National Scenic Byways program, of which this one is a part.

The plan needs to be officially endorsed and incorporated into the planning and zoning laws of the eight communities that are part of the byway coalition. And the byway needs to be better promoted.

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