Rail Trail Newsletter 8-10-2018 #24

Whew. The big conference [ Golden Spike 2018 ] is now over and in an upcoming issue, I'll have a full debrief about it, but today, I'll just give my take that it went well. We had over 100 attendees and the logistics of the presentations went well thanks to Tom Kelleher and the individual presenters. They were well-received and of course, the ballroom at Union Station was a hit. And of course, the location at the intersection of the two trails was perfect, too.

I knew on Friday night, at the Hotel Northampton, where we had over 50 people on hand for our networking event, that everything was going to go OK. And it did.

Our friends who came from CT, led by Bruce Donald, were a big hit, too. They will have a mostly off-road trail built in from New Haven all the way to Northampton in a few more years.

The FNTG team, led by George Kohout and Kris Badertscher, was like a well-oiled machine. Thanks so much FNTG team and a special shout-out to our volunteers who helped out on the walking or biking tours. They made it all seamless. I'll have more info. in a couple of weeks when we get feedback from the participants.

Our keynote speaker, Kurt Gaertner, was a hit with a presentation about all the inspirational things going in the Massachusetts government to make trails easier to build here. Many of those "things" are internal to DOT and DCR and not noticeable to the general public. And to hear from both Mass DOT's Bike-Ped Coordinator, Peter Sutton, and Mass DCR's Greenways and Trails Program Manager, Paul Jahnige, too, well that was a great surprise as well. Thanks to all!.

We now have all the presentations on the MCRT site so you can see what was presented from Boston to Northampton and from Northampton to New Haven. A link to that is below.

I also want to thank folks who came from Lynnfield, Dedham, Belchertown, and couple of other places where they needed a shot of inspiration to keep them in the game. Or in the case of Belchertown, these folks needed to see how trails are getting built as they are about to relaunch the effort there. The inspirational stories of how projects on the MCRT and the New Haven to Northampton corridors on these specific corridors are getting it built allowed my "battle-hardened" veterans to leave inspired and to keep in the game. [I hope using "inspiration" three times here helps reinforce it for them.]

I didn't expect to have a new issue of this newsletter out so soon, but there continues to be a lot going on. Some sad, like a story about a 6 year old being killed on a trail in RI.

Some pretty exciting stories and an important repeat story about bike/pedestrian bridges and how they are becoming more and more commonly built by various DOTs around the U.S.

Bike-ped bridges installed where railroad bridges or viaducts once stood fits perfectly in what Daniel Burnham meant in his famous quote. " Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans. Aim high in hope and work. Remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will not die".


Craig Della Penna
413 575 2277
"In the News"
 and Updates About the Longest Rail Trail Project in New England
More news about the MCRT and and follow up about Golden Spike 2018
Conference Presentations now on-line
If you missed our big conference, don't worry. Here's a link to all the presentations, including the keynote. LINK HERE. Or on the image.

Don't worry, we will have more about the conference in upcoming issues of this newsletter including a slew of pix.
Belmont to Officially Launch Lime
Dock-free Bikeshare Program
Belmont's getting dock-free bikes this week.
By  News Desk, News Partner  | Jul 25, 2018
From LIME:  Belmont will officially become part of a rapidly growing local bike share network on Thursday by joining the Lime network of Boston-area communities using the popular service. Local elected officials and Lime representatives will kick-off the program with a launch event and demo at 9 AM at Belmont Town Hall, Thursday, July 28. Read more here .

Here's the most recent East Quabbin Land Trust newsletter. One of the articles in it is an interesting essay about the history of this segment of the MCRT along w a host of articles about their events. 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 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 .
Ulster County NY Legislature Approves Ashokan Rail Trail Funding
The Ulster County Legislature Tuesday night voted to approve funding for the construction of the Ashokan Rail Trail. The county executive and trail enthusiasts have been working toward this for years. Opponents lament the project’s approval and say legal battles may not be over. Read more .
Cape Cod Rail Trail
projects get kick start
Federal and state grants will benefit several projects.
BREWSTER — Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito took in some Cape Cod sun while making it rain for several towns Thursday when she made 2 stops in Brewster.
The largest grant went to Sandwich for the town to design a 5-mile link of the Cape Cod Rail Trail, with the goal of eventually connecting to the Cape Cod Canal bike path. Read more here .
Baker-Polito Administration Announces $6.4 Million in Complete Streets Funding Awards
The Baker-Polito Administration’s Department of Transportation today announced awards totaling approximately $6.4 million to 22 communities through the Complete Streets Funding Program. Read more here.

