Rail Trail Newsletter 6-4-2018 #21

This newsletter is out, a bit sooner than I had imagined, but I wanted to get out the news that we now have a keynote speaker. Kurt Gaertner, Director of the Office of Smart Growth / Smart Energy for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) and a member of Governor's Trail Task Force, will give the keynote at the conference. Kurt is a good advocate for this cause and someone with a lot of credentials in this realm.

There are also several interesting stories below. One is yet another ribbon-cutting of a rail trail project in Mass where the Governor or Lt. Governor comes out to "cut the ribbon." We've seen this so often in the past couple of years. It is really amazing to me to actually see a Massachusetts Governor or Lt. Governor come for these. It is just so inspiring, really.

Also below is a great letter to the editor that was just so perfect it called out to me to be included here.

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 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.
More news about the MCRT and Golden Spike 2018
News from Waltham
by Laurel Carpenter [who will be one of the speakers at the upcoming Golden Spike event]

At a public meeting this Monday, June 4 at 6 PM, engineering firm Pare Corporation will present 25% design drawings for a 3 mile segment of the MCRT in Waltham between Beaver St. and the already-constructed segment at 1256 Main St.
Here is link to a page with general information about the project: https://www.city.waltham.ma.us/planning-department/pages/healthy-transportation

Here is a link to the public meeting notice with location: https://www.city.waltham.ma.us/home/events/62333

As you may be aware, MCRT segments in Weston and Wayland are under construction and expect to be complete this season. Here are a few links: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/mass-central-rail-trail-wayside

We are pleased to announce that KURT GAERTNER will be our keynote speaker.

He is the Director of the Office of Smart Growth / Smart Energy for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA). 

He is also a professor at Boston University in their City Planning and Urban Affairs Program since 2009 and has taught Urbanization and the Environment, Environmental Management and Sustainability, and Urban Sustainability.  READ FULL BIO HERE .

I'm sure that Kurt will have a slew of news to share about why these projects are so important.
This is a Matterport Tour of the Roosevelt Room at Union Station in Northampton where we'll be holding the GS2018 Conference.

Click on the image above and it will launch the tour of the facility.

Once it starts up you'll be able to see the entire facility, the entry with our registration area, the side area where the various groups will be set up on tables to showcase their project.

Just click on the circles on the floor to move further into the banquet facility.

PLEASE GO TO WWW.GS2018.org and book-in . We'd love to have a full house.
Beginning with the GS2014 event in Clinton, we've been giving out awards to people who have done extraordinary work in advancing the MCRT across the state. This in itself is a good reason to come out.

One Man's Big Idea: A Series Of Connected Bike Paths, Including A Bridge And Special Ferries on Long Island, NY
By Kim Covell
Andrew Morris is on a mission. The Hampton Bays resident, a cycling enthusiast, wants the town to have a series of connected paths that could ease traffic woes and, more importantly, allow access to some of the most beautiful parts of the region—by bicycle.  Read more .

NEW BRIDGE ON SLATE FOR 2023. Northfield likely to see Schell replacement soon
I n the fall of 2017 MassDOT narrowed the original eight replacement design options to three and requested Northfield community input on the three options. Go the website for Schell Bridge to read more . And go to this link to the local newspaper to Read more .
North Brookfield, MA gives up on railroad, moves to create rail trail
By Bradford L. Miner, Correspondent
In the fall of 2011 selectmen touted the resurrection of the North Brookfield Railroad as an economic boon to the community providing freight service along the 4.2-mile spur from Grove Street to the CSX main line in East Brookfield. Read more .

Mass Lt. Gov Karyn Polito cuts ribbon on a new $10.5 million segment of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail ACTON – Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver, members of the Massachusetts Legislature, and community members came together today, May 11 for the grand opening of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail Phase 2A segment in Acton, an approximately 5-mile path which is the latest segment to open of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail. 
Read more . And here's another article to Read more .
A Great Letter to the Editor
With my daily search for stories about rail trails, I get to read all the letters to the editor about the trials and tribulations of that controversial rail trail coming to ABC town.

Well, the above letter is one of the best I've seen in the past few years, and it is written by one of my good rail trail friends, Georganna Woods of Dedham, MA. Click on the image and it will turn into a full size PDF. You'll love this letter.
Here's the champion group for really, really wanting to convert their dead derelict railroad into a regional show-place.

 Way back in the 1990s, the railroad sold this 60 miles corridor to the state of NH fo r a trail. The RR took the rails because the scrap value was high. They left the ties behind. How many ties in 60 miles of corridor? Only 140,000+.

Over the course of the next 20+ years, volunteers pulled the ties, cleared the trail and using Rec Trail Program grants from NH have developed the trail. Click on the image above to see a before and after by Dick Mackay of Hanover, NH who has been involved since the beginning.
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.