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  • 1.  
  • 2. Manhan Rail Trail, Easthampton, MA
    • What is the Bay Colony Rail Trail?
    • Background on rail-trails
    • Rail-trail exploration and development process
    • Current status of BCRT
    • Questions and concerns
  • 3.
    • Needham: 2 miles from Needham Junction to the Charles River.
    • Dover: 3.5 miles from the Charles River to Hunt Drive.
    • Medfield: 1.5 miles to Harding Street.
    Overview The Bay Colony Rail Trail project is focused on the inactive rail corridor between Medfield and Needham. The entire segment is 7 miles:
  • 4. A Rail-Trail is a Linear Park Pere Marquette Rail-Trail, Midland, Michigan
    • A rail-trail is the conversion of a inactive railway into a multi-use recreational path.
      • Rail-trails offer a safe place for walking, jogging, cycling, crosscountry skiing, or horseback riding.
      • Rail-trails can be asphalt, crushed stone, cinder, or just plain dirt.
      • In Massachusetts, there are:
        • 103 active rail-trail projects
        • Dozens of completed rail-trails
  • 5.
    • Cape Cod Rail Trail
      • Wellfleet-Dennis, 22 miles
    • Nashua River Rail Trail
      • Ayer-Nashua, 12.3 miles
    • Minuteman Bikeway
      • Arlington-Bedford, 11 miles
    • Shining Sea Bikeway
      • Falmouth-Woods Hole, 10.7 miles
    • Norwottuck Rail Trail
      • Northampton-Belchertown, 10 mi.
    • Bruce Freeman Rail Trail
      • Chelmsford-Westford, 6.8 miles
    • Assabet River Rail Trail
      • Marlborough-Acton, 5.6 miles
    Popular Rail-Trails in Mass. Cape Cod Rail Trail
  • 6.
    • Health : more recreation and nature opportunities.
    • Transportation / Livability : improved viable and safe transportation routes.
    • Environment : choosing active transportation reduces your carbon miles.
    • Open Space Protection : Trails preserve and maintain natural settings.
    • Community Identity : Trails create civic pride and engender neighborliness.
    Rail Trail Benefits Rail Trail between Dover and Portsmouth, NH
  • 7. No Two Rail Trails are the Same
    • Each community defines its own
    • requirements in terms of:
      • Surface (paved or not)
      • Landscaping
      • Barriers
      • Accessibility
      • Rules
    • Each town defines its own
    • approach to handling things like:
      • Parking
      • Animals (dogs, horses)
      • Motorized vehicles (e.g. ATVs)
    Assabet River Rail Trail, Stowe
  • 8.
    • Rail Trail projects are often measured in decades, not years.
      • Bruce Freeman (left) took 21 years just to complete Phase 1.
    • The fastest Rail Trail project in Massachusetts to date is 6 years.
    • Avoiding state bureaucracy helps
      • Wachusett Greenway is moving well through volunteerism.
    • A Rail Trail project cannot succeed without support from each community.
    • It takes time to earn that support, to define a trail that works for each community.
    This is a Long Road... Bruce Freeman Rail Trail, Chelmsford, MA
  • 9.
    • Step 1: Conduct feasibility study. 6 - 12 months.
    • Negotiate lease from the MBTA and remove the rail. 12 - 18 months
    • Then... begin the recreational trail funding / grant process.
    • If it's a paved trail, expect five years to get federal funding.
    • Avoiding federal funding, a rail trail can be built at a pace of 1/2 mile per year.
    Typical Rail Trail Timeline Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton, MA
  • 10.
    • Experience a rail-trail yourself. Listing at:
      • www.traillink.com
    • Research Rail-trails at the Bruce Freeman site:
      • www.brucefreemanrailtrail.org
    • Visit our web site to get involved.
      • www.baycolonyrailtrail.org
    • Let us know your specific concerns:
      • [email_address]
    Some Next Steps for You... Minuteman Trail, Lexington, MA
  • 11. Thanks for your time