~Submitted by Lora Goldenberg for the League of Women Voters
The League of Women Voters of Bedford supports article 10, the acquisition of easements in order to pave the Reformatory Branch section of the Minuteman Bikeway.
As an organization, the League only takes action on issues on which it has reached consensus after extensive study. In this instance, we have local positions that encourage alternatives to private cars and that support accessible sites for recreational activities.
We support the Bikeway Extension because of the many positive aspects of this project: accessibility; fewer car trips; safer crossings at Railroad Ave, Hartwell Road, and Concord Road; and infrastructure improvements along Railroad Ave. We greatly appreciate that all these will be paid for with state and Community Preservation funds.
However, we would like to note that the concerns of abutters whose land will be taken, the many town residents who prefer unpaved recreational trails, and the environmentalists who fear the loss of existing trees and habitat for endangered species need to be considered and accommodated where possible as we move forward with this and other projects.