Rail Trail Newsletter 3-25-2019 #32

Since I've been laid up w my healing knee, I've been a bit bored. So I began writing op-ed pieces for various newspapers. Upfront and first below are three of them. One has been published by the Worcester Telegram & Gazette about the MCRT, an important project right in their service area. I'm not sure right now where I'll send the other two, but I'll let you know when they do get published.

And in this issue too are a couple of unusual things. One is news of an award by Constant Contact [the company that hosts these newsletters]. They gave us an award for being in top 10% of all the thousands of E-newsletters that they host all over the world. Top in terms of engagement by you the readers. Tiffany my assistant and I are stunned. It is all about your love of all the inspirational and uplifting stories we come across each month. Checkout that story below near the bottom.

Another story we came upon this month is from Frankfort, KY. When I worked for Pinsly Railroad Company just before I went to work for Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, the railroad sent me to KY to talk with both local officials and grass-roots advocates about how to reassemble the former railroad corridor that led to closed bourbon distilleries. This line--called the Frankfort & Cincinnati Railroad--was abandoned by Pinsly years earlier.

That week I also spoke before a joint committee of the state legislature about how to do these projects and the reasons why they were necessary. And as a result of that talk, the state created a Rail Trail office within the Transportation secretariat. The story below talks about how the city of Frankfort has reassembled a section of the corridor and how it is about to be built out as trail. I was shocked to see this story and very quickly sent the story to top Pinsly RR officials who also were both shocked and pleased. The old saying applies here. Ya just gotta never give up.

As I've said many times before, building a rail trail doesn't just happen. It is the hardest thing that people are likely to do in their lives with years of advocacy needed along with the three "Ps": Politeness. Persistence. Patience. Don't ever assume that the potential trail near you will be built without you getting involved. I've put in a few more stories from Lynnfield where the pitched battle continues. Lynnfield will be voting shortly on 4-9-19 to see if the rail trail will be going forward. Call me if you like and I'll teach you what needs to happen in your town. I'd be happy to go and see what you have. And by the way, don't forget, if you don't see the link to the archive you aren't seeing the entire newsletter and you'll need to click on the link to expand it.


Craig Della Penna
413 575 2277
Sugar Maple Trailside Inn
62 Chestnut Street
Northampton, MA 01062
"In the News"

Here's the three op-ed pieces I wrote while laid-up with my healing knee
As I See It: Mass Central Rail Trail is a part of the Worcester renaissance
I’m writing today to clarify some things I’ve seen about the Massachusetts Central Rail Trail (MCRT), but first let me tell you about my Worcester claim to fame. When I was an organizer for Rails-to-Trails Conservancy back almost 20 years ago, my office was located inside the beautifully renovated Union Station in Worcester. We were the first paying tenants there, and I have many positive memories of my time there and being an upfront witness to Worcester’s continuing renaissance. Read more
In the 1970s, the MBTA purchased a slew of old Boston & Maine Railroad, and New Haven Railroad branch lines in over 60 communities in Eastern Mass. Read more
We live on Chestnut Street in Northampton’s historic village center of Florence-- a genuine Civil War era industrial village. And on the rail trail adjacent to our house, each day begins with pretty much the same scenario. Read more
Old RR bridges on the MCRT's Wayside segment? Here's nice report about the condition of all the old RR bridges on the MCRT from Waltham to Berlin. Read the report . [On the scale of things, it looks like rehabbing old RR bridges aren't all that expensive to do. CDP]
The Assabet River Rail Trail has an increasing number of art installations near the trail. Historic markers and statues, murals, sculptures, flower gardens. Tom Kelleher, President and webmaster for the ARRT has a great map of all the art on the trail. Map Link here.
Northampton House Tour
On that afternoon, we are going to be a part of a tour of several historic houses in Northampton. All of the houses on this tour have been recipients of the Historic Preservation Award by the City of Northampton. This is being done as a fundraiser for the local hospital and Kathy and I would love to have dozens or scores or more of readers of this e-newsletter stop by, check out our house, 8 feet from the trail. And we'll show you the canvass ceiling as installed by the RR in 1868. See the restoration of our house on HGTV. CLICK HERE
New bike path through Fall River, Tiverton in the works
By Peter Jasinski
Posted Mar 6, 2019 at 3:06 PM
FALL RIVER – A group of local cyclists is entering the earliest phases of creating a new six-mile bike path through Fall River and Tiverton after receiving $240,000 in funding through the Community Preservation Act.
The Mount Hope Bay Greenway’s first phase would see a cycling and walking path run alongside the tracks of the Old Colony Railroad tracks and the shoreline of Mouth Hope Bay. It would begin in the area of Battleship Cove and extend south to an existing bike path in Tiverton. Read more
Lynnfield's $10.4 Million Golden Ticket
In a Letter to the Editor, resident writes in support of Rail Trail and a Yes vote April 9.
A Letter to the Editor from Mark Preston:
On Tuesday, April 9th, residents of Lynnfield will be asked, "Are you in favor of the Town of Lynnfield continuing to pursue efforts to develop a recreational path along the unused MBTA right-of-way, known as the Wakefield-Lynnfield rail trail project? In light of this pending vote, I wanted to share my thoughts. Read more
Dutchess County and MTA Revive Talk of Beacon, NY Rail Trail
By  Jeff Simms  
Officials in Dutchess County and at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority plan to assess whether a trolley and a bike/pedestrian path could run along an unused railroad line in Beacon from the Metro-North station to the east end of Main Street. Read more

Lynnfield Residents Continue Rail Trail Debate At MassDOT 25% Design Hearing
LYNNFIELD - Officially it was a 25 percent Design Public Hearing for the Wakefield-Lynnfield Rail Trail. But Tuesday night at the Middle School Auditorium, it seemed more like the continuation of Lynnfield residents ongoing debate on the merits of a project that was long ago embraced by their partners on the other side of Route 128. Read more .
The Robert Moses Built Expresway at Niagara Falls is coming down and to be replaced w a GREENWAY Here's a quick video story seen on Niagara Falls TV talking about the demo of an elevated expressway to create a linear park along the Niagara River. See the short video
4 Trail Trends Explained
Alta Planing + Design is a national firm that does trail and greenway projects. Here's a link to a part of their recent newsletter--called: 4 Trail Trends Explained. Read more
I Lived Next To Alewife Bike Path, in Arlington and Here's My Take on the Idea of a Lynnfield Trail
In a Letter to the Editor, resident says proximity to a recreational path is an amenity that is to be treasured, not feared.
A Letter to the Editor from Brian Hutter:

My wife and I moved to Lynnfield with our family three years ago, after having previously lived in Arlington. We were a 1/10th of a mile from the Alewife Greenway Bike Path and we loved having access to it. When the kids were little, I would take them to a stream that ran along the path where we would visit the ducks and look forward to the arrival of new ducklings each spring. I would pull my kids in a green wagon along the path where we would stop to take pictures of the different wildflowers along the trail. Read more .
Residents give big vote of support to trail system
By Julie Huss Mar 15, 2019 
LONDONDERRY, NH— Grant funding gave a big boost to the town's trail system and voters here also gave a big vote of support.
Londonderry's trail system was one of nine statewide chosen for money from the Transportation Alternatives Program, or TAP. A total of $5.7 million will be awarded to Granite State communities for projects including sidewalks, multi-use paths and rail trails.
Londonderry will receive $800,000 to build a one-mile, multi-use path along the sides of Harvey, Webster and Grenier Field roads. It's part of Londonderry Trailways' Phase 6 portion of the community trail system. Read more
Minuteman Bikeway extension to reach Concord
By Betsy Levinson
The Minuteman Bikeway trail that now runs from Bedford to Cambridge is poised to extend 2.2 miles to the Concord line.
The Board of Selectmen heard a status update on Monday, Feb. 25, by civil engineers Trish Domigan and Pete Sorensen of Vanasse Hangen Brustlin.
The extension has been making its way through the regulatory and permitting process since 2014 when the state’s Department of Transportation approved the use of state and federal funding for the project.
The project is on the 2022 Transportation Improvement Program at a cost of $6,840,000. Read more
Interesting Stories From Around the Country -- and Sometimes Beyond
The Design Bible That Changed How Americans Bike in Cities
A movement has brought safer bicycle lanes to the United States. But it took a manual to spread them.
When I first started working in New York, in 2007, bicycling seemed like an activity best left to the pros. Read more here .
Cast your vote for the DL&W Corridor Design Ideas Competition
Since launching the DL&W rail corridor design competition in February, upwards of 100 teams have submitted their design ideas. The ideas submitted revolve around the future planning of the abandoned 1.5-mile corridor, which will be transformed into an exciting, multi-use nature trail and greenway. Read more here .
These five cities are taking bold steps to rein in sprawl
Climate, health, and sanity all suffer when sprawl rips the fabric of cities. Here are five that are trying to stitch things back together.
When people talk about cities of the future, they’re often picturing something like the old Jetsons cartoons, with lots of robots and flying cars. Robots and flying cars are coming alright. But the key thing, if we want to have cities we love, is to remember who we’re designing them for: People. Read more .
‘Bourbon Road Rail Trail’ in Frankfort KY could come to fruition this year

An almost two-decade-long walking and biking trail project could be built sometime this year.
Last month, the Frankfort City Commission voted unanimously to name the Old Pinsly Trail project “The Bourbon Road Rail Trail,” a pedestrian-friendly trail that will connect East Main Street to downtown Frankfort. At the meeting, Commissioner Scott Tippett said that he hopes the Bourbon Road Rail Trail is the first of a network of similar trails in Frankfort. Commissioner Eric Whisman said the name was chosen to pay homage to the Bourbon Road Rail, which carried bourbon from Frankfort to Cincinnati and other markets. Read more.
This newsletter has won An Award from Constant Contact--for being in their TOP 10%. Wow!
You all are probably getting other Constant Contact (CC) newsletters on various topics. CC has thousands of clients around the world.
Well, we were notified this past week that this e-newsletter was recognized by CC as being in the top 10% of all their clients in terms of engagement--worldwide. WOW! Read the press release . Amazing.
' Trails Across NY' Advocates For Empire State Trail
By  JESSE KING  Supporters kicked off a new “Trails Across New York” campaign Monday to seek further support for a multi-use trail system in the state.
The Empire State Trail is set to be completed in 2020, but the Trails Across New York campaign says continued support is needed. At the state capitol Monday, Parks and Trails New York Executive Director Robin Dropkin laid out the project’s goals. Read more here .

‘It’s a long time coming’: $6.2 million wildlife bridge over I-90 nears completion
By  Evan Bush  
Seattle Times staff reporter
It’s just a patch of barren earth not much wider than a basketball court, but conservationists, government workers and construction managers are pretty fired up about it. Read more .
East Coast Greenway: Hike or bike your way from Maine to Florida
Melanie D.G. Kaplan, USA TODAY
In 2015, Florida cyclist Stefanie Boewe suffered a collapsed lung. During her long recovery she read an article about the East Coast Greenway, a 3,000-mile route that connects existing biking and walking paths and will eventually create a linear park from the Canadian border to Florida’s southern-most point. Read more
What's killing U.S. pedestrians? Streets that weren't designed for them.
As you may have heard, since a lot was written about it a few weeks ago, pedestrian deaths are on the rise in the U.S. Read mor e
Though I do know many of the people getting this missive, we are now over 10,000 people. And thus many of you probably have no clue about who I am or where I came from. Click the link above to go to a bio/CV .