Letter to the Editor: Finding Pleasure in Biking on a Natural Path

~ Submitted by Mario Mendes

I am writing to say I agree with Julie Brill about keeping the Reformatory Branch natural, as it is today.

I’ve lived in Bedford for 20 years.  That portion of the trail is the only part that I can ride a bicycle without feeling like I am doing it on a street that has been closed to traffic.

It feels good to ride in such a natural environment.  The part of the trail that is already paved feels completely different, never mind having to deal with cyclists riding back and forth as fast as they can because they’re either practicing for an event or in a hurry during their commute.  These cyclists don’t ride on the unpaved portion of the trail.  At least that has been my experience in these 20 years I’ve cycled that portion of the trail.

It sounds different, it smell different, and it feels entirely different too.  It is an entirely different experience altogether.

Sure, there are the other walking trails through the forests in town that can be used for cycling too.  But those are not trails that take you to one place to another like the Reformatory Branch, which can take us directly from the Depot Park to the Great Meadows and further to East Concord’s center while you enjoy nature as nature is supposed to be.

I encourage you to vote no on Article 11 at the Town Meeting on Monday. For those who like to ride on paved ways, I ask that you too vote no and make use of the hundreds of miles of paved and scenic roads that already exist and are well maintained in Bedford.

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Julia Whiteneck
March 24, 2022 9:59 pm

This warrant article you talk about is so much more complicated than dirt versus pavement. There are easements and future monies at stake as well. Sure, dirt is great, we all need good dirt to smell. But many other people over the past 15 or so years have moved this project to where it is. Access, sustainability, connection with real commuters, better spaces to accommodate more people in our town is what will result from moving this project forward. I have lived in Bedford for 35 years.

Julia Whiteneck
March 24, 2022 9:48 pm

My understanding is that the trail will be half paved and half natural, so that those who want to ride on dirt may continue to do so, but those who can’t, like handicapped or wheelchair-bound will have a safe way to experience the trail also

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