Rail Trail Newsletter 8-31-2018 #25
Wow! Didn’t summer just FLY BY! It did for me, anyway. In my real estate world, summer is usually slow, but not this year. Ten closings in the past month and some of those deals were not easy ones. And tying that in with the Golden Spike Conference at the end of July, which was about ten months of organizing meetings for that, late August was a fitting time for a culminating event.

This is when I went to the State House in Boston to meet both the Governor and Lt Governor and to see some of my old friends in the Inter Agency Trails Team. I wanted to give them all kudos for their hard work in getting more and more of this network built out. The Gov and LG have been going to ribbon-cuttings all over the state in the past couple of years—talking up the trail getting opened that day and all the benefits that are coming to the place because of it. Yes, it is nice to see them at ribbon-cuttings as I’ve only seen such high level folks appear a couple of times in the past 20+ years that I’ve doing this advocacy work. But more importantly, they’ve followed it up with really needed things. The behind the scenes stuff that most of you don’t ever see. I do because I’m a geek on this stuff. 

I know all the impediments behind the scenes. Both the created ones, and the accidental ones. This administration is working carefully, methodically, and with purpose, to get the impediments removed. And to get this done. You might ask. What is “this?” What we have here in Mass [and southern New England as a whole] will be the densest network of biking/walking trails in North America. This network will be different from other areas of the country in that it will connect right where people, live, work, play, and go to school. These are not obscure branch lines going to nowhere like played-out mines. This network goes where the old mills were. And those old mills are now becoming apartments, high tech businesses, etc.

In Massachusetts, there is now a recognition at the state level that developing this network is important to the well- being for all the communities lucky enough to have this inter-connected system of dead railroads. That it needs to be built out as trails, and as soon as is practical. To facilitate this, the administration has put together an inter-agency working group to remove impediments, break down the silos that prevent one agency from knowing what another is doing in this realm, and to put together creative solutions to complicated problems. CLICK HERE TO GO TO A PRESENTATION ABOUT THE INTER AGENCY TRAILS TEAM.

If you are a Mass resident, and love rail trails, you should consider giving the Governor your vote for re-election. He certainly deserves it. Giving him another term will mean that a lot more will be done by 2022.

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 and follow up about Golden Spike 2018
The 2018 Golden Spike Conference attracted more than 100 Massachusetts and Connecticut rail trail advocates to Northampton on Friday July 27 and Saturday July 28, 2018. The Saturday session focused on presentations from community representatives that highlighted challenges and successes in their segments of the trails. A keynote address, provided by Kurt Gaertner, Director of Land Policy & Planning at MA Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, detailed promising initiatives and future funding possibilities for rail trail projects in Massachusetts. In addition to these presentations a variety of organizations and authors provided information on their work and books. An important goal of the conference was also to provide attendees with the opportunity to meet fellow trail proponents and policy makers, accomplished both through an informal networking event on Friday night and via scheduled walking and biking tours on both Friday and Saturday afternoons.  Read more here. Or CLICK here to go to the conference booklet.

Mass DCR in partnership with MassDOT and the Mass Rec Trail Advisory Board has recently funded several projects related to the Mass Central Rail Trail.  Here is the list of Mass Central Rail Trail related grant projects funded in a recent announcement – Wachusett Greenway for work in Holden ($100,000), the Weston Rail Trail Advisory Committee ($50,000), the City of Northampton ($100,000), and the East Quabbin Land Trust for work in Ware ($44,000). To read a short description of each project, CLICK HERE

Also two DCR projects relative to the Mass Central Rail Trail are also funded - Wayland to Sudbury Design & Permitting ($140,000), and construction of the Conant Road Underpass in Weston, ($790,000). 
On Wednesday August 29th Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito invited me to come to the State House, to present to them, the Golden Spike Awards from the recent Golden Spike 2018 Conference held in Northampton this summer.

Above are the Golden Spike plaques for GOVERNOR BAKER and LT. GOVERNOR POLITO in recognition of their extraordinary efforts to build-out the network here in Massachusetts.

And a couple of pictures of the Gov and Lt Gov and their plaques. Click on any of the pictures and they will enlarge a bit.
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 .

