Rail Trail e-Newsletter June 2022 #67

We are in the final countdown to our conference at the end of July and many of you have signed-up, but we still have room at this moment. Register at: https://www.gs2022.org/. We are looking forward to this and seeing many of you there. You will be re-energized.

Below, we've got some good news about Sudbury on the Mass Central Rail Trail. Eversource's attorney has sent out a statement that they are past all the lawsuits and they are in agreement with the conditions set forward by the Conservation Commissions in both Subury and Hudson. Construction of their grid enhancements should begin later this summer with the trail construction right after. Probably 1.5 constuction seasons in total to finish Sud and Hud.

And in this issue, we've put 6 'high altitude' stories in the orange section. Very interesting posts.

And one of the stories below has the best sound-bite from local politician that I've ever heard in 28+ year of doing this. "Any time a project is on the drawing boards for 50 years and you're actually at the ribbon-cutting, that's a great day," Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said. I love that and I'll remember it well.

Craig Della Penna, Exec. Director
Norwottuck Network
62 Chestnut St. Northampton, MA 01062
413 575 2277 CraigDP413@gmail.com
In the GREEN area, we have news about the
Mass Central Rail Trail
and/or its connecting paths
Hot off the press. Eversource has formally announced that they are now past all the lawsuits and are working with the Conser-vation Commissions in both Sudbury and Hudson, to meet their requirements and construction is about to begin. Read the 13 mg document
And in Ware's section of the MCRT, the East Quabbin Land Trust is replicating a wetland through an agreement with National Grid that is building out the trail in Ware and Gilbertville
An up to the minute update about the MCRT in Metro-West. Click on the image.
Saturday July 30, 2022
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.
Belmont: Link here to the Friends of the Community Path Facebook group.
Somerville: Link here to the Friends of the Community Path Facebook group. 
Waltham: Link here to the Waltham Land Trust's site.
Walham: Link here to the Waltham Bike Committee.
Waltham: Link here to the City's page about the MCRT.
Weston: Link here to the town's page about the MCRT
Weston: Link here to the history of both the RR and the advocacy to create the trail. Over 25 years of advocacy. It is now open.
Wayland: Link here
Sudbury: Link here for the N-S intersecting trail--Bruce Freeman Rail Trail. 
Hudson: Link here for the NE-SW intersecting trail--Assabet River Rail Trail.
Berlin-Hudson: Link here to the new FaceBook group.
Berlin: Link here goes to the town's Rail Trail Committee. They also have a pretty nice website with pictures of the existing dead RR corridor along other maps and images of a future trail. Link here.
Wayside segment of the MCRT: Link here to a regularly updated history of DCR's efforts on building out this complicated trail.
Clinton Greenway Conservation Trust: Link here. updated info.
Clinton Tunnel: Link here to a story on WBZ Boston TV about the tunnel.
Wachusett Greenways area: Link here.
East Quabbin Land Trust: Link here
Palmer coming soon 
Ware: Link here to the Facebook group about this segment of the MCRT'. 
Belchertown: Link for the site for Friends of the Belchertown Greenway.
Amherst, Hadley on DCR's Norwottuck section of the MCRT: Link here.
Northampton area: Link here to the Friends of Northampton Trails website.
Northampton area: Link here to the Friends of Northampton Trails Facebook.
Here's DOT's Recent Feasibility study about how to piece together the middle sections of the MCRT.
4 fabulous rail trails in New England Boston Globe: By Diane Bair and Pamela Wright
Globe Correspondents.
These former railroad corridors are mostly flat, so they’re great for families, or anyone who wants an easygoing tour
> Island Line Trail, Vermont
> Northern Rail Trail, New Hampshire
> Eastern Trail, Maine
> Cape Cod Rail Trail, Massachusetts Read more
Greenways, including two in Groton, CT, highlighted at state event Kimberly Drelich, The Day, New London, Conn. June 4, 2022
GROTON — At the Poquonnock River Walkway, off of Depot Road in Groton, two new state-designated greenways connect. About 40 local and state officials and open space and environmental advocates gathered for the state's 22nd Annual Greenways Award Day ahead of Connecticut Trails Day. Read more.
Portland to Auburn rail trail possibilities under consideration
A 15-member committee will decide whether a walking trail can be built on or near the St. Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad tracks or if the corridor should remain as is for future train use.A state railroad advisory council is looking into three possible uses for the old St. Lawrence and Atlantic rail corridor between Portland and Auburn: rail, rail with trail, and trail until rail. Read more
A proposed bicycle trail system could connect Maine's 25 biggest communities by 2030
The Maine Trails Coalition and seven other groups have outlined a plan to link Maine's 25 largest municipalities with off-road trails. The idea behind these "active transportation arterials" is to make it more likely people will leave cars behind.

