Amtrak releases new Columbia Co. fencing, gate plan
William J. Kemble is reporting for the Daily Freeman Amtrak has issued a revised plan for fences and gates along its tracks in Northern Dutchess and Columbia County. Opponents say it will restrict access to the Hudson River even more than the original proposal put forward three years ago. The new plan calls for a total of almost 24,000 feet of fencing and gates at 29 locations between Hyde Park and Albany. Amtrak officials wrote in the five-year plan that trespassing on railroad property is the leading cause of all rail-related deaths in the country and exceeds the number of deaths from trains colliding with vehicles at crossings. Jeffrey Anzevino, director of land use advocacy for Scenic Hudson, said the new plan is upsetting because it adds locations that were not included in the 2018 proposal. That plan was withdrawn amid public opposition and at the request of the state Department of Transportation. “Now we see there are plans for sites in Hyde Park,” Anzevino said. “There are more sites in the city of Hudson, which is one of the most problematic sites." The goal of the new plan, and the former one, is to block roads traditionally used by fishing enthusiasts to access the river. In Columbia counties, barriers included in the new plan are:
• Germantown: fencing and two gates at Cheviot Road, fencing at Main Street, and fencing and one gate at Anchorage Road.
• Greenport: addition of a gate near the Rip Van Winkle Bridge.
• Hudson: fencing and one gate at Broad Street, and fencing and one gate at Dock Street.
• Stockport: fencing and one gate at the Stockport Creek Conserve.
Amtrak public relations manager Jason Abrams declined to comment, but said the railroad would issue a statement. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.