Submitted by Healthy Bedford
The Town of Bedford and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MA DOT) officially celebrated the completion of the new Shared Use Path from the Great Road to John Glenn Middle School (JGMS) this past Monday. The million-dollar project was funded through the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program and championed by Bedford’s Healthy Communities coordinator Carla Olson in collaboration with MA DOT, JGMS, and Bedford’s Department of Public Works (DPW).
A gallery of speakers – Courtesy images,(c) 2017 all rights reserved – Click each one twice to see it at full size.
JGMS Principal Kevin Tracey welcomed participants, noting how the improvements to the path helped not only JGMS but the high school as well and all the residents who use that path to connect. Highway Administrator Jonathan Gulliver from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation highlighted the history of the SRTS program and the importance of the collaboration with local officials on a project such as this.
Margot Fleischman, the Chair of the Bedford Selectmen, explained the history of Bedford’s participation in the SRTS program, beginning in 2008. Bedford became an official partner in the program in 2009 when Lane School signed on to the program, then JGMS joined in 2010. Fleischman highlighted Bedford’s civic pride in participating in a program like SRTS that encourages students to take active transportation, like walking and biking, contributing to a healthier community and state. Fleishman gave special thanks to all the individuals who collaborated to make this project a reality, including Department of Transportation/Safe Routes to School, Town Officials, Town and School Leadership, Department of Public Works, Bedford’s Youth Task Force, Healthy Bedford Task Force, The project abutters, including our neighbors, Bedford High School and the Bedford Public Library, J. Tropeano Contractors, and TEC Consultant.
Massachusetts State Representative Ken Gordon closed the speaking program with remarks about the collaboration between state and local officials in the success of projects such as this. Gordon will present a citation to the Town for their dedicated efforts towards encouraging safe behaviors when youth walk or bike to school or anywhere. MA DOT led a walking tour of the infrastructure project followed by refreshments and a ribbon cutting.
For more information about SRTS contact Healthy Communities Coordinator Carla Olson at 781-275-7727, x 260.