Selectmen Did Not Vote on Minuteman Bikeway Extension Plans

Railroad Avenue as it approaches the entrance to the Reformatory Branch Trail - Image (c) JMcCT, 2015
Railroad Avenue, heading toward the entrance to the Reformatory Branch Trail – Image (c) JMcCT, 2015


By Meredith McCulloch

Multiple routes have been explored for a Minuteman Bikeway Extension but still no conclusion was reached after a presentation to the Selectmen by VHS Consultants on April 27. Planning for the Extension began in 2005.

The extension will begin at Railroad Avenue and continue to the old railroad bed to Concord Road. There is no way to seamlessly connect the extension to the Minuteman Bikeway that ends at South Road and Loomis Street, so many options have been explored with safety in mind.

Safety concerns have been cited about increasing bicycle and pedestrian traffic in the vicinity as large vehicles enter and exit the properties of Bedford Charter Service and Taylor and Lloyd, a trucking company. Each company wrote to the Selectmen about their concerns centering on safety, impact on their operations, and potential increased insurance costs. Bedford Charter Service described line-of-sight problems as they move buses on their property.

Two options were presented, each of which provides two ten-foot lanes for car traffic.  The differences lay in the configuration of bike paths. Neither plan would have a negative environmental impact.

Option 1 is based on the Mass DOT concept of “Complete Streets” (streets that accommodate bicycles, pedestrians and automobiles in both directions.)  It provides two six-foot sidewalks with four-foot shoulders on either side.  MassDOT will not fund the $1,300,000 construction costs.

Option 2, named a “Shared Use Path” concept, allows for one ten-foot bike path that would provide for bicycle traffic in both directions and one four-foot sidewalk for pedestrians. MassDOT will fund $1,000,000 in construction costs. This option  requires a two-foot wide land taking from Taylor and Lloyd.

No motion was made and therefore no decision reached.  It is not known when the issue will go before the Selectmen again.  Those interested can find the Selectmen’s agendas on the Town homepage at

Editor’s Note: This report is based on documents provided by the Selectmen’s office.

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