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Horse Safety at Issue in North Salem

One of the greatest features of North Salem is its impressive complex of bridle trails. Thanks to the dedicated members of the North Salem Bridle Trails Association , the trails are extensive, well-maintained and beautiful.

The NSBTA 41st annual meeting was held on June 4, a lovely Saturday morning. Breakfast was served in the courtyard at Salem Sunrise.

After officers were elected and reports were presented, member Jill Murphy brought up the problem of automobile traffic.

The increase in the number of cars and the speed at which some travel “has become a growing concern for riders around here,” said Association President Steve Mulligan.

It is especially hazardous during early morning and late day commuter hours, “when people are in a rush to get to the train on time. A lot of drivers from Connecticut cut through North Salem to reach the MetroNorth train stations,” Mulligan explained.

“We get complaints from people who are riding in the roads but there’s not much we can do. It’s up to the town and the County.” Wallace Road is a case in point. The speed limit on dirt roads is 30 miles per hour, according to Mulligan. But when horses are on the road, “even that is too fast.”

The North Salem Police can monitor speeders but the town does not have jurisdiction over all the speed limits. Board Member Peter Kamenstein has presented a bill to the New York Legislature requesting that local speed limits be controlled by the town instead of the state or county. The issue is pending.

In other business, Bill Ucci, reporting on behalf of Trails Chairman Jack Manes, said the trails have held up quite well, considering the severeness of last winter. Most of the repair work involved diverting water, replacing pipes and repairing wash-outs. Thirty-one new jumps and a few new trails were added last year.

The NSBTA got started in 1970, a result of the enormous attraction the area held for horse riders. The association works closely with town officials, with land owners and with the North Salem Open Land Foundation .

Summer events for the NSBTA begin with a trail ride on Sunday, June 26. The ride starts at 3:30 p.m. on Turkey Hill. A barbecue will follow.

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