Rail Trail Newsletter 12-31-2018 #29

I hope you all had a great holiday season. Things are already heating up in my real estate world with several listings getting ready to come on the spring market. Yes, spring. In my world, spring is only 8 weeks away. I’ll be busy in February and March, rehabbing my new knee. That’ll be hard, but worth it.

In my rail trail world, things are happening there, too. Lots of great stories this month, including one about a railroad looking to donate 144 miles of former railroad corridor to a state parks agency. Imagine that--donating 144 miles. Locally, we’ve seen CSX hold up the town of Natick for $6 Million for 2 miles. The good thing about Natick is that they’re so interested in getting the trail built, they looked past the extraordinarily high price and plowed ahead. 

A different story in Lynnfield, Mass, though. They are still hand-wringing on the scary thought of building out the trail and are planning yet another vote on the idea.

Another story is a about the Adirondack Park Agency allowing the removal of the tracks on a section of a tourist railroad that will then be converted to a trail. It still has to be approved by Governor Cuomo, so that story is to be continued.


Craig Della Penna
413 575 2277
Sugar Maple Trailside Inn
62 Chestnut Street
Northampton, MA 01062
"In the News"
Updates About the Longest Rail Trail Project in New England
In the GREEN area, news
about the Mass Central Rail Trail
and its connecting paths.
The last big remaining part of the construction in Weston is the Conant Road overpass.
 Construction will start up again in early spring of 2019 as crews ready to reopen the underpass at Conant Road and create the parking areas at the spurs off Concord Road and Church Street. 
This portion of the project will involve the closure of Conant Road at the bridge area for approximately 2 weeks. Click on the image above or here for a map indicating the closure points and the detour
Once the underpass is reopened, the final pavement from Conant Road to Church Street will be installed. The path will then be unobstructed from Wayland to the trestle bridge in Weston. Read more about the final details before opening.
Bike to the Sea 2018 Year in Review
2018 marked a milestone for Bike to the Sea (B2C) as it celebrated 25 years in existence with the most significant development to date towards completing the Northern Strand Community Trail.  In February, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the commitment of at $1.5 million to fund designs for the Northern Strand i n Everett, Lynn, Malden, Revere, and Saugus. Read more . The link provides details about all the communities.
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
Palmer coming soon 
Ware: Check out the new FaceBook page. Link here
Belchertown: Link coming for Friends of the Belchertown Greenway
Amherst, Hadley on DCR's Norwottuck section of the MCRT: Link here .
Northampton area: Link here .

‘Mobile wetland’ showcases Tibbetts Brook Greenway in NYC benefits'
Bronxites would love to see the long awaited ‘day lighting’ green space conversion of Tibbetts Brook for more reasons than just a bike trail.
The environmental project is expected to reduce flooding along the borough’s northwestern corridor in addition to offering a plethora of ecological benefits for Van Cortlandt Park. Read more .
Rockland Rail Trail final section to be completed next week
By Amy McKeever The Patriot Ledger
 The town has been clearing and paving the rail trail in sections over the last two years. The last section of paving from Howard St. to the Hanover town line is set to begin Friday, completing the three mile long recreational trail. Read more .
Columbia County NY EDC and Columbia Land Conservancy study joining Harlem Valley and Electric trails.
HUDSON, NY — Columbia County’s economic development agency and the local land conservancy are working together to study the possibility of building a rail trail that connects two state trails east and west in the county. Read more . [I'm sorry to tell you that it is amazing how helpful National Grid is here in NY--as opposed to Mass. CDP]
Adirondack Parks Agency change paves way for rail trail between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake
RAY BROOK — The state Adirondack Park Agency on Friday 12-14-18 approved a change to the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan that could pave the way for a hotly contested trail replacing the railroad tracks between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake. Read more.
Voters may decide whether a rail trail should wind through town.
Details are being worked out for a non-binding referendum in April on whether to approve or stop the 4.4 mile Wakefield-Lynnfield Rail Trail. Read more

New Bike Path Work is Underway in Montpelier, VT
By Phil Dodd
The eastern end of Barre Street in Montpelier has been a busy place in recent months. In addition to the construction of the new Caledonia Spirits distillery, there has been rerouting of railroad tracks and a ribbon of orange tape stretched along the existing tracks and an inactive railroad spur that extends along Old Country Club Road, where installation of a new bike-path-related culvert is getting started. Read more
Rail Trail group on Cape Cod to assist in state grant application
Friends of the Bourne Rail Trail Coordinator Nate Robinson (right) discusses ways the community group can help the town apply for a Mass Trails planning grant in the new year. Read more here .

Laconia, NH selects consultant to design potential Rail-w-Trail
The city has selected Alta Planning and Design as the consultant to examine the pros and cons of extending the WOW Trail next to the railroad tracks along Paugus Bay, or in place of those tracks. Read more here . Here's the WOW Trail's website.

Chicago builds out the first section of Navy Pier Flyover
People can now use a concrete ramp that will take them from Ohio Street Beach up and over a dangerous intersection at Illinois and Grand. Read more and read more here too . [ I know. Chicago isn't in the region, but I couldn't resist putting this story in. Just another example of DOTs loving bike-ped bridges CDP ]
Filling a gap in the Air Line Trail between East Hampton and Portland CT By  PETER MARTEKA HARTFORD COURANT
“We keep chugging along."
Those are the exact words you want to hear when gaps along the Air Line State Park linear trail are being filled. Those were the words of East Hampton Town Manager Michael Maniscalco concerning the status of the last gap in the western part of town. Read more .

A Trail Proposal in Western NY Isn't Liked by the Neighbors.
There was nothing but delight and applause on a simmering August day last summer when the Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trail group announced a 49-year agreement that would allow the development of a 27-mile-long trail along an old rail line. But not everyone was smiling. Read more.
3-mile trail extension in CT opens near Manchester
After more than three years of construction, a much-anticipated path connecting trails in Bolton and Manchester, CT opened to the public Friday. Read more .
More Important Stories From Around the Country and Sometimes Beyond
Competition opens to redesign Buffalo’s old elevated rail line
Across the country, cities are  reimagining old industrial landscapes  as innovative parklands and restorative ecologies as a way to connect urban dwellers with nature and protect the environment. A new  design ideas competition  in  Buffalo , New York, aims to revitalize the city’s 1.5-mile elevated DL&W rail corridor as a multiuse urban nature trail and greenway.  Read more.

by Steven Miller of
Livable Streets
The CapeFlyer Railroad service [on Cape Cod Mass] has been a  huge success . Well over 10,000 people have bought tickets so far this summer, generating more than enough revenue to cover the relatively puny $165,000 annual cost of running the train. The high cost of gasoline, the desire to avoid multi-hour Cape-traffic traffic jams, the new bus service from RR stations to all 15 Cape Cod towns, the availability of rental cars and bicycles – all these have contributed to the high demand. And it also turns out to be fun! Read more here . [I forgot about his piece from over 5 years ago until Steve reminded me of it. When I read it again, I thought it was even more pertinent today, so here it is again. CDP]

The Pedestrian Strikes Back
Officials in several countries are getting the message: Cities are about people, not cars.
In many of the major cities of the world, it has begun to dawn even on public officials that walking is a highly efficient means of transit, as well as one of the great underrated pleasures in life. A few major cities have even tentatively begun to take back their streets for pedestrians.
Denver, for instance, is proposing a plan to invest $1.2 billion in sidewalks, and, at far greater cost, bring frequent public transit within a quarter-mile of most of its residents. Read more .

Scooters and hoverboards add to Dutch cycle lane hell
Police union chief says it is impossible to keep lanes safe due to variety of vehicles and rules
Daniel Boffey  in Brussels
 Cycle paths in Amsterdam have become increasingly overcrowded in recent years. Photograph: Ahavelaar/Getty
A rapid rise in the number of scooters, e-bikes, mini electric cars and hoverboards in the  Netherlands  and the complexity of regulations on their use is making it impossible to keep the country’s cycle lanes safe, the leader of the Dutch police union has warned. Read more
London Launches 5-Year Plan To Entice More People To Fall In Love With Cycling
Carlton Reid Contributor
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has today joined London’s cycling and walking commissioner Will Norman at a new-build protected cycleway in the Outer London borough of Enfield for the launch of the capital’s  Cycling Action Plan . This five-year plan sets out the timescale for tripling the number of protected cycleways since Khan came to office and also reveals new quality standards for cycling infrastructure. Read more
Here's a story about a RR company in MO that wants to give 144 miles of former RR corridor to the state. [too bad CSX made Natick Mass pay $6 million for 2 miles. CDP]
Whoever came up with the phrase, “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth” surely was thinking of something akin to the offer that Missouri officials are now weighing.
The hiking and biking trail, when completed, would mesh with the nearby Katy Trail to create an unmatched recreational opportunity that would showcase Missouri’s mid-state beauty. Read more Click on the map above for a more detailed map.
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. Click the link above to go to a bio/CV .