Rail Trail Newsletter 11-6-2018 #27

Another newsletter chock full of stories. One of the most important for you to read is near the bottom. MassDOT has developed an online guide for municipalities to develop better bikeability. Please do go to that and weigh in, as it is pretty important to do so. If you aren’t seeing the story, you will need to click on the small print script of text at the bottom saying: " [Message clipped]   View entire message ." Then you’ll see the entire missive.

Also are a couple of stories about CSX and Pan Am Railways playing hardball in negotiations with communities that are looking to purchase former railroad corridor. Sadly, the values the RRs are looking for are way too high.

Another couple of stories, too, are about DOTs building bike-ped accommodations on limited access highway bridges over major rivers. And a couple of stories about bike share programs expanding and a couple of stories that are letters to the editor in various newspapers. 

Enjoy the upcoming winter!

Craig Della Penna
413 575 2277
"In the News"
 and Updates About the Longest Rail Trail Project in New England
More news about the MCRT and connecting paths
Sudbury Town Meeting OKs $650K for Bruce Freeman Trail design
Town Meeting voters approved using $650,000 of free cash to fund a complete design of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail, paving the way for the next stage of the project.
The Bruce Freeman Rail Trail is a 25-mile rail trail that runs between Lowell and Framingham. Read more here.

New proposal for Mass. Pike rebuild would elevate bike path through Allston
by  Sophie Lyu
Massachusetts officials are considering a new Mass. Turnpike reconstruction plan that would elevate the bike and pedestrian path along the Charles River. Read more .
Developer plans $43 million mixed-use project in Easthampton
Developer Michael Michon plans an ambitious mixed-use development at One Ferry Street, an abandoned and rambling factory complex built in 1903. This sits adjacent to the Manhan Rail Trail--a part of the New Haven to Northampton Canal Greenway. Read more
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 to the Waltham Bike Committee. And link here to the City's page on the MCRT.
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 .
Highland, NY Hops on
Rail Trail Train
A new section of the Hudson Valley Rail Trail has opened in Highland as part of a project to connect New York City to Canada in 2020. Read more here.
New bike share program launched in Acton and Maynard
  15 Zagster bikes and three stations are being installed between the two towns. Read more .
ValleyBike Share expands into Easthampton
By Scott Merzbach
ValleyBike Share, which launched in five cities and towns in the region earlier this year, is expanding to Easthampton with financial support from the state’s Housing Choice Initiative.
Gap Filled in Cheshire, CT
By Devin Leith-Yessian,
CHESHIRE — Children who grew up learning to bike on the fledgling Farmington Heritage Canal Trail decades ago can now ride 34 uninterrupted miles with the unveiling of the completed 0.8 mile gap.
“I used to play down there, so it’s incredible to see this developing,” said Jeffrey Guimond, who grew up near the trail in Cheshire. He is also one of the three co-owners of Ball and Socket Arts, a developing arts center adjacent to the West Main Street trail crossing. Read more.
The Medfield Rail Trail Secures $100,000 In DCR Grant Funds
With this grant award, the Medfield rail trail is on track to start building in 2019
The Medfield Board of Selectmen have signed a Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) grant agreement for $100,000 for the creation of the Medfield Rail Trail. Read more.
NYC unveils new plan to close gaps in Manhattan Greenway
By  Tanay Warerkar  
Once complete, the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway will offer up 32.5 miles of contiguous green space wrapping around the island. T he ci ty announced that it was investing $250 million toward closing the gaps in the existing Greenway, and announced several construction timelines for various sections of the open space. Read more.
CT DOT to study adding second Gold Star Bridge as a path for bikes, pedestrians
By  Kimberly Drelich   Day staff writer
  The state Department of Transportation has agreed to study the feasibility of adding in the future a multi-use pathway on the northbound Gold Star Memorial Bridge, which local officials said, if feasible, would enhance safety and boost redevelopment efforts in the cities on either side of the bridge.
Groton City Mayor Keith Hedrick, who made the request in a letter to DOT in August, said a pathway on the northbound side would further build connectivity between the centers of the City of Groton and New London, which are across the Thames River from each other. Read more.
Crowd gathers for the Whittier Bridge project ceremony
NEWBURYPORT — After five years and $318 million, the final milestone in the John Greenleaf Whittier Bridge project was achieved Tuesday afternoon with the official ribbon cutting for the William Lloyd Garrison Trail.
Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito. This the first-of-its-kind shared-use path in MA. Read more .
Pedestrians hit the new Garrison Trail on the Whittier Bridge
NEWBURYPORT — An unseasonably cold and windy day Thursday set the scene for the first people to walk or bicycle along the new William Lloyd Garrison Trail on the John Greenleaf Whittier Bridge on I-95. 
The 1.8-mile, shared-use path runs next to the northbound side of I-95 and was created as part of the $318 million bridge project. But with the opening, pedestrians and cyclists can now gain access by way of four trail heads. Read more .
Senator Schumer calls out CSX for stalling
Tibbets Brook Greenway
By Alex Mitchell
U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer made his way to the Bronx to get the ball rolling on the long awaited Tibbets Brook Bronx Greenway. Read more .
Pressure on CSX
to keep its word
A behemoth from days when barons and bosses reigned supreme has walked away from a deal with the city, and Chuck Schumer had something to say: Honor the deal, get out of the way, and give the city its right-of-way. Read more
NH corridor acquisition discussions resume
By  Max Sullivan  
  HAMPTON -- The state has reopened negotiations with Pan Am Railways over the sale of a rail corridor running through the Seacoast, the state intent on converting it to a walking and bike path-a part of the East Coast Greenway. Read more

