Thursday, August 27, 2020

UPDATED: Why Pave Nor-Bath Trail?

At their August 20 meeting, Northampton County Council voted 8-0 (Peg Ferraro was absent) to reject a $218,693 bid from Grace Industries to pave a portion of the Nor_bath Trail. Twenty-seven firms accessed what's called the Request for Proposals, but only Grace submitted a proposal. Council member Tara Zrinski complained about the quality of work done by Grace, and Council member John Cusick was concerned that only one firm submitted a bid. The project will be re-bid, but Executive Lamont McClure worried there may be no bids at all in a rebid. "What are you going to do?" he asked.

I'd suggest there's no need to do any paving on a trail. All that does is add to impervious coverage, which increases water run off. Paved trails are also more dangerous because cyclists will travel too fast. The best surface would be crushed stone, which is pervious and more easy to maintain than asphalt.

UPDATED 3:25 PM: I'm informed this paving will be gravel, not asphalt. That's different, lol. Am trying to find out and will let you know if I had it wrong.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good question. Check our the contributions to the politicos. By the way when will you do your review of candidate finance reports?

Anonymous said...

The NorBath Trail does NOT need to be paved. What the heck are they thinking? It is a fine surface for biking or walking. Yes, there is some maintenance needed from time to time. All trails do not need to be paved. Some of us like the old time feel of grass and gravel. Paving this trail that runs through mostly farmland would be insane.

Anonymous said...

It was a beautiful day on the trail up in Lehigh Gorge.

Anonymous said...

So glad you brought this topic up. No need to add more paving the world. It does increase speed of bikers on shared trails, it adds more impervious surfaces and changes the microclimate of the area. All this extra heat radiation. Plus, for this old lady, paving is hard on knees and feet. I feel sorry for the dogs forced to walk with their owners on the macadam. Only time you should walk a dog in the summer time on macadam is if you first have checked walking on that hot surface with your own bare feet. Try it some time if you think I am kidding.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"It was a beautiful day on the trail up in Lehigh Gorge."

I envy you. It is heaven up there.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"So glad you brought this topic up. No need to add more paving the world. It does increase speed of bikers on shared trails, it adds more impervious surfaces and changes the microclimate of the area. All this extra heat radiation. "

I have not discussed this with Bryan Cope, the Parks Director. He is certainly more environmentally conscious than I. There may be a reason why a portion of the trail must be paved. I know that part of it in Northampton, which adjoins some residential homes, must be paved in accord with a deal with the developer of those homes. It's how the county got that land. But crushed stone is the best surface for most trails.

The Palmer Bike Path is a paved trail. Over the years, the macadam is showing signs of wear and riding on it is like riding on a progression of speed bumps. I doubt the Twp has money in its budget to fix the path. I'm sure it has bigger problems. But if you can, I think you should avoid the asphalt.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Good question. Check our the contributions to the politicos. By the way when will you do your review of candidate finance reports?"

There are few contested races locally. Next year, when the local offices are up, I will be looking as closely as one man can do.

Anonymous said...

Not sure about a trail, but most local zoning considers gravel impervious. Makes me crazy. There's also pervious asphalt and concrete, but the cost is probably prohibitive.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I see no reason why gravel would be considered impervious. We all know we are facing climate change. I believe we should be making an effort to reduce impervious coverage, not increase it. But like I said, I don't know what part of the trail this is.

Anonymous said...

Aside from the possibility of the paving being part of the conditions of the land acquisition (as someone else pointed out), could it be that there are plans to make that portion of the trail accessible to the handicapped?

I'm not familiar with the section that's being discussed for paving, but those with difficulty walking or in wheelchairs would likely appreciate the opportunity to also enjoy the trail.

Anonymous said...

The state and federal model stormwater management ordinances all consider gravel to be impervious, due to the compaction of the soil. I was very impressed by the surface of the Nor-Bath Trail, especially on the East Allen segment, I like it exactly the way it is. If any improvements should be undertaken, I would argue in favor of finding a way to extend the trail to Bath instead of the current dead end that dumps you off at a mining operation along a very busy state road.

Anonymous said...

God I wish they could get a connection to the trail network into Nazareth. That would be amazing.

Anonymous said...

This goes to show why Zrinski is a sham "environmentalist" First, the blacktop will contribute heat pollution to any receiving stream. Second, Blacktop binder is a petrochemical (fossil fuel for our good Tara), which takes a whole lot energy to produce (hello fossil fuels again).
The whole point of trails, in my opinion is to get people out into the natural environment. How does paving fit into natural?
7:14 is correct, it comes down to infiltration rates.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I'm not familiar with the section that's being discussed for paving, but those with difficulty walking or in wheelchairs would likely appreciate the opportunity to also enjoy the trail."

I gotta tell you, crushed stone on Nor-Bath is fine with a wheelchair. And a paved path like Palmer would be too bumpy.

Anonymous said...

No to blacktop on the trails, period.

Anonymous said...

Stone and gravel is considered to be impervious, according to the PA DEP.

Anonymous said...

Hey why go for asphalt, with a little wining and dining, they could line it with cork or astro turf, we woundn't want anyone to fall and get stones in their knees. after all if school children can no longer play on gravel why must senior citizens.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, you got your facts wrong. The bid was to resurface with gravel. This was the second phase of the project.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Uh oh.lol

Bernie O'Hare said...

I called and have not heard.