Rail Trail Newsletter 10-2020 #49

In the 4+ years we've been doing this E newsletter, we've never had four stories from one community. But here we go, Sudbury has four stories about the E-W Mass Central Rail Trail and the N-S Bruce Freeman Rail Trail. Yes, Sudbury is at the junction of two important rail trails.

We also have several stories about bike-ped bridges being built in the region. We have a great story by Scott Mullen, and old friend of 25 years who writes about Covid and its impact on biking. And a story about the Empire State Trail having world class historic kiosks that call out forgotten history on their trails.

And I'm still like Diogenes. Instead of looking for an honest man, I'll be on the lookout for MassDOT's MCRT Feasibility study. As soon as it appears, I'll get it off to everyone. I'm told that it will be soon.

Stay tuned.

Craig Della Penna, Exec. Director
Norwottuck Network
62 Chestnut St. Northampton, MA 01062
413 575 2277 CraigDP413@gmail.com

In the GREEN area, news about

the Mass Central Rail Trail
and its connecting paths
Info from Sudbury about the Eversource /DCR project on the east-west Mass Central Rail Trail corridor
Here is the link to the Sudbury Cons Comm material related to the Eversource / DCR project.

They have a lot of documents, agendas, and minutes. At the bottom of the page is a link to all their Zoom hearings this year. Although only two meetings are listed on this page, there are actually dozens of them on the Zoom portal page.

The last meeting was on August 13th, and the DCR topic starts at the 5:00 minute mark.

Click here to go to the video of the meeting. Don't forget to scroll to the 5:00 minute mark.

The real reason for this case is because it has taken over 40 years for the idea of a trail to come forward on both the E-W and the N-S trail in Sudbury. When people buy a house with dead RR behind, they think it will always stay like that. BZZT. WRONG. It is unconscionable that it has taken two gener-ations to build these trails. In NY people are outraged when it takes longer than 2-3 years. READ THE SJC DECISION
After reversal in court, Sudbury neighbors vow to continue fight against Eversource powerline
SUDBURY – The town lost its appeal to revive its lawsuit that sought to block the MBTA from leasing an inactive railroad corridor to Eversource to bury its power lines below. Read more.
Info from Sudbury about the purchase of CSX owned north-south corridor slated to be a part of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail.

The image to the left here is an overview / update.
Click here to go to the report by the town manager. (This negotiation started in 2001. Yes, a shameful 19 years. CDP)
One day you may be able to bike straight from N'ton to Boston on the MCRT
This was the tagline on Chronicle's recent re-broadcast of their episode about the MCRT. Click here for the short video.
Most People Don’t Know The Story Behind This Mass. Abandoned Bridge To Nowhere. (This will actually be a part of the MCRT and thus won't be "nowhere" then. CDP)
If you’ve ever driven around Waltham, Massachusetts, chances are you’ve passed beneath this abandoned bridge without giving it a second thought. However, the history of the Linden Street Bridge is tied to an almost forgotten period in Massachusetts history.
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 history of DCR's efforts on this.
Clinton Greenway Conservation Trust: Link here.
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.
Cedar Hill is the name of one of our guest rooms at our B&B. It is also the name of the former New Haven RR's main railyard in southern New England. Looks like it is undergoing a renaissance, With an artistic twist. CDP
Quinnipiac Trail Bears A Visit by Brian Slattery. The Tidal Marsh Trail might be one of the most-reported-on hidden places in the greater New Haven area. ts history alone is reason enough to attract attention. The land was once part of the Cedar Hill Rail Yard, over a mile across and several miles long. Read more.
Essex County, NJ passes resolution in support of Essex-Hudson Greenway By John Heinis -
The Essex County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution in support of the Essex-Hudson Greenway, a linear park initiative that would include Jersey City, Secaucus, Kearny, Newark, Belleville, Bloomfield, Glen Ridge, and Montclair. “We are excited to see continued progress toward bringing the Essex-Hudson Greenway to reality. The Open Space Institute is proud to be part of this transformational project that will not only provide much-needed green space for residents, but also pave the way for economic recovery,” Read more.
By Kristin Amico on Sep. 08, 2020
As Cape Cod ushers in its "Second Summer," hopping on a bike is one of the best ways to enjoy the region's natural beauty. Here are some of our best bests for September bike rides, taking you along foliage-lined trails, scenic hills and quiet ocean paths. Read more.
Peabody Mass Seeks to Bridge Gap in Greenway. (Here's another BIKE PED BRIDGE being built on a rail trail. CDP)
The city of Peabody is gearing up to connect the dots of the Peabody Independence Greenway.
The city will receive $10.1 million from the State Transportation Improvement Greenway by construction of two new trails, one which will link the existing two segments of the Greenway, which are located on opposite sides of Route 1. The centerpiece of the plan calls for construction of a new, two-span steel pedestrian bridge over Route 1, Read more. Here's another story about this.
Rose Kennedy Greenway Introduces Interactive Bloom Tracker
An Interactive Bloom Tracker for the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston now lets visitors locate and learn more about flowering perennials across the park.
The tracker was created in partnership with Boston company WorkReduce, which provides the technology for this interactive data visualization project that graphs more than 300,000 data points and over 800 varieties of plants. Read more.
NEW! Evidence Based Infosheets on the Impacts of Trails 
UConn Storrs and the CT Trails Census have put together this nice site with info about trails and various aspects of comm-unity development.
On the path to safer, more frequent bicycling--in the Berkshires
By Danny Jin, The Berkshire Eagle
When Marge Cohan started advocating for a countywide bike path 20 years ago, some people thought she was "a crazy woman."
But today, there's even talk of a "Western New England Greenway" connecting from New York to Montreal, running through the Berkshires on an expanded Ashuwillticook Rail Trail. Read more.
Mark Hayward's City Matters: The one less traveled by. (WOW! A pro-trail story in the Manchester Union Leader in NH. I remember a time long ago when you'd put a star on a calendar when that happened. We are definitely living in a different world now. CDP)
Two different American lifestyles are evident on the north side of the CVS Pharmacy on Mammoth Road. Cars idle and creep forward to a drive-thru prescription window, demon-strating that potatoes don’t grow on just couches.
This month, work started on a $1.2 million upgrade of the trail in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Here is a sample of historic signage along a trail that should be considered to have the "Gold Standard" of signage along a trail.
The Empire State Trail in NY is developing unified kiosks along the 750 miles of trail throughout the state. This is what we at the New Norwottuck Network will be striving forward. This is one of my favorites along the Albany-Hudson Electric Trail owned by National Grid. Yes, the same National Grid that owns more miles of dead RRs in Mass than private RRs do. To see all the signs on this trail, Click Here.
Selectboard signs, sends letter of support after the 25% design presentation for Schell Bridge reconstruction project. (Wow. Yet another Bike Ped Bridge project. This one has over 15 years of advocacy behind it. And you if thought this stuff was easy peasy, well you'd be wrong.) Read more.
Did you know that the New Hampshire Rail Trails Coalition has a monthly E newsletter? Click on the image to the left and sign up!

