Rail Trail Newsletter 3-12-2018 #17

In this issue we have some exciting and interesting stories about Waltham's section of the Mass Central Rail Trail--MCRT. A story about improvements by Tom Kelleher to the Google Map of the MCRT.
There's also stories about trail development in EMass, a story about Plogging--a term I'm sure most of you have never heard of. [hint: if you ever are on the the trail by our house and see my wife on it, you'll notice that she is likely carrying a bag. CDP]

And in the orange area below, you'll see some "high-altitude"stories that are important to know about.


Craig Della Penna
413 575 2277
"In the News"
 and Updates About the Longest Rail Trail Project in New England
The City of Waltham had a design meeting for the Wayside section of the Mass Central Rail Trail. There was a large (75+) crowd in the auditorium. During the public comment period, every single speaker was for the trail. See the design at this LINK. And here's a link to a newspaper story called Seven things to know about Waltham's planned rail trail.
Tom Kelleher, mapmaster for the Mass Central Rail Trail and president of the ARRT has done a lot of updating on the Google Map of the Mass Central Rail Trail.

Click on the map and you'll see a drop-down box with a number of choices. Stations, Photos & Videos,
Town by Town, nearby public parking,
Bike Share programs, Forests and Conservation lands, Old Maps, MCRT's Facebook Page and that is just the start.

He has also inserted an expanded layout in a color-coding format. This shows all the paved sections, stone-dust sections, hiking or mountain bikeable gravel sections, and red sections. Red are those sections not traversable due to missing bridges, ownership questions etc. LINK HERE . Check it out. Thanks, Tom!
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.
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.

By William Tauro
This past Monday night, Green Cambridge and Mystic River Watershed Association  hosted the
“Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge Over the Mystic River DCR meeting" at Partners Health Care, Assembly Row in Somerville. 
The community meeting was for a proposed footbridge from Somerville to the Wynn Casino in Everett.
The meeting room was packed with residents as well as elected officials from Somerville and Everett concerned on how the proposed bridge will effect their communities. READ MORE The presentation is viewable at this LINK
$1.5 Million for Northern Strand Community Trail
The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs has approved a $1.5 million grant regarding the development of the Northern Strand Community Trail led by a Revere on the Move partner organization, Bike to the Sea.
Revere has a one-mile stretch in North Revere. The Northern Strand Community Trail has been in development for over 20 years. The North Revere segment is a major part in the project that creates a continuous 7.5-mile rail trail running from West Everett, through Malden and Revere to the Saugus River and soon into Lynn. The North Revere segment allows users to enjoy spectacular views of the Rumney Marsh.
READ MORE [Ever hear of the phrase, Elections have consequences? The new mayor of Lynn loves the idea of a trail finally getting built in Lynn. CDP]
Plainville-Southington trail project moves forward
By Ashley Kus, The
PLAINVILLE – Plans to close the gap in the Plainville-Southington section of the Farming-ton Canal Heritage Trail are moving forward.
“We understand this is not embraced by everybody,” said Kathy Pugliese, town council chairwoman. “However more work needs to be done.”
The council voted unanimously Tuesday night to accept a trail study report. Over a dozen people spoke at the meeting with only a few in favor of the plan.

Music + performance filled day with trail procession from Northampton to East-hampton. A three mile parade and celebration of Western Mass organizations while activating the amazing trail corridor that connects Northampton to Easthampton.  READ MORE
Pick Up Trash While You Exercise. It's Called Plogging.

LINDA POON   If the Swedish fitness trend is more than just a fad, it’s a win-win for everyone.
Take a run in any city and you’re bound to find litter strewn along sidewalks, roadways, and trails. The average jogger may blow right past it. A plogger like Laura Lindberg, though, will make picking it up a crucial part of her daily workout routine.

One multi-use trail for walking and biking is good. Two is better. But a network of inter-connected trails is best.
Toward that goal, the Capital District Transportation Committee  is working to  develop a Capital District Trails Plan , and it's looking for public input. READ MORE
Our picks: Five homes close to Greater Boston bike trails
Megan Turchi Boston.com  Follow @meganturchi F ebruary 27, 2018
As the weather finally begins to warm up into the 50s — at least for a few days — your thoughts may turn to spring activities. We found five homes — in Back Bay, Lexington, Dorchester, Milton, and Hingham — very close to bike trails. READ MORE HERE . [I am the first Realtor in the U.S. w this niche. The image above is of a house I recently sold that sits next to the soon to be built rail trail in Southampton Mass. My buyers don't call themselves "abutters". They call themselves, "trail neighbors". CDP]
The Ice and Iron Greenway concept, which could one day contain a bike and walking path running from Montclair to Jersey City, now has support at the county level.
Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo sent a letter to the New Jersey Bike and Walk Coalition on Thursday, March 1, voicing his support for the proposed trail, which would run alongside the former Boonton rail line. DiVincenzo wrote. READ MORE HERE

Ice rinks? Aquatic centers? Nope. Residents want trails.

Some of the area's newest and planned recreation destinations are described as "slam dunks" and "home runs."
But they have nothing to do with basketball or baseball.
The Town of Tonawanda's 4-mile rails to trails path has been getting rave reviews from joggers, bicyclists and dog-walkers for nearly two years. The City of Tonawanda is trying to capitalize on its confluence of trails by enticing users to visit its downtown shops.
The price we pay for liveability

By  Dante Ramos  GLOBE COLUMNIST  FEBRUARY 23, 2018
PAST GENERATIONS IN Greater Boston knew it was their duty to improve the landscape — to build parks and seawalls, subways and bridges — for the benefit of all future residents. In 2018, we can still dream up useful new pieces of civic hardware, such as the  cool new footbridge  now proposed for the Mystic River between Somerville and Everett.
Today, however, we keep assuming that somebody else, anybody else, should pick up the tab. READ MORE HERE

Cuomo administration to change Adirondack Park rules, clearing way for rail-trails
The Cuomo administra- tion is again pushing forward with a contro-versial plan to build a rail-trail path from Lake Placid through Saranac Lake to Tupper Lake.
A court ruling blocked the project last year. But now the Adirondack Park Agency is developing new regulations that would allow New York state to remove the historic tracks. READ OR HEAR MORE HERE

The Design Bible That Changed How Americans Bike in Cities
RJ Sangosti / The Denver Post / Getty - STEVEN HIGASHIDE  

When I first started working in New York, in 2007, bicycling seemed like an activity best left to the pros. One of the city’s stock characters was the fearless bicycle messenger, wearing a heavy chain lock around the waist and whipping through traffic with supreme confidence.
Ten years later, the bicycle always feels like an option. It’s not my primary means of transit, but I’ve racked up 723 miles in four years on the Citi Bike bike-share service—a significant accumulation of short trips to and from the subway, after-work rides to friends’ apartments, and fun rides on sunny days. Read more here .

A Brief History of How American Transportation Engineers Resisted Bike Lanes
by Angie Schmitt

Try to picture American cities if they had started building world-class bike infrastructure en masse in the 1970s, instead of 40 years later. How much safer would our streets be today? How much more active would we be? How many more years would people have enjoyed instead of getting their lives cut short by traffic crashes or chronic cardiovascular disease? Read more here .

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