Bicyclists are
paying their fair share
Do bicyclists get a free ride when it comes to using the road?
A recent letter complained cyclists aren’t paying for bike lanes and repaving projects that benefit them, and instead motorists are footing the bill in the form of gas and diesel taxes and vehicle registration fees.
It’s a sentiment that crops up from time to time — and a misguided one.
The vast majority of cyclists pay the same fees and subsidize road improvements because they also own motor vehicles. They just aren’t driving their cars when they’re out on a bike. And that’s a good thing. Read more
MassDOT Posts Online
Bike-Related Guide
Public encouraged to give input on Draft Mass. Muni-cipal Resource Guide for Bikeability
BOSTON - The Baker-Polito Administration’s Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) has posted online the draft Massachusetts Municipal Resource Guide for Bikeability so the public may comment on the Commonwealth’s effort to provide cities and towns the tools and information needed to provide safe, comfortable, and convenient bike networks that appeal to the broadest base of people. Comment period ends on December 1, 2018
Embrace Lynnfield Rail Trail Project
For Our Common Benefit
In a Letter to the Editor, resident says rail trails strengthen the social fabric of a community.
A Letter to the Editor from Axel Wirth:
As a supporter of the proposed Wakefield-Lynnfield Rail Trail Project I do realize that this is a controversial proposal, as it provides benefits to many, yet is perceived as a threat by others. At times it seems that the public debate around the Rail Trail is painting a picture of disaster coming to town.
We, as the citizens of Lynnfield, form a community that shares its values and supports each other. Read more

More Stories From Around the Country
and beyond
 By  JULIEN LEVY H ere are two secrets: First, hiking is just walking. You can do it anywhere -- from your couch to the fridge, from your fridge to the bar, and from the bar to your bed. And second, you’ll soon be able to hike (or walk, jog, skip, bike, even cross-country ski) from  The Battery  in Manhattan to the Canadian border by way of the Empire State Trail. Read more

Will Tossing Bollards Everywhere Stop Another Hudson River Greenway Massacre?
One year ago, an alleged terrorist drove a pickup truck down the Hudson River Greenway, killing eight pedestrians and cyclists and injuring 12 more. Read more.
Trails in Michigan and New York Get a $200M Boost
P arks and trails in Michigan and New York are receiving $200 million from a foundation funded by the former owner of the Buffalo Bills. The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation announced today  that the greater Detroit area (Wilson’s hometown) and the Buffalo area (where he founded the Bills) will each get $100 million. In each region, $40 million goes to creating a “signature park” and $10 million into an endowment to support the park’s future.  Read more .
New bike path goes through the old Bethlehem Steel property.
  By Dave McKinley and Scott May
LACKAWANNA, N.Y. – It doesn't open until next week, but on Friday we got a sneak preview of the new bike path that’s been constructed through the old Bethlehem Steel property.
Along for the ride: Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz, who donned a bike helmet and used pedal power to traverse the new section of the Shoreline Trail. Read more

This Lego-like bike path
is made from recycled plastic
In the Netherlands, three companie s partnered up to collect your recycled plastic and turn it into bike paths.  PlasticRoad  is a Lego-like road system that consists of modular, prefabricated sections. The plastic road has a hollow space inside it and can host cables, pipelines, but also rainwater so that the street does not become flooded in case of heavy rainfall. Read more