They even have a discount on the sale of Charles Martin's great book on the rail trails of New Hampshire.
AND HERE'S ANOTHER, Multi-town, trail project in Mass. Welcome to the METACOMET GREENWAY!
Mission Statement: The friends of the Metacomet Greenway is a group of citizen volunteers working to utilize the abandoned Old Colony Railroad corridor in Walpole, Norfolk, Wrentham, Plainville and North Attleboro as recreation and open space. This 17 mile way offers the potential for a diverse range of recreational trail uses.
LINK ON FACEBOOK Please like them on Facebook!
Empire State Rail Trail is a linear vacation GHENT, N.Y. — by Ralph Gardner (btw, the power lines here are owned by National Grid. I know several of you will love to know this. CDP)
The Empire State Rail Trail, a 750-mile trail that runs from Manhattan to the tip of Lake Champlain and from Albany to Buffalo, doesn’t open officially until December. Unofficially, it’s open right now. I took my long-awaited inaugural ride along a portion of it this week. Read more.
Grassroots community effort succeeds to create major infrastructure addition for central Vermont
(And yet another BIKE PED bridge under construction in the region. CDP)
A bicycle/pedestrian bridge over the Winooski River, a key connector in the Cross Vermont Trail and link between Montpelier and East Montpelier, celebrated a groundbreaking September 18 after being dreamed of and discussed for two decades.
The 200-foot-long, $1.2 million steel bridge will cross the river at the old railroad abutments in East Montpelier just above the Winooski Hydroelectric Dam alongside Rte 2. Read more.
Here's some great
This one is from Georganna Woods, one of the veterans from the pro-trail side of the Dedham 'to-do.'

Like the old adage from the Terminator movies.. . "We'll be back".
And here are two from Len Simon of Sudbury about the town purchasing the old CSX-owned corridor. A piece of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail.
George Kohout: Bike week is reason to hop on a trail
Bike Week in the Connecticut River Valley began last Saturday, Sept. 19, and continues through this Sunday. There are plenty of reasons to head out on the trails with your family and friends here in the region.
The Great Tree Bicycle Tour will guide you on a ride through Northampton’s neighborhoods while getting up close and personal with 10 majestic trees. Read more.
Interesting and Pertinent Stories From Around the Country and Sometimes Beyond.
Will the COVID Bicycle Surge Last? By Scott Mullen Sep 29, 2020
Like far too many traditions under COVID, the annual Bay State Bike Month was postponed and reimagined this year. Typically scheduled in May to coincide with the start of peak cycling season, Bike Month officially started on September 1 and people across Massachusetts are encouraged to join events that are largely virtual. But this year, encouragement is hardly necessary as cycling has become an increasingly popular, socially distant, and reliable way to move around during the pandemic. Read more.
These electric cargo bikes are already replacing trucks in cities
Could electric cargo bicycles replace industrial trucks? It turns out they already are.
Look, sometimes you absolutely need a truck. But let’s be honest, most of the time you don’t.
How many times have you seen a pickup truck driving around with an empty bed or a box van carrying a tiny load? It happens all the time, and it’s a ridiculous waste of space and energy.
It’s also exactly the case where cargo electric bicycles truly shine. Read more.
As the pandemic wreaks havoc on existing structures, we look at some visions for post-Covid cities – and how they hold up. 
Chris Michael, Lydia McMullan and Frank Hulley-Jones. For the Guardian

We asked four architecture firms to share their visions of what cities should do, now, to better design everything from offices to streets to transport – and we have analysed each one – to help inoculate our cities against a disease that is proving so difficult to inoculate against in our bodies. Read more.
One page bio
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Amazingly, Constant Contact alerted Tiffany Lyman-Olszewski, the editor here, that this newsletter is in the top 10% of all of Constant Contact's newsletters, worldwide, in terms of readership engagement.
Imagine that!