By Artemis Savory
At the Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) meeting on April 19, the committee said that they are applying for a Complete Streets Grant from MassDOT in order to put in sidewalks and raised crosswalks along Bacon Road, Hartford Street, and Crescent Avenue. The appropriated amount from the Great Road Project 19-37 is for a bonded total of $850,000, but if the Transportation Advisory Committee wins the $400,000 grant, the town will only be required to take out $450,000 in bonds.
Officer Thomas Devine addressed police concerns with the Draft Neighborhood Common Policy. The department’s major concern is with speed bumps: Devine agrees with speed bumps in some neighborhoods to prevent undue speeding; however, he informed the committee that the Department of Public Works (DPW) and the police chief disagree. g Selectman Margot Fleischman asked, “What’s so special about Bedford that we can’t have [speed bumps]?” The committee plans to set up a “speed bump summit” to discuss resident interest or disinterest in speed bumps. Currently, raised crosswalks are allowed in town, but speed bumps aren’t.
As the liaison between TAC and the Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC), Scot Shaw introduced some BAC concerns from their April 10 meeting. One concern is that the gates at the south entrance to the Narrow Gauge Rail Trail are too narrow for bikers to travel through comfortably. Fleischman says that the reason the gates still exist is to remind drivers that the paved area is not a road, but a pathway.
Ralph Hammond (who was around when the first transportation committee got started) pointed out that during spring and summer, shrubbery grows around the gates, also making visibility difficult. Shaw also brought up the Bicycle Committee’s frustration with the DPW leaving wood chips at the end of the bike trail and suggested that these be put off trail in a DPW-only area.
Access to Minuteman Bikeway
Is there or can there be a connection between the Stop & Shop shopping center and the Minuteman Bikeway?
The trail currently runs from Cambridge to Bedford’s Depot Park. According to Hammond, the town received an easement to go around the whole edge of Wiggins Avenue, but Preston Court is a private way, meaning there may be some additional landowner consent necessary before plans are drawn up and the bike trail is set in stone. TAC chair Soraya Stevens has decided to refer to this potential trail as the Crushed Stone Path for the time being.