Residents of Collier's quiet Rennerdale neighborhood are objecting to the township's installation of numerous metal poles for directional signs that will advertise the nearby Panhandle Trail.
"You're opening this up to tell everyone where it is when there is really not enough parking," said Doreen Ducsay, a former commissioner, who pointed out May 8 that the main parking areas for the trail are at Walkers Mill and Gregg Station, which are at the beginning and end of the trail.
The parking area on Sunnyside Avenue in Rennerdale is much smaller and more hilly, she pointed out, adding that cars parked there had to be towed following the 2004 Hurricane Ivan flood. Fiber optics on the trail were exposed by the rains, too.
"We really take pride in our streets and yards in Rennerdale," said Barb Riedl, who had three poles erected in her yard. "Now, all of a sudden, there are 20 signs from Webb Field down to where the pond is. Isn't that overkill? It's going to look junky."
Robert Caun, Collier's codes and zoning officer, said the signs are not to advertise parking but to alert drivers that they are sharing the road with bike riders.
"Where the trail crosses a road, we have to meet certain signage standards," said Larry Souleret, township engineer.
Other officials said that the township is required to erect the signs because three years ago it received a $208,000 grant from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for upgrades to various parks.
One of the state's priorities was that connections be made to link Webb Park, Collier Township Park and the Panhandle Trail.
Legislation adopted since the grant requires municipalities to comply with the federal Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, township manager Sal Sirabella said. Though he promised to look into whether Collier could somehow make the signs "less onerous" for residents, he noted biking is a growing national trend and that bikers' safety must be protected.
"It's nice to get grant money, but with that money comes a lot of rules and regulations," board president Robert Schuler said.
Carole Gilbert Brown, freelance writer: email@example.com.