By Jordan Stewart
At their February 25 meeting, the Selectmen were given a presentation by Trish Domigan and Pete Sorensen, the VHB civil engineers leading the Minuteman Bike Path extension project. While no progress has been made in the design of the extension since it was last discussed in February 2017, the presentation served as a recap for the Selectmen in anticipation of further work which will begin after a May meeting, when more public input will be available.
The project, which began in 2008, will be federally and state-funded to cover the $6.8 million cost and is expected to be constructed from Spring 2022 to Fall 2023. The extension will continue the path from its current ending at Depot Park to the Concord town line, traveling through an underpass under Concord Road. Selectman Michael Rosenberg expressed his belief that many cyclists would like to continue on to the historic Concord town center and pondered if Concord would extend it further on their side of the town line. Along with the extension, parking lots for bikers will be put up along the path at Railroad Ave, Lavender Lane, and Concord Road, and trailheads will be put up at Railroad Ave, Concord Road, and Wheeler Drive. Click this link to view the details on the bike path extension.
Following the bike path discussion, Dan Bostwick of the Energy and Sustainability Committee presented a report compiled by the Peregrine Energy group. As part of Bedford’s Net Zero mission, the Peregrine Energy Group was consulted to compile 2016 usage and emission statistics, which will be used to formulate strategies to accomplish the Net Zero goal (more information on Net Zero and the Peregrine report can be viewed here). In conjunction with the findings from the report, Bostwick discussed possible strategies for emission reduction and renewable energy creation. They would be discussed in the next phase of the Net Zero mission, which will consist of consultations to analyze the data found by Peregrine. The Selectmen all conveyed their support of the ESC’s work, as well as all others involved in the project. Selectman Fleischman voiced her optimism for the project. She stated that when presenting these reports and effective strategies to landowners, the message must be “all about us doing things that are mutually beneficial, both environmentally and also financially.” Click this link to read the full Peregrine report