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Bay Colony Rail Trail

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Bay Colony Rail Trail

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

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