Rail Trail Newsletter 2017 #2


I think you'll enjoy this update.  More info about the growing Mass Central Rail Trail. More good news from New York State. A new book just out recently. A few more tidbits you probably didn't know about. 
Craig Della Penna
Update and Status
Wayland section will be under construction in 2017
About twenty plus years after voting for the Wayside Trail, the town of Wayland is finally going to see their segment under construction this spring of 2017.

It is possible that Weston will see their section get under construction this year too.  

Eversource is putting in an access road to reach their power lines, and DCR will pave it, thus making this section of the Mass Central Rail Trail a reality.  See a DCR PowerPoint about this section

Updates on the MCRT

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 sign up to get notices sent to you directly.  
Somerville: Link here.
Waltham: Link here.
Weston: Link here.
Wayland:Link here
Sudbury: Link here for the N-S corridor. 
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. 
Clinton: Link here.
Wachusett Greenways area: Link here.
East Quabbin Land Trust service area: Link here.   
Ware:  Check out the town's new Open Space Plan. Link here
Belchertown/Northampton area: Link here.

NY, a State "Hungry for Trails" and Savors Gov. Cuomo's 750 Mile Plan!
The Empire State Trail would be the longest multi-use trail in the country. New York officials are hailing the project's economic and health benefits. READ MORE.
    The p icture above from Walkway Over the Hudson and the infographic is from Parks, Trails, New York. Click on each image to go to reports that show such positive impact from these projects that the Governor saw that the 750 mile long trail is going to have a major, impact for the entire state.  
Farmington Canal as a Green Space
As a commercial freight-hauling canal, the Farmington Canal was really not a successful business venture--it reduced travel times to inland communities, but was totally unprofitable. It was then turned into a railway, which after about 130 years of operation, also went away because of changing logistics patterns.

Eventually, while protesting the construction of a mall in the area, some people discovered that some of the railroad tracks lay in the public domain.

The Farmington Canal Rail-to-Trail Association (FCRTTA) came into existence around this time, and serious advocacy began for converting the abandoned rails to a greenway.   Read more here.
New Book about the Farmington Canal is Now Available! 
And here's a new book, fresh off the press, about this corridor. It was authored by Robert Madison from Agawam. The link here is from a story in the New Haven Register about this book. READ MORE

First came transit-oriented communities, now it’s ‘trail-oriented’ development.
And even the Washington Post noticed that trails and real estate are things that go together.

As the desire/demand for trail-oriented communities continues to grow, real estate developers are taking notice and beginning to build homes where people can walk/bike to work, to school, to run errands. READ MORE.
MassDOT plans network of bike paths to keep pace with demand
  A growing number of people in Massachusetts commute to work on a bicycle.A growing number of people in Massachusetts commute to work on a bicycle.

More than 71,000 people in Mass. commute to work by bicycle, an ever increasing number propelled by the addition of young adults who are moving into cities, according to statewide data. READ MORE
The Quick Story of Schell Bridge in Northfield, MA and How it is Spawning Copy-Cat
Bike-Path Bridges in Keene, NH.
Here's a story that you aren't likely to know the 'back-story'.  This story is about the Schell Bridge in Northfield Mass and its tie-in to a couple of newly constructed bike-path bridges in Keene New Hampshire.  And how elements of the inspiring, early 20th century design of the Schell Bridge were integrated into the design of 21st century bridges in Keene. And how a visit to Keene by a key decision maker in Mass created the proverbial 'aha' moment.  
  In 2016, I commissioned Tom Adams of Reelife Productions  to produce a series of short videos about each section of the burgeoning network of rail trails here in the CT River Valley. Turns out that there are 14 and you're gonna love them! 

The one I'm featuring today is about the section of the trail nearest to my house which is also one of the earliest rail trails built in the region. SEE THE VIDEO

Here's my calendar of upcoming in-person lectures, online web-inars, bike tours, book-signings etc. 

Email me at: Craig@GreenwaySolutions.org for more information on any of these events or if your community might like to host one.