The press release announcing the rally reads in part:
[The] proposal for the waterfront owned by CSX . . . does not appear to attempt closing existing vehicular crossings. But it does appear to restrict access to all sections of the riverside access road north and south of the town's existing crossings at Lasher Park (formerly known as the Anchorage) and Cheviot Park. . . . Those stretches have for many years been active with fishing enthusiasts, bird-watchers, dog-walkers, joggers and walkers. Also a 700-foot fence parallel to the tracks and along the terminus of Germantown's Lower Main Street would seek to block river access at an unofficial crossing to an area of shore that has been busy with recreational activity dating back at least 105 years. . . .
The Germantown waterfront advisory committee believes the waterfront is a vital link to the town's colonial past and a gateway to its future. It defines our identity as a Hudson River community: a desirable place to live, work, and visit. Amtrak has indicated the purpose of the proposal is to increase safety. Our committee also believes that if it's not broken, it doesn't need to be fixed—based on interviews with local law enforcement and first responders, there have been zero injuries and zero fatalities in recent memory that could have been prevented by the proposed access restrictions in Germantown.Fencing and gates are also proposed for sites along the river in Stuyvesant, Stockport, Tivoli, Rhinebeck, and Rhinecliff. Locked gates already prohibit access to Castleton-on-Hudson's public riverfront park.
The public comment period, which began on March 14 and was originally meant to continue for just two weeks, has been extended until 4:30 p.m. on May 1. Last week, Assemblymember Didi Barrett joined Riverkeeper, Scenic Hudson, and the supervisors of Germantown, Livingson, Clermont, Stockport, and Stuyvesant in calling on Amtrak and the Department of State to hold public forums in each of the communities impacted by the proposal. A website has been created to share information about the proposal, submitting comments, and the rally on Earth Day.
Anyone interested volunteering or coordinating for the Lasher Park rally is asked to contact Martin Overington at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Village of Castleton-on-Hudson is coordinating with the Germantown waterfront advisory committee to hold a rally at the locked gates to their park on the same day. Other riverfront communities--whether affected or not affected by the proposal--are encouraged to hold parallel Earth Day rallies.
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