Letter to the Editor: Railroad Avenue Residents Urge a “No” vote on Article 10

~Submitted by Gail Green

The Town has stated that the opportunity to improve Railroad Avenue is one of the main benefits of extending the Minuteman Bikeway. We are residents of Railroad Avenue and we oppose this Extension. We ask you to join us in voting NO on Article 10 on November 14/15. 

This plan would involve the permanent taking of about half the driveways and front yards of all the residents on the south side of the street. It would involve the temporary taking of a similar amount of land, on the north side, during the four years following approval. The temporary taking is needed to allow construction workers to park vehicles, heavy equipment and materials in our front yards.  The compensation offered is based on some formula that can only quantify the value of land, permanently or temporarily lost. It cannot assess the impact of other factors that would accompany this project: four to five years of stress, many months of dirt, noise and frustration during construction, and the fact that we will not be free to move during this time. We believe that few Bedford residents would choose to be in our shoes. 

We have major safety concerns: Our residents along the south side would be expected to back out into bike traffic, from shortened driveways and with diminished sight lines. Delivery and landscaping trucks would have to do the same. Long-time bikers on our street state that a dedicated bike lane invariably results in many cyclists traveling at much higher speeds. These issues are a recipe for disaster. 

On both sides, we’d lose mature trees, 19 in total, including a 150-year-old pine! The Town promises to “replace” the trees, on Town property, with saplings, but our canopy would be lost. 

There has been a flooding issue, in front of the commercial properties. This would occur at times of heavy rain, when the storm culvert would collapse. In our experience, this problem was significantly improved, perhaps around 2019, when the drain was replaced.  It’s not a perfect fix and heavy rain fall in a short amount of time is still too much for the existing drain to handle. We believe that infrastructure issues are part of the intended use of our tax dollars, and we hope this drain repair would be placed on a list.  However, this issue does not impact our quality of life.

Please vote NO on Article 10.

Andrew & Audra Knoedler, 19 Railroad Avenue
Len Goodman, 22 Railroad Avenue
Sharon & Bill Young, 24 Railroad Avenue
Matthew Collins, 26 Railroad Avenue
Gail Green & John Monahan, 23 Railroad Avenue
Butch & Marie Card, 25 Railroad Avenue

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The opinions expressed in Letters to the Editor are those of the writer, not The Bedford Citizen.

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