Rail Trail Newsletter 7-26-2019 #37

I hope you are enjoying the summer. We have a good mix of stories here and a new category. In the yellow area, you'll see stories about e-Bikes. Stories around the region, and beyond. This will only be the smallest sliver of the stories out there. Anyway, NH recently passed a bill governing the regulation of these bikes. Mass has DCR reviewing rules and had canvassed for comments.

Also in this issue--just below--I plugged-in a story about the MBTA's privatized Real Estate Dept getting ready to sell former RR corridor in East Boston and Revere--until it was discovered. You see, it was during the administration of Gov. Bill Weld in the mid 1990s, that it was thought to be a good idea to privatize the Real Estate Department of the MBTA. It hasn't worked out well.

I also have to apologize to my friends and "battle-hardened" veterans of the rail trail "to-do" in Lynnfield. I know that we had the story of your 53% to 47% win at town meeting, cued-up and ready to be in the e-Newsletter at the time, but somehow it never made it in. It is in this issue. Sorry.

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

In the News
Earlier this year I gave Tom Kelleher, the map-master for the MCRT website, a spreadsheet of addresses of homes I sold that were close to the trail network here. The map produced was the impetus for this essay. Click on the image above.
A few weeks ago, our antique house--located 8 feet from the rail trail--was on a Historic Home Tour. Click on the image above to find out the surprising thing that happened.
State calls off sale of East Boston former railroad RoW
Michael Jonas
Commonwealth Magazine
Joseph Aiello, chairman of the MBTA’’s Fiscal and Management Control Board, said at the start of the group’s meeting on Monday that an agenda item to hold a discussion regarding the former railroad right-of-way was being withdrawn and the invitation for bids was being canceled. Read more here . And more 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.
Belmont: Link here to the Friends of the Community Path Facebook group.
Somerville: Link here to the Friends of the Community Path Facebook group. 
Waltham: Link here to the Waltham Land Trust's site.
Walham: Link here to the Waltham Bike Committee.
Waltham: Link here to the City's page about the MCRT.
Weston: Link here to the town's page about the MCRT
Wayland: Link here
Sudbury: Link here for the N-S intersecting trail--Bruce Freeman Rail Trail. 
Hudson: Link here for the NE-SW intersecting trail--Assabet River Rail Trail.
Berlin-Hudson: Link here to the new FaceBook group.
Berlin: Link here goes to the town's Rail Trail Committee. They also have a pretty nice website with pictures of the existing dead RR corridor along other maps and images of a future trail. Link here .
Wayside segment of the MCRT: Link here to a history of DCR's efforts on this.
Clinton Greenway Conservation Trust: Link here .
Wachusett Greenways area: Link here .
East Quabbin Land Trust: Link here
Palmer coming soon 
Ware:  Link here to the Facebook group about this segment of the MCRT'. 
Belchertown: Link for the nascent site for Friends of the Belchertown Greenway.
Amherst, Hadley on DCR's Norwottuck section of the MCRT: Link here .
Northampton area: Link here to the Friends of Northampton Trails website.
Northampton area: Link here to the Friends of Northampton Trails Facebook.
MA Officials Break Ground On Cochituate Trail in Natick And Reveal Bike Plan During the trail groundbreaking.
The Cochituate Rail Trail connects Framingham and Natick and construction of the trail includes replacing a bridge over Route 9 and building a grade-separated crossing at Route 30. The $12.4 million multi-modal project focuses on the construction of the 2.4 miles of the trail between Framingham and Natick. Read more here.
Lynnfield, Legislative Leaders, Take Next Step Along Path To Trail. Leaders ask for release of $500,000 to complete final design.
When last we heard back on April 9, Lynnfield residents voted in support of the rail trail. That night at town hall, when asked "what's next," Lynnfield Board of Selectmen chair Phil Crawford said:
"We will bring this vote to our state officials, both Brad Jones and Brendan Crighton, and ask if we can get the funding for the bond bill at the state level for the final design engineering cost. That's the next thing we have to look into." Read more here .
Almost 53 Percent Say Yes To Lynnfield Rail Trail 
Lynnfield voters once again supported the rail trail project, and once again it was close. In a vote announced by Town Clerk Trudy Reid at the close of Tuesday's selectmen's meeting, Yes got 1,858 votes or just shy of 53 percent to 1,677 voting No. Read more here .

