A local farming family took to the floor of the Northampton County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday night to express concern over the proposed third phase of a bike trail that would come directly through their farm.
Christine and Chuck Tankard of Cape Charles said bringing such a trail through a working farm would open the door to several problems. The trail is set to mirror the existing railroad track, but Christine, who was the one speaking, maintained train tracks came through farms so it could pick up recently harvested crops and take them to market. However, a bike trail was very different. The proposed trail would run directly by the Tankard’s irrigation pond, which could be luring to children or people who are running and biking on a hot day and may decide to cool off. Also, Tankard asked what would happen if someone was on the trail when the farm was spraying its crops. Any such accident could open up a lawsuit either against the Tankards or the County.
These concerns are the same concerns Tankard expressed 25 years ago when another trail was proposed along the same route. She said then the Board wisely listened and decided against proceeding.
Spencer Murray concluded he was aware of her concerns and felt it was important that the board hear them and that they be put on the public record.
The eventual goal of the Bike Trail is to connect it to bike trails in Maryland. An informational session on Phase III of the Southern Tip Bike Trail will be held Wednesday, May 23 at 7:00 PM at the Cape Charles Civic Center, 500 Tazewell Avenue. More information on this informational session can be found by clicking here.