Governor Approves Griffo-Brindisi Legislation for Snowmobiler Safety

Governor Approves Griffo-Brindisi Legislation for Snowmobiler Safety

Senator Joseph A. Griffo (R/C/IP - Rome) and Assemblyman Anthony J. Brindisi (D/WF/IP - Utica) today announced that Oneida County snowmobilers will have a new trail crossing along Route 8 in the Town of Deerfield, thanks to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s approval of their legislation. The new law allows a portion of the highway right-of-way along Route 8 in Oneida County portions of which are controlled access, to be designated for use by snowmobiles.

“Snowmobiling already provides significant economic benefits to many businesses here in the Mohawk Valley,” Brindisi said. “Providing a safe trail system in one of the most scenic areas in our region will help the many businesses located near Route Eight, and will enhance our region’s reputation as one of the best areas for snowmobiling in the Northeast.”

“What we had here was a situation where the needs of the people of the community and the region were in conflict with state regulations, so we worked with all of the parties involved to resolve the situation in favor of the people of Deerfield and other communities,” Brindisi said.

“The people who live in and around the Deerfield area along Route 8, and the many people who use snowmobiles for recreational purposes, wanted a snowmobile trail to be able to cross a portion of State Route 8 in Deerfield. However, because that part of Route 8 is officially designated as a controlled access highway, the only way this could happen was for a law to be passed creating an exemption for this one specific location,” Griffo said.

Jim Rolf, the New York State Snowmobile Association Trail Coordinator, agrees. "The safe access issue is the most important factor here at this crossing and then the economic benefits this important trail means to the region are right there as well; in our eyes, this new law does address both of these concerns.”

Bill Hajdasz, the Trail Coordinator for the Deerfield Snow Trails added, “Thank you to both Senator Griffo and Assemblyman Brindisi for their continued support in helping snowmobiling not only here in Deerfield but throughout the entire area. This crossing will allow us to provide all snowmobilers a safe, well-marked, crossing with a high amount of visibility to the vehicle traffic on this section of highway. Our club strives to make every road crossing as safe as possible for both the snowmobiler and any vehicle that may be approaching the crossing, this legislation will help us to meet that goal.”

The law adds a new subdivision 1-c to Section 25.05 of the Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Law allowing for the designation of a snowmobile trail along State Route 8 in the Town of Deerfield in Oneida County. The Commissioners of OPRHP and DOT will develop conditions for the safe use of the trail. The designation of such a trail will be for one year and can be renewed with the concurrence of the Commissioner of the New York State DOT.

Passage of the law follows meetings with local Transportation officials and Parks officials, who have met in the location where a trail crossing is proposed. The legislators said that the state’s experts determined that a safe trail crossing can be constructed in the vicinity of the area between mile marker 8-2607-3237 and 8-2607-3260.