Rail Trail Newsletter 5-22-2018 #20

First up are a couple of corrections. One was a typo in the date of the last newsletter. The other glitch was that the story about the Highland Division Rail Trail project being resurrected had a broken link to the overall story and an accompanied drone video.  All fixed now. And there is an idiosyncrasy with this Constant Contact format when there are a lot of stories. The missive gets clipped and you will see a sentence saying something like, "Click here to see the rest of the missive." And also, the pictures are sometimes clipped and there is a message at the top saying, "Click here to see the images."

I do know that many of you getting this are planning to attend our Golden Spike Conference on July 27 and 28, but please do book in right away, as we have room for only 150 or so at the main event. It is only $35 for plenary session and luncheon. The biking and walking tours are $15 and these are on both Friday and/or Saturday.

CLICK HERE to check out the conference website. Or CLICK HERE TO GO DIRECTLY TO THE REGISTRATION SITE. We are doing some press releases too for the event and have posted one below.

Also in this issue is a "hot off the press" story about Dedham, MA voting down the scary rail trail. And ironically there is a story about Danvers and how the lead opponent to the trail there—and a fellow who used to run attacks on me on their local cable television outlet— is now a friend of the trail. Good for him. I knew he’d come around eventually. 

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 2018 Conference this July

Our registration system is now up and running.
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.
Some great videos to check out!
Friends of Northampton Trails & Greenways /FNTG
Activating our trails & greenways through events, the arts & education.
Causes: Community Advocacy, Arts and Culture, Environment
Linked above to this image is a press release about the conference. Feel free to send it to your local newspaper and all the members of your local trail and greenway orgs.
Belmont Feasibility Study Plan would Renew Transportation Infrastructure and Create New Public Spaces By Vincent Stanton, Jr.  A bicycle and pedestrian path stretching from the Charles River in East Cambridge to the town of Berlin, beyond Interstate 495, is in various states of design or construction. Read more .

Manchester CT Property Board to consider sites to expand Cheney Rail Trail
By Joseph T. O’Leary
MANCHESTER — The city's Land Acquisition and Historic Property Investment Committee will meet tonight to consider recommending the town acquire three properties that could expand the Cheney Rail Trail. Read more .

Decades-old bridge gets new life connecting Harrisville, Hancock trails in NH
By Meghan Foley
HARRISVILLE — Sometimes you need a bridge.
And sometimes someone has the bridge you need.
But what are the chances that bridge is sitting in a local sandpit? Great, if you’re the Harris Center for Conservation Education and Harrisville Trails. The two groups teamed. Read more here .
Bringing new voices to the table: Strong partnerships featured at New England Bike-Walk Summit
Bill DeSantis greeted the more than 200 attendees at the fifth New England Bike-Walk Summit last week by offering a little perspective. Read more .
Dedham Selectmen seek new study for rail trail proposal By 5-1-18 Caitlyn McGoff dedham@wickedlocal.com
In advance of the Spring Town Meeting, the Board of Selectmen approved a motion for a new avenue of study for the proposed Dedham Heritage Rail Trail. [I'm told that one of the facets to this new study is to have a mediator come in and listen to both sides of the issue. One of the folks being considered is someone with experience in Arab/Israeli negotiations. CDP] Read more .
Rail Trail Article FAILS at Dedham Town Meeting
5-22-18 By Max Bowen 
mbowen@wickedlocal.com Standing outside Dedham High School, residents held signs supporting and opposing a proposal to construct a walking path on an unused rail bed.
It’s an issue that has proven quite divisive in recent weeks, but after a brief discussion at Town Meeting, the process came to a stop, if only for now. Read more [In my 'day jobs' as both a Realtor and a B&B operator, I'll meet scores of new people each week. When I tell them that I help communities get to "yes" on the idea of a rail trail getting built, they are astounded that people this deep into the 21st century would be against such a thing. They haven't been to Dedham. CDP]
Norton Rail Trail Update The engineers at BETA have been making great progress towards the design of the future Norton Rail Trail. They recently submitted a 25% design to MassDOT and once that has been reviewed we will be asking for your input at a Public Information Session. View the flyer here !
[One of the interesting things about this trail is that the corridor in Norton is actually owned by the Town of Mansfield. CDP]
Take a grand tour of New England — by bike
By Melanie D.G. Kaplan in the Washington Post Everything we love about New England is better by bike. When you’re on two wheels, the air is crisper, the small towns lovelier, the coast a bit more like heaven, and the wild blueberries may even be sweeter. Read more here .
See the abandoned RR line some Springfield, MA residents want trans-formed into a trail.
(drone video) 
 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 .
Wakefield Town Meeting Says YES to the Rail Trail
 by  Bob Holmes
A similar article at Lynnfield's Town Meeting last spring produced a 342-341 vote in favor of the lease with the MBTA, a close call but major step forward for their rail trail. It's interesting to note that while Lynnfield's population is roughly half of Wakefield, almost 700 residents turned out for the town meeting vote. Thursday at the Galvin Middle School 91 Wakefield residents showed up and all supported the rail trail. When completed, the trail starts just steps from the Galvin.. Read more here .
PARKS TRAILS NY Helps Troy, NY Envision a Bike-Friendly Future
After a 9-month planning process culminating with Troy City Council adopting the plan as part of the city’s comprehensive plan, PTNY recently finalized the  Troy Bicycle Connections Plan . Read more .
Chelmsford, area towns unveil rail trail phase
By  Joy Richard  
Spanning almost 20 years, the second phase of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail (BFRT) project is ready to unveil on Friday, May 11. Read more here .
Rail trail reality: 'It's perception' Swampscott voters face same rail trail concerns Danvers did
By Ethan Forman Staff Writer May 14, 2018
DANVERS — The immaculate, 4.3-mile stone dust rail trail that runs along the former Essex Railroad line here has made a believer out of one of its most ardent opponents. “I was definitely opposed to it,” said Franklin Street resident John Toomey about the trail that abuts his backyard. Read more here . [Mr. Toomey used to attack me in various venues when I was going into Danvers--getting the project to "yes" way back when. CDP]
Why 12-Foot Traffic Lanes Are Disastrous for Safety and Must Be Replaced Now JEFF SPECK  
A little background: First, we are talking only about high-volume streets here. Neighborhood streets can have much narrower lanes. Read more here .
New York agency to tout vision for connected Hudson Valley, Wallkill Valley rail trails at New Paltz event Patricia R. Doxs ey , Daily Freeman
NEW PALTZ, N.Y. The state Department of Transportation will unveil its vision for a trail to connect the Hudson Valley Rail Trail to the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail Read more here .
Bike Path to ‘Float’ Along Italy’s Largest Lake
Beginning this summer, you can ride on one of the most ambitious bike paths ever created. 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.