One of CT's Jewels May Soon Be Off Limits

Cyclists both young and old use the 80 miles of trails along the West Hartford Reservoir to ride through nature.

"This is a wonderful place that offers a lot of variety of trails for different skill levels, different people and it's a very nice setting, it's peaceful, and it just has a lot to offer," said Ron Bonofiglio of Tolland.
The trails could soon be off limits. The Metropolitan District (MDC) was ordered to shell out $2.9 million to Maribeth Blonski, because she slammed into a barrier while riding. Now, the company is worried about other liability lawsuits.
"I feel somewhat upset that someone would have to find a reason to bring a lawsuit against it, because I think the organization has done a fine job sharing the facilities with everybody and making sure it's a safe area," said Rick Picard of West Hartford.
It's not just the people on bicycles who will be barred from the trails. The people who enjoy walking or running will also have to find another place to go.
"If you have walkers they can be injured by trees falling down. You have to inspect the trees. You have to set up guardrails to keep people from falling into the water," said Bartley Halloran, who is with the MDC.
The threat of closing has many people who enjoy the reservoir upset. They say the area would be losing one of its jewels.
"We've been riding here for a long time and it would be a huge loss to the community to not have this place to enjoy," said Bonofiglio.
"The MDC, as far as having this area open to the public, this is a big draw for a lot of people. A lot of families come here; I come here a lot; it really adds value to the town," said Jonathan Durham of West Hartford.
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