The Canal Trail Connects Communities
Posted to:  WNHH Radio
In Connecticut, if you were asked to name something that benefited towns and cities, people’s health and well-being, and spanned pretty much the entire state, the one logical conclusion is the Farmington Canal Heritage Trail (FCHT).
On this week’s episode of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities’ program “The Municipal Voice” on WNHH FM, we brought on Barbara Collins, the president of the Farmington Valley Trails Council, and Lisa Fernandez, the president of the Farmington Canal Rail to Trail Association. Read more here.  
Squannacook rail trail gets funding boost
Jon Winkler
GROTON, MA — Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito announced last week that public trails in more than 70 towns --- including Groton and Townsend — will have improvement projects funded thanks to $5 million in MassTrails Grants. One of the projects selected includes the construction of the Squannacook River Rail Trail, a 3.7-mile stone-dust trail to be constructed along the MBTA right of way that runs through both towns. Read more .
Poughkeepsie, NY urban trail could connect residents with paths, waterfront
The Dutchess Rail Trail connects pedestrians and cyclists from Hopewell Junction, Wappingers Falls and other central areas of the county to the Hudson River and Walkway Over the Hudson.
But, the trail curves across only the northern tip of the county’s largest city. For many in the City of Poughkeepsie, reaching the waterfront or getting into the heart of the city requires traveling along busy streets. Read more here .
Planning Council Takes Spin On The Greenway
The Metropolitan Area Planning Council's Summer Greenway Walk and Ride Series was on the Tri-Community Greenway Tuesday, showing off the new recreational path that opened last month.
The ride was part of MAPC's Summer Greenway Walk and Ride Series across MAPC's LandLine vision to connect 1400 miles throughout the Boston Region. Read more
Tempers flare at Leominster info session on rail trail
Monica Busch + Dan Monahan, Sentinel & Enterprise
Leominster residents swarmed the microphone at City Hall on Monday night, as a 5 p.m. information session about the 4.5 mile Twin City Rail Trail bled into a formal City Council meeting that officially started at 7 p.m. Economic Dev. Coordinator Nikki Peters spent much of the evening on the defensive as concerned residents and council members pelted she and the rest of those tasked with planning out the Leominster portion of the trail with questions about easements and encroachments associated with the trail's construction. Read more
Learn more about the Woonasquatucket River Greenway Improvements
The Woonasquatucket River Greenway Improvement Project in Providence, RI will enhance a one-mile section of the Woonasquatucket River Greenway between Downtown and Eagle Street in Providence’s Valley and Smith Hill neighborhoods. In addition to being a key focus of the Woonasquatucket Vision Plan and  Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council , this project is a critical segment of the citywide Urban Trail Initiative. Read more . And click on the image of the map to go to their website.
Marblehead will use $41,000 MassTrails Grant to fund redesign of rail trail
 A perfect marriage is in the making between a Mass Trails Grant and a Complete Streets project that could benefit rail trail users in a big way.
Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito handed out $5 million in Mass Trails Grants aimed at 71 projects across the commonwealth and among those grants is $41K for Marblehead. Read more here .
Boroughs Loop Trail to open in fall 2019
After several years of planning, the Boroughs Loop Trail will open in fall 2019. The BLT is a 33-mile trail that links existing trail systems in Marlborough, Northborough, Westborough and Southborough. The loop includes the Panther Trail in Marlborough, the Sudbury Reservoir Trail in S outhborough, the Charm Bracelet in Westborough and about 20 miles of trails in Northborough that are managed by the Northborough Trails Committee. Read more here .
CT Trail Census
A statewide volunteer-based data collection and education program on multi-use trails. Encouraging data informed decision-making and promoting resident participation in trail monitoring and advocacy. Read more here.

(Every state should have a program like this.This is the best I've ever seen. You're going to love the website. CDP)
Sculpture lights up rail trail tunnel
NEWBURYPORT – The Clipper City Rail Trail has another new public sculptural installation in the tunnel beneath High Street.
Sculptor Eric Harty’s “Walk in the Deep” was installed at the end of June on the granite block walls of the trail’s High Street underpass next to March’s Hill.
Pedal for the Path - a ride to complete the South Coast Bikeway
​The South Coast Bikeway Alliance (SCBA) will hold its second regional bike-ride fundraiser, Pedal for the Path on Sunday, August 18, 2019.
Beginning and ending at the Dartmouth YMCA, three distances (57, 20 and 12) offer miles of fabulous cycling, postcard perfect scenic views, more historic places than you can count, and, along the way, memorable ice cream and a donut! A post ride celebration features food and Moby Dick Brewing Co. beer for purchase! . Read more here . And Here .
NY’s $23M Adirondack ‘Rails to Trails’ project back on track
After being derailed by a 2017 court decision, New York’s $23 million “Rails to Trails” plan in the Adirondacks is back on track.
Legal problems involving the plan have since been resolved and the state Department of Environmental Conservation is starting from scratch to amend the original plan. Read more here.
Interesting Stories From Around the Country -- and Sometimes Beyond
New trail meters allow users to donate trailside to maintain area trails
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — No, those aren’t parking meters going up at area trails — they’re trail meters, and they offer a new way to donate to maintain trails.
The repurposed parking meters will now serve as trailside donation stations, where you can use your credit card to donate to the Trail Maintenance Endowment Fund. Read more here .

