By Kevin Zimmer
BROCKPORT, N.Y.—New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced a $300 million plan to revive and improve the Erie Canal and the Empire State Trail.. A fraction of the money will be used to create a pedestrian pathway over the Erie Canal called the Brockport Loop. This pathway will connect The College at Brockport campus to the Empire State Trail.
Cuomo advised the New York State Power Authority Board (NYPA) to invest and support the Brockport Loop project. During the State of the State address, Cuomo explained this project would create recreational activities on the canal to boost tourism, mitigate flooding, enhance irrigation and recreational fishing and restore wetlands.
In his State of the State Address, Cuomo said that he wants to build upon the Empire State Trail and hopes to increase tourism in New York. He also wants to guarantee a stable economy for the communities living near this waterway in the future.
SUNY Brockport student, Caitlyn Kerry, said she believes the Brockport Loop would have an impact on the community.
“I see the positive impacts of the Brockport Loop with regards to commuters living on the other side of the canal and this path will shorten commute time,” Kerry said.
Kerry said that she believes the Brockport Loop will make it easier for people to walk to school instead of driving in bad weather.
“I have concerns about how safe and if there is going to be the security blue light system that is currently on campus be placed on the pathway especially when it gets dark and during the winter season,” Kerry said.
SUNY Brockport student, George Gandy, said he believes the Brockport Loop would have an impact on the community.
“I see the benefits of the Brockport Loop which will make it convenient for people to get to campus that live on the opposite side of the canal, so they don’t have to drive in bad weather,” Gandy said.
Gandy said that he believes the Brockport Loop will encourage people to walk to school versus driving during bad weather events, which will reduce commute time.
‘I have concerns about the environmental impacts during the construction of the Brockport Loop pedestrian bridge such as air pollution and noise pollution for people living in the area,” Gandy said.
Gandy is concerned about how much pollution will be a result of this project which will impact wildlife currently living in the area and people either living or visiting the area.
David Mihalyov, Vice President of SUNY Brockport for University Relations, said he believes the Brockport Loop has benefits to the college and the Brockport community.
“The pedestrian bridge will benefit the college because it will make it easier for people to access the Empire State Trail and provide leisure opportunities along the canal, which is not currently developed on the campus side,” Mihalyov said.
Mihalyov said that the Facilities and Planning committee and the student affairs committee at the college are going to make sure the path is safe for everyone to use.
The creation of the Brockport Loop will connect both sides of the canal and add convenience to the average person.