By Meredith McCulloch
The ten-year search for a plan to extend the Minutemen Bikeway came to an end Monday night, May 11, when the Selectmen voted to approve the plan known as “Option 2, Shared Use Path.” It is the plan that calls for one 10-foot bicycle path that would accommodate two-way bike traffic plus a four-foot sidewalk.
As the Selectmen reviewed their thinking it was clear that safety concerns were paramount. Chair Mark Siegenthaler reported the finding of the town’s insurance group that there should be no increased liability for the town or area businesses since bicycle and pedestrian traffic are already in the area. A pedestrian light at Commercial Avenue was suggested. Selectman Caroline Fedele said she liked that the plan called for the paths to be on the side away from the bus depot entrance where buses would be going in and out frequently. Selectman Margot Fleischman pointed out that, “To do nothing also posses a risk.”
Selectman Mike Rosenberg explained how his view had changed. “The last time I wanted to be sensitive to the businesses involved . . . but it has come to my attention that Concord has decided to extend the bike path all the way to Great Meadows. What had looked like a path to Route 62 in Bedford became a path to the Great Meadows and to the birthplace of the Revolution.” Once the Concord portion is completed, people will find some way to get from the Minuteman terminus to the Concord bikeway, he added.
Next steps will be to apply for funding for construction from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, a possible $1,000,000, to work with business and property owners along the route to obtain easements and/or land-takings and to complete the planning process. Town Manager Richard Reed estimated that completing the project could take from two to five years.
For a full description of the two options, see: