Rail Trail Newsletter 4-3-2018 #18

In this issue, we have stories from Weston along the MCRT. [in the green area denoting MCRT stories.] In the white area, [white = stories elsewhere in the region] we have stories from NY, Cape Cod and a story about a new bridge being chosen in Northfield Mass to replace the Schell Bridge as a new bike-ped only bridge. Hello Clinton and Berlin Mass friends. You should get familiar w the process to put in new bridges for bikes/peds only. You too can do this as well.

You will also see stories about Lynnfield [scene of 1 of 3 rail trail 'to-dos' in Eastern Mass where people opposed to the trail are loud and terrified of the trail coming to their community.] Also a great story from NY where a National Grid-owned corridor is becoming a trail. This will be news to several places in Mass where National Grid doesn't even return phone calls.

And in the Orange area [the area for notable stories or ideas that originate outside our region], we have stories about rail trails from national real estate trade magazines talking about how great trails are to create a renaissance in a community.

And finally, I want to point out a couple of things about these Constant Contact branded E newsletters. If you see some small text about allowing photos, that means you are not seeing the photos. Click on the link there and that will load the photos.

And if you see at the bottom, some text noting there is more to see, then clicking that will take you to another story or two along with a link to my calendar of upcoming events and a link to the archive of past stories.


Craig Della Penna
413 575 2277
"In the News"
 and Updates About the Longest Rail Trail Project in New England
Rail Trail Construction Beginning in Weston Now
T he construction crews have mobilized and are resuming work from where they left off in December. Work will start at the Wayland town line and will move easterly towards the Weston Transfer Station. READ MORE HERE.
People can follow the progress of this development through the Rail Trail Advisory Committee.

Weston Historical Society introduces a new narrative.
As Weston nears the mid-April start of MCRT construction, the Weston Historical Society has published their Spring 2018 Bulletin. It is entirely about the Central Massachusetts Railroad and Mass Central Rail Trail. There are 7 articles, including the history of the Weston Station, the 1997 town meeting epic and probably the most detailed listing of any town's historic RR inventory. The 37 illustrations seem to include a few never published previously. READ THE BOOKLET HERE
Communities on the 
 on the MCRT and their websites

Did you know that many communities (or groups like land trusts) on the MCRT alignment are working on their section of the trail? 

Here are links to websites where you can learn who the contact person is, when these groups meet, when hearings are being planned and how to sign up to get notices sent to you directly.
Belmont: Link here to the town appointed committee. 
Belmont:  Link here  to the Belmont Citizens Forum.
Somerville: Friends of the Community Path's Facebook page is here
Waltham: Link here to the Waltham Land Trust's site. Link here Waltham Bike.
Weston: Link here.
Wayland:Link here
Sudbury: Link here for the N-S intersecting trail--Bruce Freeman Rail Trail. 
Hudson: Link here.  
Berlin: Link here goes to the town's Rail Trail Committee. Once on that page, you can sign up to get notices of meetings, agendas, minutes, etc. They also have a pretty nice website w pix of the future trail. Link here.
Clinton: Link here.
Wachusett Greenways area: Link here.
East Quabbin Land Trust service area: Link here.  
Ware: Check out the new FaceBook page. Link here
Belchertown/Northampton area: Link here.
Rep. Walsh’s Transfer Rail Trail Language Included in Gov. Baker’s Bond Bill
BOSTON – For the first time in an environmental bond bill, $25 million was designated to facilitate a better partnership with municipalities looking to build trails for consideration using Department of Transportation funds, through a dedicated line item.
The purpose of this line item to offer more accessible, transparent, and streamlined resources for trail development; provide resources to municipally improved trails that are not necessarily candidates for funding from the Department of Transportation; and finally, create a permanent structure as to how the Commonwealth facilitates trail development. Read more

Public hearing on
Albany Electric Trail
Richard Moody Columbia-Greene Media
VALATIE — The Hudson River Valley Greenway scheduled a public hearing regarding the environmental impact review it conducted for its 35-mile rail trail called, Albany-Electric Trail connecting downtown Albany to downtown Hudson.
The project is part of the state’s Empire State trail system, an initiative to create a 750-mile bike trail and walking pathway from New York City to Canada and from Albany to Buffalo by 2020. [btw, this former trolley corridor is owned by National Grid and yes, it does have wires on it. You might want to show this story to your NG person. They probably have no idea of what is happening in NY. Maybe they will return calls now, after seeing this. CDP] Read more

Lynnfield Rail Trail A Great Opportunity To Add Value To Our Community
A release from the Friends of the Lynnfield Rail Trail:
Experts tell us that our Rail Trail will get built. They are getting built all around us.
It is not IF but WHEN!
We say that you cannot take this for granted. It will take the silent YES supporters to make the Lynnfield Rail Trail a reality.
3 key benefits:
*Improves Health and Wellness: physical health, mental health, social health.
* Improves Community / Social connection.
* Improves Safety - provides off road recreational alternative for all ages and abilities free from distracted drivers. Read more.

Hudson Valley Rail Trail getting $3.6M boost
Paul Brooks  Times Herald-Record. HIGHLAND, NY. Officials announced Friday they will spend $3.6 million to forge a key link for the Hudson Valley Rail Trail by fall. Officials made the announcement at the Town of Lloyd’s Tony Williams Park, which is where the existing blacktopped rail trail running west from the Walkway Over the Hudson ends. Read more
Final link in Hudson Valley Rail Trail project unveiled
All the rail trails will soon be connected, thanks to several long-awaited projects in the towns of New Paltz and neighboring Lloyd.
Ulster County Executive Michael Hein was joined by local and state officials Friday to announce the start of construction for the final two-mile stretch joining Ulster and Dutchess rail trails networks together. Read more here .
Don't leave Queens behind. E very other borough is getting a next-generation signature park
By Carter Strickland of TPL
If spring weather ever arrives, thousands of New Yorkers will be venturing back outside to one of the iconic parks that define their boroughs. Think of Manhattan and Central Park comes to mind. Brooklynites treasure Prospect Park. The Bronx has Van Cortlandt Park, Staten Island has its Greenbelt. Read more .
Light Seen At End Of New Haven to Northampton Canal Trail 'Tunnel' By Paul Bass
A year after a breakthrough in negotiations with abutting property owners, the city of New Haven, CT is wrapping up legal loose ends on plans to construct the last leg of the Farmington Canal Trail there.
Pending sign-offs on some uncontroversial legal papers, the city hopes to put the work out to bid this summer and have construction begin in the fall, said City Plan Director Mike Piscitelli.
The key remaining document is a lease subordination with People’s Bank for the Audubon-Grove parking garage owned by Konover Commercial Corporation. The extended path would pass beneath it. Read more .
At the last meeting the public provided us with ideas and comments on the 8 Concepts that were presented
-The comments and input was greatly informative and appreciated
-We received over 300 comments at the meeting and in subsequent emails
-We took your comments and suggestions into careful consideration in order to narrow down the number of alternatives AND to help refine the preferred concepts. Read more about this here .

Cape Cod Rail Trail 's northern expansion on track
  Mary Ann Bragg  
Design work has begun to extend the Cape Cod Rail Trail farther north into Wellfleet, as state officials also prepare to buy a private campground along the new route.
Acquiring Paine’s 28-acre campground alongside a new section of the bike trail will give the state a “unique opportunity” to connect campsites at Nickerson State Park in Brewster with campsites farther east on Cape Cod. Read more.
by Chris Bailey, Government Affairs Director, Greater Greenville Association of REALTORS® Like a lot of other small Southern towns, Greenville, South Carolina has experienced a rebirth and renaissance of sorts. Downtown Greenville is seeing an unprecedented level of. .. Read more. [BTW, I worked for Pinsly Railroad Company for over 10 years. Pinsly owned the former RR in Greenville, SC and sold it to the town to make into a trail. And not allowing the corridor to be sold to adjoining adjoining land owners. Kudos to John Levine, President of Pinsly. Thank you John! This story is for you.CDP]

Transform an Unused Railroad Corridor into a Lively Trail
Posted in  Commercial & Investment Real Estate by  Holly Moskerintz  on April 8, 2015

Many towns have abandoned former railroad corridors that now are unused and unwelcoming parcels of land in a community.  These corridors are great opportunities to create a destination and transform that corridor into vibrant public places. Ideal for many uses, such as walking, bicycling, inline skating, cross-country skiing, and equestrian and wheelchair use, rail-trails are extremely popular for both transportation and recreation. Read more .

G ame-Changing Rails to Trails
Posted in  Placemaking in Action Types of Placemaking , by  guestblogger  on August 16, 2017
An earlier post,  Transform an Unused Railroad Corridor into a Lively Trail , detailed how many towns have railroad corridors that have been abandoned and now have become unused, unsafe, and unwelcoming parcels of land in a community.  These former railroad corridors are great opportunities to create new destinations in a community by transforming those corridors into vibrant public places. Ideal for many uses, such as walking, bicycling, inline skating, cross-country skiing, and equestrian and wheelchair use, these rails to trails are extremely popular for both transportation and recreation. Read more .

Here's my calendar of upcoming in-person lectures, online webinars, bike tours, book-signings etc. Email me at: [email protected] for more information on any of these events or if your community OR trail group might like to host one.