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Tad Staley's blog
The Rails-To-Trails Conservancy site reported recently on their 25th anniversary reception in downtown Washington, D.C., earlier this month, where Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood was a featured speaker.
According to the article, Secretary LaHood said that encouraging more biking and walking is one of the most important things we can do in the nation's battle against obesity and related illness.
He also said the rail-trail program "has done more for health care than anything we've ever done in America. Rail-trails have contributed so much to people's good health over the last 25 years--also preventing heart disease, and providing the kinds of opportunities people have looked for, for a long, long time."
BCRT organizers in Needham are holding an open public meeting on Wednesday, May 11th at the Broadmeadow School (120 Broad Meadow Road in Needham) at 7:30. All are welcome, especially Needham residents!
The agenda includes updates on the rail trail progress, including the exciting new developments that could lead to an unpaved trail in a much shorter time frame.
MassBike and the Bay Colony Rail Trail are hosting a tour on May 28th along the route of the old Charles River Railroad. A portion of this route is the very corridor where the Bay Colony Rail Trail will be developed.
The Charles River Railroad was how they brought in all the gravel to fill the Back Bay.
According to Rails to Trails Conservancy (RTC), the American Automobile Association (AAA) recently advocated for the elimination of critical, established programs that fund trails, walking and bicycling from the trust fund that finances transportation. Although AAA says it supports all types of transportation, that doesn't seem to be consistent with the stated position, which would divert money away from walking and bicycling and toward the highway system.
More background on the AAA position, and Rails to Trails' rebuttals, are available on the RTC site here.
Soon enough, the Bay Colony Rail Trail will begin the process of exploring many sources of funding to develop a magnificent recreational path from Needham to Medfield. Total funding will be significant - we're estimating in the vicinity of $4 million - so we're eager that all trail-related funds remain open and viable for the foreseeable future!
Please click here to go to the Rails Trails site and sign their petition to AAA, and thanks for your support!
Next Wednesday, September 16th at 7:30, the First Parish Church in Needham will host a public transportation forum to address a proposed Green Line Extension from Newton Highlands to Needham. The forum is jointly sponsored by the Green Needham Collaborative and the Needham Heights Neighborhood Association.