Letter to the Editor: Benefits to Extending the Minuteman Bikeway

~Submitted by Mark Bailey

I support the Minuteman Extension because I want it to be safer to get around town without a car. The project makes Bedford more connected, accessible, inclusive, and responsible. Folks interested in learning more should watch the video. Key benefits are summarized below.

SAFE

  • Improves crossings at Railroad Ave., Hartwell Rd., and Concord Road (Rt. 62)
  • Improves Railroad Ave. with new sidewalk and shared-use path, striping and signs, reduced flooding 
  • Installs rails in dangerous areas like Mongo Brook crossing
  • Provides stone dust shoulders along 75% of the trail for walkers, runners who prefer soft surface

CONNECTED

  • Connects neighbors to neighbors, workers to jobs, kids to schools and playing fields
  • Links Bedford east to west, connecting people to businesses and conservation areas
  • Connects to the library, Town Hall, playground, JGMS, BHS, and playing fields
  • Links to Narrow Gauge Trail, leading to shops, Springs Brook, Fawn Lake, Lane School
  • Connects to Minuteman, leading to Lexington, Arlington, and Cambridge, ending at Alewife Station
  • Strengthens our position in growing regional network of transportation alternatives

ACCESSIBLE, INCLUSIVE

  • Supports users of all ages and abilities, including users of adaptive devices
  • Provides safe, affordable option for those who don’t drive or have access to a vehicle
  • Enables the trail to be usable for more of the year

CLIMATE WIN

  • Supports active transit, replacing car trips, improving health with less congestion, less idling, less pollution. 40% of our Greenhouse Gas emissions are from transportation.
  • Addresses drainage on Railroad Ave., increasing resilience to climate change impacts
  • If the extension allows residents to replace even small numbers of car trips, this will more than offset the lost carbon sequestration potential of the 4.34 acres of trees impacted
  • Skipping just one year of road resurfacing would offset the asphalt carbon cost of project
  • No Adverse Effect under Clean Water, Endangered Species, Historic Preservation Acts 
  • No portion of the proposed project is in Estimated Habitat of Rare Wildlife

RESPONSIBLE

  • Fixes Railroad Ave. with $3.2M of state funding. As town road, this is not a good candidate for TIP funding, which prioritizes connectivity and greenways, on its own
  • Ensures the Town has the necessary land rights to keep the trail open to all
  • Assures access to maintain utilities, such as water, sewer, and fiber optic lines
  • Preserves our reputation as a serious partner to the state

Editor’s note: Mark Bailey is chair of the Bedford Bicycle Advisory Committee.


The opinions expressed in Letters to the Editor are those of the writer, not The Bedford Citizen.


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Amy Kelly
Amy Kelly
8 days ago

Thank you for this thorough analysis of what we could have gained by approving this project.

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