Cape-to-CT ride shows progress, bumps on Greenway
BRISTOL, R.I. (AP) — After a white-knuckle trip over a bridge from Portsmouth into Bristol, which involved lifting our bicycles over concrete barriers and construction equipment, the police officer who pulled us over told us something we had already figured out. Read more.
Riding the Rail (Trails) in NH
By Gordon DuBois
Over 35 rail trails blanket the State of New Hampshire. From the upper reaches of the state in Stewartstown and the Upper Coos Rail Trail to the Nashua Rail Trail bordering on Mass. Rail trails have become a frequent avenue for walking and riding.. We are extremely fortunate to have these recreational thoroughfares stretching across our state. Read more .
New Rockland, MA Rail Trail
by Kezia Bacon, Correspondent
This is exciting news for the South Shore! Thanks to a grant from the Massachusetts DCR, the recent paving of the Rockland portion makes the trail significantly more accessible to the general public. Read more .
NY County seeks help with study for possible Hudson, to Philmont rail trail
Richard Moody Columbia-Greene Media HUDSON NY — The Columbia County Economic Development Corporation is seeking bids for a consulting company to determine the feasibility of building a trail along the rail corridor that runs from Hudson to Philmont. Read more .

Check out the one minute video below on the Friends of the Dedham Heritage Rail Trail Facebook pa ge
Trail Grant Funds Announced in Brewster on Cape Cod
BREWSTER – [another version of an earlier story in this newsletter.] Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito was in Brewster at Drummer Boy Park Thursday to announce nearly $250,000 in grant funding for four projects to improve trails and outdoor recreational opportunities on Cape Cod. Read more .
RIDOT vows to study intersections at bike paths after fatal crash
A day after  a 6-year-old boy was hit and killed by a car while riding his bicycle , the Rhode Island Department of Transportation is looking into why there weren't more safety measures along a bike path in Bristol. Read more here .

Victim of bike crash ID’d as 6-year-old from Somerset
SOMERSET, Mass. — Six-year-old Mason Sterne, the youngest of three children of Amy and Bobbie Sterne of 770 Buffington St., was the boy who was struck and killed by a motorist while riding bikes with his family and crossing Poppasquash Road on the East Bay Bicycle Path in Bristol, RI. Read more here .

Holliston’s 8 Arch
Bridge opens
HOLLISTON – Laurie and Dave Evans didn’t expect to get so much attention when they decided to take a stroll on Holliston’s recently completed rail trail this week.
“He actually just got back from a business meeting in New Jersey,” Laurie Evans said, “and I said, ‘Why don’t we go for a walk? It’s a beautiful day.’”
LIFE OUTDOORS: Rail Trail ribbon-cutting ceremony
By David Mark
Posted Aug 6, 2018 at 11:21 AM
A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for Aug. 10, 2 p.m., at the Acton end of the Assabet River Rail Trail. Mass Department of Transportation Secretary/CEO Stephanie Pollack will join state and local officials (not yet named) at the event. If the weather is nice, consider walking, running or bicycling to the site. Read more here.
Springfield seeks design firm for McKnight Neighborhood bike-ped trail
by Peter Goonan pgoonan@repub.com
SPRINGFIELD -- A proposal to build a bicycle-pedestrian trail in the McKnight Neighborhood, discussed for more than 20 years, has taken a significant step forward as the city has advertised for an engineer for the preliminary design stage. Read more . Or click on the image to go to an drone view of the trail.
More Stories From Around the Country
The Bright Future of the Pedestrian Bridge

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. Today it's unusual not to give these modes space—or, in some cases, the entire structure. Even bridges that seem primarily suited for vehicle traffic must include what Zoli calls, in the parlance of engineers, "shared-use path facilities"; the new Tappan Zee Bridge will have one, he points out, as will a bridge HNTB is designing on I-95. Read more here.

The largest infrastructure project in the US is a 3,000 mile bike path
  The recent submission of nine BUILD grant applications to the U.S. Department of Transportation creates an unprecedented opportunity to develop the East Coast Greenway — the nation’s longest connected walking, running, and biking route. With guidance and support from the East Coast Greenway Alliance, the nine partnerships of municipalities, nonprofits, and agencies requested a total $100 million to plan, design, and/or build more than 200 miles of East Coast Greenway in six states, from Connecticut to Florida. Read more here .