NH Bike-Walk Summit identifies next steps

Representatives from local rail-trail groups attending the first-ever New Hampshire Bike-Walk Summit in Concord identified some key areas for strengthening statewide bike-walk efforts. Read more here .
Westside Greenway Bollards Still Causing Injuries And Mayhem To Cyclists They Are Supposed to Protect

Meet another victim of the new math on the Hudson River Greenway in NYC.
On a busy Sunday on North America’s busiest bike and pedestrian path, a cyclist was injured in a crash caused by the metal anti-terrorism bollards that state officials stated  installing earlier this summer . Read more here.
It’s been nearly two years since MyRWA and partners packed Everett, MA City Hall for the Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Chapter 91 License Application Public Hearing about the National Grid site located along the Malden River—and we finally have some good news. Read mor e here . [btw did you know that the utilities in Mass own more miles of former RR corridor than private sector RRs do? CDP]
Lynnfield-Wakefield Delegation Secures $500,000 For Rail Trai l
By  Bob Holmes
A joint press release from the entire Lynnfield and Wakefield legislative delegation:
BOSTON – Members of Lynnfield's and Wakefield's legislative delegation have successfully secured a $500,000 funding earmark for the Wakefield-Lynnfield Rail Trail as part of a $2.4 billion environmental bond bill that was recently signed into law. Read more here .
Pedal for the Path - a ride to help complete the
South Coast Bikeway
Pedal for the Path; What is it?
On Sunday, 16 September 2018, the South Coast Bikeway Alliance (SCBA) will hold its first regional bike-ride fundraiser, Pedal for the Path. Beginning and ending at the Running Brook Vineyard in Dartmouth, in between you can count on 52 miles of fabulous cycling, postcard perfect scenic views, more historic places than you can count, and, along the way, memorable ice cream.  Registration Opens August 14th. As space is limited, sign up - right away! Read more here .
We finally got a chance to check out the new paved path in Green Island that leads up to the southern end of the Black Bridge. And short story short: it's nice.
The Black Bridge is worth checking out sometime if you haven't already. There's a small parking lot at the end of Cannon Street on the Green Island side, and it's  a short pedal from downtown Troy  via the Green Island Bridge. Read more here.

Maine Voices: East Coast Greenway a true gem, and Maine could help it reach full potential YARMOUTH, ME — My biking adventure began in Calais, just this side of the St. Croix river from Canada. Calais is at the northern tip of the East Coast Greenway. My wife, Debbie, and son Sam joined me for much of this journey.

Natick wins state approval to build rail trail
Natick’s plan to build its segment of the Cochituate Rail Trail recently cleared a major remaining hurdle when the state Department of Transportation approved the project to be constructed this year. Read more here.
Before and After
On the Mascoma River Greenway in Lebanon, NH
The br idge over Mascoma River at Mile 140.00 in Lebanon, northern-most point of Boston & Maine Railroad abandonment in 1993. MRG was donor-funded, with Timken Aerospace Foundation leading. City of Lebanon Recreation Dept. managed the construction after volunteers had largely cleared the two-mile ROW.   Read more here .
More Stories From Around the Country
LANDLINE: Connecting people and places with an active 1,400 trail network in
Metro Boston
The Metropolitan Area Planning Council is proposing a 1,400-mile connected network of trails and greenways within the Boston region. Read more here .
Map: What a regional bike trail network could look like in the D.C. area.
Going west to east from Fairfax County, Virginia to Prince George’s County, Maryland, there are currently more than 430 miles of bike trails in the D.C. area. Read more here .
Coming to Montco: Nearly 800 Miles of Bicycle-Friendly Paths
The suburban Maryland county has formally adopted Bike Montco, an intensive plan to build on its current 19 miles of marked bicycle lanes. Officials in Montgomery County have unanimously approved a plan to create nearly 800 miles of cyclist-friendly paths in the area. Read more here .
What's Crazy About Biking to the Hospital to Have a Baby ?
The stir caused by New Zealand minister Julie Anne Genter’s journey to an Auckland hosp ital says Congratulations to Julie Anne Genter, New Zealand’s minister for women and associate minister for health and transport, who made global headlines this weekend for riding a bike to have a baby.
In January 2017, Governor Cuomo announced the Empire State Trail, a new initiative placing New York State at the forefront of national efforts to enhance outdoor recreation, community vitality, and tourism development. Approximately 400 miles of the Trail already exists in discrete, disconnected segments. Read more .

The Modern Automobile Must Die -- If we want to solve climate change, there's no other option.

Germany was supposed to be a model for solving global warming. In 2007, the country’s government announced that it would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by the year 2020. This was the kind of bold, aggressive climate goal scientists said was needed in all developed countries. If Germany could do it, it would prove the target possible. Read more here .