The coalition has outlined its plan in a 57-page document. It pegs the cost at $160 million. Kristine Keeney, the Northern New England Manager for the East Coast Greenway Alliance, says the $160 million is a lot of money, but far less than the $240 million the Maine Turnpike is prepared to spend on a six-mile-long highway spur into Gorham. Read more.
Long Island's North Shore Rail Trail opens, repurposing abandoned railroad line into recreational trail BY CAROLYN GUSOFF JUNE 10, 2022 CBS NEW YORK
PORT JEFFERSON, N.Y. -- Manhattan has its popular High Line, and now Long Island has the North Shore Rail Trail, which just opened Friday.

"Any time a project is on the drawing boards for 50 years and you're actually at the ribbon-cutting, that's a great day," Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said. (Wow! That beats the gestation period for any rail trail in Mass by a long shot. I feel like we're in Warp Drive. CDP) See the 2 minute video
U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2.6 Million for Trail Expansion to Boost Tourism in Southbridge, Mass
Washington (June 7, 2022) – Today, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) applauded U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo's announcement that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2.6 million grant to Southbridge, Massachusetts, for construction of the Quinebaug Valley Rail Trail. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan. Read more
Danville plans to repurpose historic train station as rail trail hub By Shaun Robinson, VT Digger Jun 1 2022

Patricia Conly remembers lying in her childhood bedroom and watching the trains pass through Danville station out the window.

Today, the state is building the 96 mile Lamoille Valley Rail Trail along that former route. And a group of Danville residents, Conly among them, wants to turn the station into a facility. . . Read more
Parker Street tunnel mural brings colorful life to Piscataquog Rail Trail MANCHESTER, NH – The local non-profit organization “Manchester Moves” and the City of Manchester Parks and Recreation are pleased to announce the painting of a new public artwork that will serve as an en-hancement to the Piscataquog Rail Trail on Manchester’s West Side. 
Interesting, "High-Altitude" Stories From Around the Country and Sometimes Beyond.
The Cambridge bike lane battle is heading to court
By Andrew Brinker Globe Correspondent June 10, 2022
Businesses and residents have sued the city over a plan for 25 miles of separated bike lanes, saying lost parking spaces will hurt sales.

A faction of local business owners and residents in Cambridge sued the city Friday, seeking to reel back an ambit-ious bike lane expansion project that they say will eliminate precious parking spaces and devastate small businesses. Read more.
What will the completed Lamoille Valley Rail Trail do for Franklin County, VT?
St. Albans Messenger written by Bridget Higdon Published on May 26, 2022
FRANKLIN COUNTY — This fall it will be possible to ride your bike, off road, along the river and through farm fields, from Swanton to St. Johnsbury. 

At 93 miles, the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail will be the longest rail trail in New England. Read more
A New Elevated Park Offers a Blueprint to Cooling Cities
Snaking over rooftops in downtown Rotterdam, a new public park shows how dense cities can cleverly adapt unused urban space to mitigate the effects of climate change. Surface, By Ryan Waddoups 6/6/22 
Now, the city is showing its imagination again by converting roofs into interconnected elevated parks. Read more.
What's your preferred bike trail surface: Gravel or pavement?
WPR's 'The Morning Show' wants to know what you think. By Keegan Kyle
 Monday, May 30, 2022, 3:00pm
On Wisconsin Public Radio’s "The Morning Show," we recently asked two bike trail managers to weigh in on a common debate: Gravel or pavement? Read more
‘It’s so freeing’: Boston women learn to bike as more protected lanes are built
Hundreds of women have taken the free classes provided by Boston’s transportation department.
By Taylor Dolven Globe Staff,Updated June 18, 2022, 6:00 a.m.

On a recent Thursday evening, 10 people gathered in the parking lot next to the Mildred Avenue K-8 School in Mattapan, eager to learn. Most said they had never ridden a bike before. Read more.
Is North America poised for an e-cargo bike boom?

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News. 
By Paul Tolmé

Cargo bikes have a long history of use in the Netherlands, so it’s not surprising that it took a Dutchman to create one of North America’s largest electric cargo bike delivery services. 

With a fleet of 130 Tern HSD e-cargo bikes pulling motorized Carla cargo trailers, in addition to its walkers and van drivers, Dutch-X experienced a growth spurt during the pandemic due to the increased demand for home food deliveries and the growth of online shopping. Read more

The new Norwottuck Network is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation specifically set up to help get the longest rail trail in New England--the Mass Central Rail Trail --built-out, operational and notable.
We can help do that by making small, mini-grants available to local groups and communities that will bring restore/renovate/replace historic mile-markers on the corridor. Or help fund kiosks that will call out forgotten railroad or industrial history of that locale.
We will want to work with the state park agency Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) on standardized kiosk designs.
We will keep you all posted as to developments as we go. We have made it easy to DONATE through the Network for Good.
Amazingly, Constant Contact alerted us that this newsletter is in the top 10% of all of Constant Contact's newsletters, worldwide, in terms of readership engagement.
Imagine that!