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Residents protest Selkirk Bypass

A group of Selkirk residents appeared at Town Hall, submitted a petition with 440 signatures and stood in solidarity against a proposed Selkirk Bypass at the Wednesday, Aug. 27, Town Board meeting.

The group's message was clear, borrowing from the recent speech of Sen. Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Selkirk resident Lisa Evans told the board, No way, no how, no bypass.

The town is looking to divert truck traffic from River Road and Creble Road, and away from residential neighborhoods; and one proposal calls for a so-called Selkirk Bypass with possible new interchange to the New York State Thruway.

However, local residents do not want to see current green space converted into roadway, and one resident even pleaded with the board to complete the town's Comprehensive Open Space Plan before initiating a bypass project.

"We understand the 9W Corridor Study Committee plans to vote for the 'preferred route' for a so-called Selkirk Bypass (more recently named the Creble Road Ext.), extending from Creble Road, through the Weisheit and Clapper Road communities at a new Thruway exchange, and ending at Route 144 near the Job Corps," Evans read from a prepared statement to the board.

"We sensed strong opposition to this project in the community. Accordingly, we circulated a petition, which concludes, 'We do not want a Selkirk bypass anywhere. Please use the money for something productive, such as improving current state routes,'" Evans said. "As of the date of this letter, 440 members of the Bethlehem community, the majority live in the Selkirk area, have signed the petition."

Supervisor Jack Cunningham cordially accepted the petition, saying he frequently talks with Evans about the situation and assured the crowd no permanent action has been taken by the town regarding a bypass solution.

Cunningham said although it is a "preferred route," the town is currently looking at existing infrastructure as a potential solution.

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