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On March 4, about 50 Needham residents participating in an open forum hosted by the Needham Parks and Recreation Department expressed general support for the Bay Colony Rail Trail, running from Needham Junction to the Charles River at Red Wing Bay. A series of small discussion groups provided an opportunity to gather suggestions and concerns on a wide range of issues including trail access and parking, abutters' privacy, safety and maintenance, and trail amenities. A full write-up from the meeting is available here.
We're delighted to announce that Needham Bank has offered another generous gift, along with a challenge, to support the BCRT.
Needham Bank was among the first donors to step up and support the BCRTA in a major way when we first started our adventure.
Because the bank is our local community bank - their folks work here and live here - they can see that a safe and beautiful rail trail would be a wonderful asset for all of us who live in the area.
To help us to push ahead with the trail, Needham Bank has extended a challenge that kicks off on January 2, 2013:
Over the last few months, we've made more great progress toward building the Bay Colony Rail Trail. Thanks to your sustained commitment, here's what we've achieved recently:
Funding for Engineering Study
In August, the Needham town officials responsible for the Community Preservation Act (CPA) funds considered an application from the Bay Colony Rail Trail (BCRT) to fund a "conceptual planning and design study" of the Needham portion of the trail. Approval for the application, which won the unanimous endorsement of the Needham Board of Selectman, will be voted on at the special Town Meeting late this month.
The engineering study will consider parking, access, maintenance, bridge repairs and other issues that we'll need to address in order to move forward. This engineering project follows the MBTA's approval of a 99-year lease of the abandoned railroad right-of-way to BCRT for use as a rail trail. Now each town along the route, including Needham, Dover and Medfield, must decide whether to accept the lease.
To learn more about the CPA funding, and to show support for application, please consider attending an open forum at 7:30 pm on October 10th at the Public Services Administration Building on Dedham Ave.
Over the past several months, there has been a lot of activity related to the Bay Colony Rail Trail. It has been really exciting to see the project gain momentum, and to see all three towns actively engaged. This is an update on recent developments, including a couple of critical town votes on the rail trail.