Tryon and West Bay Parks have become a very popular destination for off-road cyclists since becoming the only parks in the area that offer shared-use trails. Both off-road cyclists and runners tend to cover longer distances and often choose to visit both parks during a single outing since each are rather small in area and limited to just a few miles of trails. Connectivity between these two parks is very important to trail users.
While these two parks are in close proximity to each other, they are separated by Empire Blvd, a busy multi- lane highway that experiences significant automobile traffic during the evening commute, which is also the most popular time for trail activity during the week.
The trail that park users currently follow to connect the parks passes through private property northwest of Tryon Park and exits onto Empire Blvd approximately halfway down the hill east of Winton Road. This is problematic for multiple reasons. Although we are not aware of any complaints from the private property owner, GROC does not condone the use of trails where legal access has not been granted. More importantly though, this trail presents a significant safety concern. The point where the existing trail connects to
Empire Blvd is on a dangerous blind curve. In order to exit the trail travelling north or enter the trail when headed south, trail users must cross four lanes of high-speed traffic with limited visibility.
GROC has proposed a new trail solution that will safely and legally connect the two parks through public property. This proposed trail will also provide safe trail access for residents of other neighborhoods in the immediate area. GROC met with Monroe County Parks personnel and walked the proposed trail layout in May 2014. At that time GROC was told that the Parks Department would consider allowing construction of the proposed trail. Despite multiple inquiries, GROC has not received any additional feedback from the County Parks Department regarding the proposed trail.
The proposed trail is the only sustainable route that can be done based on the extremely steep descent from the neighborhood into the Park property. GROC has taken great care in the design of the trail locating the trail well within the county property and below visible sight lines from the yards that are along the park's edge. There are 4 houses that are on Club Drive where the trail would start to exit the Park. The trail is well out of any site line from the 4 houses and only the last house where the trail would exit could see any trail user from their yard. The land from where the yard's end is extremely steep drop and at least 30 to 40 feet down from Yards. The only way a neighbor could see trail or trail users is to walk to end or off their property and look down the steep grade.
The trail would exit at the last house on Club Drive and come out 50 feet from Irondequoit Blvd. There is a sidewalk that runs along Irondequoit Blvd that exits the neighborhood and continues up to the traffic light at Winton and Empire. This would allow safe crossing of Empire to Orchard Park Blvd, which takes you to West Bay Park. This trail is not in any way meant to be a trailhead; it is only a way to safely go from one park to another using County-Owned Property.
GROC’s POV on these questions
- Trail Locations is the best and only sustainable option to traverse the elevation
- GROC does not want or think that that Trail exit should be a trail head. It is only for connectivity between the parks. Maps should not call out this trail exit as a trail head.
- GROC would also be vigilant about communicating that parking or using that area as atrial head is not appropriate.
- See Exhibit A for basic trail location
Please Sign the Petition by giving your name address, email, and trail activities you are interested in. This petition is to demonstrate the desire of the trail user community to safely connect these two parks.