~ Submitted by Ben Littauer
My wife and I are Bedford residents, avid cyclists, and regular users of both the Minuteman Trail and the Reformatory Branch. We have been observing the progress of the bikeway extension project and are not sure where we come down on its merits.
From our point of view, the Reformatory Branch trail is ridable in many weather conditions, and we’re unsure how paving it would be advantageous to cyclists (though for wheelchair access, obviously paved is better). This is especially true now that Concord has apparently abandoned its plan to pave from [the Bedford line] to Concord center. When balancing the advantages against the cutting of trees that is proposed, I think we’d prefer to see the status quo maintained.
One thing that we would be strongly in favor of, however, would be building a safer connection from the Depot terminus of the Minuteman trail along Railroad Ave, which is currently quite a dangerous corridor. This was proposed around a decade ago, but nothing has been done.
Is there any consideration being given to scaling back the project to just the Railroad Ave extension to see how it affects the usage of the trails?