Tunnel trailhead will ruin Afton

Our worst fears reared their ugly head when it was reported in the [cover story of the] (http://www.readthehook.com/92754/cover-story-aint-no-mountain-wide-enoug...) November 21 issue of The Hook that our driveway was being "eyed by planners as part of the trail system."

My wife and I own just under three acres of land in Afton formerly owned by CSX, on which our residence and my law office are located. Our property is the only possible location for a trailhead and greenway trail proposed for the pending Blue Ridge Tunnel restoration Project.

The eastern portal of the tunnel is about three quarters of a mile from the western boundary of our property which lies between State Route 6 and the present CSX property, which apparently is described in its letter of intent to donate the same to Nelson County.

Claims that the project will bring hundreds of thousands of tourists and millions of dollars to the region, particularly to Nelson County, are bunk.

The direct beneficiaries will be businesses in Waynesboro, Staunton, and Augusta County. The businesses in Albemarle and Nelson Counties are some 25 miles away from the tunnel.

The economic development of Afton is complete. Besides my law practice, we have a post office, two or three antique stores and a bed and breakfast. And the great majority of us desperately want to keep it that way.

Even assuming that buses will not be able (or allowed) to negotiate the winding road to get here from Route 250, locating the trailhead in the village of Afton will forever destroy its rural, tranquil character. And it is impossible that my family could co-exist with a trailhead and greenway trail on our property. The greenway trail (our driveway) would be less than twenty feet from our front door. Nelson County would necessarily have to take our property by condemnation and thus destroy, in one fell swoop, our lives' labor of love built over 25 years.

Bruce K. Tyler
Afton

 Trail planners insist that specific siting of the trail and trailhead are yet to be determined.–ed.