Letter to the Editor: One Reader’s Reasons for Supporting Town Acquisition of Land Along the RBT

November 7, 2022

~Submitted by Nancy Wolk 

A list of reasons why I am voting yes for the approval for the Town of Bedford to acquire the land along the Reformatory Branch Trail:

  • This is a project that the town and the citizens have been voting for repeatedly over the past decade and a half.
  • I worry about the safety of students biking to school on the way to JGMS where they often ride in the road.
  • The negative environmental impact of this project is far exceeded by the positive environmental impacts of reducing car trips. 
  • Allowing the state to pay for the tunnel under Route 62 and the much needed repairs on Railroad Ave will alleviate a tax burden on our town. 
  • Knowing that a paved, true multiuse trail will allow more people access including people like me with hidden disabilities who are not wheelchair users.
  • Wanting to have the town own the full land of the trail, especially since the town has utilities under and along the trail. Lawsuits are costly to the taxpayers even when we know the town will win.
  • The landowners were neither using the land, nor paying taxes on the land in question. All parties thought the town owned it. Voting Yes fixes this issue and allows the landowners compensation for something they didn’t know they had.
  • Blanding’s Turtles will be unaffected by the construction and the path in Bedford. We can’t control how Concord chooses to address these issues and there’s no evidence to support the claim that more bikes will hurt the turtles.
  • I’ve used the Bruce Freeman path in Acton. The tree canopy grew over quickly and the path allowed for true multiuse which the current RBT cannot.

There’s been some hyperbolic claims about this path and the dangers of this project, but in the end, the project is good, not perfect. We all have taken compromises on what we personally think is a perfect path. What we have is a good plan that is a financially, socially, and environmentally responsible plan.  I feel this will prevent a need for a larger tax burden to keep Railroad Avenue and the Route 62 crossing safe while providing a safer and smoother path for all to enjoy. Please join me in voting Yes on November 14 for the acquisition of the land along the RBT.

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