This piano crosswalk was painted by a group of strangers with no training but a lot of harmony
Richard Glaser was scrolling through a Facebook group for his neighborhood in Rochester, N.Y., when he came across a photo of a crosswalk in California made to look like a piano keyboard. Under it was a note: “Why don’t we have this?” Read more here .

Good, protected bike infrastructure makes cars drive slower, and gives more space to other modes of transit. That makes better and safer cities for all.
In most cities in the U.S.,  less than 2%  of the population regularly commutes or gets around by bike. So attempts on the part of activists or local policymakers to advocate for more cycling infrastructure, like protected bike lanes, often hit a brick wall: Why should a city invest in something that only a small fraction of the population will benefit from? Read more here.
On the benefits of bikes
If you’re over 60 and reading this article, you most likely rode your bicycle all over town when you were a kid.
Other than walking, it was your only way to get around — parents didn’t drive their children everywhere back then.
However, times have changed, and we need to get back to when almost every kid rode their bikes daily, except in the winter. Interestingly, winter biking is common in bigger cities like Montreal and Ottawa, where there are dedicated bike lanes. Read more here .
New Bike Plan in Mass
In the introduction to the PLAN, by Secretary of Transportation Stephanie Pollack, it says this. . . The Plan lays out an action-oriented strategy built around three key principles. First, reverse the decades-long practice of prioritizing automobile travel over all other modes by granting people biking the same level of importance as drivers in planning, design and maintenance processes. Second, fix the types of physical gaps and barriers in the transportation system that discourage everyday biking, such as uncomfortable roadway crossings, poorly maintained roads, and lack of bike parking. Third, lead the Commonwealth and support municipalities - municipalities own 80% of the Commonwealth’s roads – to advance everyday biking. Read the plan here.

E-Bike Laws
Electric bicycle (e-bike) laws are different in every state, and can be confusing for consumers, retailers, and suppliers. The Bicycle Product Suppliers Association and PeopleForBikes are partnering to make riding an e-bike easy and accessible for all.
With clear rules on how and where to ride an e-bike, everyone stands to benefit. The state of New Hampshire this past month has implemented the model rules as proposed by People for Bikes. Read more here.
More Articles about E-Bikes 
How do we get more
butts on bikes? E-bikes.
by Galen Mook Exec. Director
MassBike is all about getting more butts on bikes. And with the percentage of bike ridership throughout the commonwealth in the single digits, we need more people choosing to bike. So we are excited about a new type of rider out on our roads, paths, and trails -- the person on an e-bike with an electric motor.
There are plenty of riders out there who rely on electric-assist who otherwise wouldn’t bike. Maybe they’re recovering from an injury, or have aging legs, or want to keep up with their friends, or they need to travel longer distances. Read more here.
I thought e-bikes were a gimmick, but the $1,350 Schwinn Monroe has changed my mind
For the longest time, I was hesitant to test an electric bike.
For one, I didn't like the term "e-bike." It sounded gimmicky, like how everything these days is "smart." I also ride bikes for exercise — why would I ride one that does all the work for me, and still doesn't help get rid of my gut? Read more here .
Integrate electric technology into system of rail trails
Letter to the editor by Sean Kinlin, VP of Friends of Northampton Trails
 We appreciate Mr. Kahane’s concerns about the use of our local rail trail network (“Let’s rethink motorized vehicles on rail-trails,” June 29) and his interest in keeping the many trail users safe while they bike, walk and jog along its length.
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 .
Amazingly, Constant Contact alerted Tiffany Lyman-Olszewski, the editor here, that this newsletter is in the top 10% of all of Constant Contact's newsletters, worldwide, in terms of readership engagement.