The Special Town Meeting on Monday night failed to achieve the two-thirds minimum approval of an article to authorize acquisition of easements needed to extend the Minuteman Bikeway west along the Reformatory Branch trail.
The vote of 537 to 537, announced around midnight by Moderator Mark Siegenthaler, affirms a similar outcome at the Annual Town Meeting during the spring, which effectively derailed the long-planned project.
Monday’s voting culminated 90 minutes of presentations and discussion with an unprecedented turnout of almost 1,200 voters. For the first time. Town Meeting took place in the Bedford High School gymnasium with an overflow in the cafeteria.
The decision was cast by secret ballot as Siegenthaler had announced a few days before the Special Town Meeting. That process, as he predicted, took an hour.
Special Town Meeting voters also defeated an attempt to suspend approved spending on design or a fire station at 139 The Great Road. There was a companion article to appoint an ad hoc committee to identify additional prospective sites. Both articles were on the warrant by petition.
That vote required a majority, and was completed with raised cards, similar to a voice vote.