Rail Trail Newsletter 5-24-2018 #19

I think spring has finally arrived! We have an interesting mix of stories this month. One is about a trail group reassembling a trolley corridor in central Mass. Yes. A trolley corridor. There isn't nothing harder to do than that. Trolley corridor usually has flimsy chains of title and deeds.

Also, our Golden Spike 2018 conference, set for Northampton in the last weekend in July now has the registration system live.

Also in the ORANGE area are three interesting stories. One story is about Buffalo starting to love linear parks, another is about people in Philly building a rail-w-trail in a place that used to be an ugly, urban wasteland. I love stories that talk about people taking back their neighborhoods. And my favorite story this month about DOTs starting to LOVE pedestrian bridges. I do too love bridges. Go Schell Bridge!

Oh and how can I forget; three stories this month about the three places in EMass where the proposed rail trail is seen with fear, anger, and a gauntlet of reasons why it isn't worthy of being built. This newsletter is specifically produced to keep my battle-hardened veterans inspired. Keep them in the game and keep them from getting burned out.

And it is there, where this newsletter has most succeeded. Keeping my battle hardened veterans from getting burned out. Kudos to you all.

Springfield's Highland Division Rail Trail project is also coming back to life. We have a story about this too, but I'll have more on this in coming months. Just remember good ideas never die and rail trail projects are always good.

If you are planning on coming to the GS2018 conference, please book-in ASAP. I'm sure there will be more people interested than we have capacity for.


Craig Della Penna
413 575 2277
"In the News"
 and Updates About the Longest Rail Trail Project in New England
News about the Golden Spike Conference this July

Our registration system is now up and running. CLICK 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.
Somerville: Friends of the Community Path's Facebook page is here
Waltham: Link here to the Waltham Land Trust's site. Link here Waltham Bike.
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.
Dedham's Finance and Warrant Commission begins hearing on rail trail article
By  Max Bowen  
After months of debate and discussion on one of the most divisive issues in town, a hearing on the Dedham Heritage Rail Trail article for Town Meeting has begun.
The Finance and Warrant Commission gathered on Thursday, March 29, before a packed house at Town Hall. Many in attendance wore green to show their support for the project, which would establish a 1.5-mile walking and biking path from the Readville train station to East Street in Dedham Square. Read more here .

Lynnfield Rail Trail Supporters Talk Facts, Figures

A release from the Friends of the Lynnfield Rail Trail:
The Friends of the Lynnfield Rail Trail have worked diligently to inform residents about the facts and dispel misconceptions regarding the Wakefield– Lynnfield Rail Trail project. We are committed to making sure our residents understand the opportunity we have to greatly benefit our community in a number of important ways. Read more here .

Swampscott rail-trail alignment presented, discussed
By Neil Zolot Apr 15, 2018
In the Senior Center Wednesday, about 45 people attended a presentation, hosted by Swampscott Director of Community Development Pete Kane and consultant Stantec, on the alignment of the future Rail Trail Wednesday, April 12.
The presentation came months after Swampscott voters affirmed a 2017 Town Meeting supermajority vote supporting the use of $850,000 toward the rail trail project - with a 589-vote margin in a special election on Thursday, June 29. Read more here. 
Here's a story about reassembling a long-gone trolley corridor to become a trail.
(And if you thought piecing together a former steam RR was hard, well let me tell you; reassembling a trolley corridor is much harder. CDP)

Check out this flyer below. It is about a series of tours in central Mass this spring to show the corridor of the former trolley line. Click the image below to link to a printable PDF version.) Also, if you'd like a copy of this 1912 trolley map, just email me and I'll send off a jpg to you.

See the abandoned RR line some Springfield, MA residents want trans-formed into a trail.
(drone video, photos) By  Peter Goonan
SPRINGFIELD -- Residents plan to meet Saturday at the Mason Square branch library to reignite discussion of a proposed bicycle-pedestrian trail along the long-abandoned Highland Division Railroad that has been under consideration more than 20 years. (Yes, 20 years people. Good ideas never, ever die. CDP) Read more.
Ped Bridge Being Installed in Manchester, CT
Trail users excited about the next segment of the Charter Oak Greenway got a double dose of good news recently as the path nears completion
The first news was that a pedestrian bridge will be installed, finally, across Camp Meeting Road in Manchester next to I-384. Read more here.

The Bright Future of the Pedestrian Bridge
Top engineer Ted Zoli says the era of shared-use structures has arrived.
A decade ago, it was unusual to design a bridge with space for pedestrians or cyclists, says Ted Zoli, National Bridge Chief Engineer for the architecture and civil engineering firm HNTB. Read more here.

Buffalo Dipping Its Toes into the Linear Park Pool
Neighbors packed into Buffalo’s Saturn Club on Tuesday night to discuss a proposal to turn a blighted elevated railroad line into an elongated park and urban connector, WBFO  reports .
Such an effort would add to the growing list of “linear parks” recently converted or soon-to-be converted from (mostly) abandoned rail lines in urban cores around the country. Read more here.
Ground breaks for Philly Greenway along former Conrail heroin hotspot
JOEL WOLFRAM April 14, 2018
A few dozen workers were cleaning up a strip of land Friday morning between Gurney Street and a new wrought-iron fence alongside the Conrail tracks in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood.
They raked and shoveled up small mounds of trash strewn with empty bottles, plastic bags and old articles of clothing. Read more.

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.