By David Loomis
INDIANA — Last week, it finally dawned on Burrell Township supervisors that their lonely four-year fight against a decade-long effort to extend a regional network of bicycle and pedestrian pathways across their dominion lacked one critical supporting element:
A good reason.
At their July 17 board meeting, the supervisors appeared to face the fact that their arguments might have been contrived. They announced that the Indiana County Office of Planning and Development had revised and resubmitted the hike-and-bike plan they formally rejected on May 24.
That two-page rejection letter, signed by township board Chairman John Shields, expressed objections, for example, as a circular argument or as a mountain made out of a molehill.
— Circular argument:
“The plan does not adequately consider how bicycle and pedestrian traffic will access the north side of the pedestrian bridge, given that there is currently no bicycle or pedestrian trail in the vicinity of the proposed bridge site.”
Translation: Burrell supervisors themselves have gone so far to impede hiker and biker traffic to the designated bridge site as to remove trail markers posted along the way.
“The (April 11, 2013, PennDOT) email identifies US Route 422 as the right of way that bridge will be crossing over, when in fact Route 22 is the correct road that the proposed bridge would be constructed over.”
Translation: We can’t bother to correct a typo.
Now, county planners have addressed those concerns, and township supervisors are resigned.
“Our attorney told us there is nothing we can do to stop them if they comply,” said township supervisor Larry Henry at last week’s board meeting.