Letter to the Editor: Vote “No” and Preserve the Reformatory Trail

~Submitted by Adrienne Kimmell

A few weekends ago, I switched things up a bit.  I walked my dog on the Minuteman Trail.  It was a stark contrast to my usual daily walk on the Reformatory Trail here in Bedford.  With the yellow line painted down the middle, I felt like I was walking down a street.  Then add in the signs – signs to remind bikers to look behind them when they pass people. Big metal signs in the backyards of houses asking people not to trespass and reminding them that their yards are private property and not public parks.  I had to hold my dog so close to me for fear a biker would whiz by and accidentally get caught up in his leash.  Needless to say, this was not a relaxing walk.

On most days, I’m on the trail with my dog – if you saw someone with the cutest dog ever, that’s me!  It’s quiet and calm. It’s peaceful and safe.  And even on days when people are taking advantage of beautiful weather, I’m never nervous that my dog or I will get hurt by someone speeding past.  On some evenings, my kids and I are out there on the trail on our bikes. But I’m not worried that it’s three people on bikes like little ducklings.  In fact, I usually get nice remarks from people who remember when their kids were younger and a bit nervous how to navigate other pedestrians or riders.  

Our family moved to Bedford in part because of its quiet and the access to nature. Having a small highway running through the woods feels like the antithesis of that. One could say, it’s like paving paradise to put up a parking lot.  I encourage you to vote to preserve our beautiful and safe Reformatory Trail on November 14th and November 15th, in case voting is extended.

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Dave Verdant
October 21, 2022 11:49 am

So confused by the phrase “Save the Trail”.

A no vote does the opposite. It will set a precedent by a 2/3 majority vote that the town has no ownership of the entirety of current right of way. The very next day, any landowner affected by this vote could post no trespassing signs and fence it off. As property owners, it is in their best interest to do so.

Today, there is a public right of way that has been in place for long enough to cause a painful process to secure the land as theirs. A no vote wipes all that trouble away. If they are pushing for a no vote, it isn’t in their interest to leave it as is, “Save the Trail”. That starts the clock for adverse possession. Not to mention untold potential for risks and liabilities involving injuries.

October 24, 2022 8:21 am
Reply to  Dave Verdant

Are there documents substantiating your fear? Whose “interest” are you describing? I’d like to learn more about “adverse possession” and which sections of the path are subject to injury risks. Thank you.

Brits Armymom
October 15, 2022 7:53 am

I echo Kimmell’s assessment of the paved vs unpaved trail experience. The unpaved area in question offers respite from aggressive (though sometimes courteous) cyclists who imperil vulnerable walkers of all ages. It also provides a calming transition from the “bicycle highway” to Concord’s bucolic path toward Great Meadows. Surrendering this treasure for the sake of state funding is short-sighted “progress”.

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