The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Guest Column

October 19, 2013

Harpersfield track is criticized for a reason

A recent commentary by Steve Pushkar, who describes himself as a resident of Oneonta and New York Safety Track’s “marshal,” complains that everything he has been reading about the track has been negative.

There is a simple reason for this. Concerned citizens have been speaking out regularly regarding the appalling conditions the track has created, not only in Harpersfield but in three other nearby towns. In letters to the editor in a variety of newspapers, as well as at packed town meetings, we have expressed our dismay at the noise, dust and unrelenting traffic generated by the track.

Mr. Pushkar’s backyard is in Oneonta. Our backyards extend from Harpersfield to Davenport to South Worcester and Kortright.

It is a measure of Mr. Pushkar’s anxiety regarding the track’s true nature that he mentions “safety” over and over again; however, a video on YouTube titled “Skank NYC Fastest @ New York Safety Track” shows a bike reaching 145 mph. Another video on YouTube called “Woman at New York Safety Track 5/12/13” shows motorcycles racing at over 130 miles per hour. Our website www.friendsofrurallife.com features links to many more racing incidents.

New York Safety track events, which go on from early morning until sunset, are not mere annoyances. In legal documents, local citizens have described the track’s uproar as “loud, high pitched, whining,” “unbearable and unacceptable,” and so loud it penetrates “double-paned windows.”

Traffic is also a terrible problem. The vehicle count, which has been conducted for months by Friends of Rural Life, has risen from a previous handful of vehicles to 80-100 a day on busy weekends. Traffic includes pick-ups pulling box trailers and Winnebagos.

Race tracks have an obvious negative effect on real estate. Regarding a proposed track in Connecticut, realtor Robinson Leach said on Register-Star online “… everyone in three miles will have their property values reduced by 50 percent more or less and the time (looking for buyers) stretched for years. The town fathers will be sentencing the town’s property owners to lowered property values.”

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