|2014: Next to High Street (Maynard). Disconnected rails dragged by red|
tractor, then lifted by green crane to roadside pile. Each rail weighs 1100 lbs.
2015 NEWS: As of Sept 21, 2015 the section at the north side of Maynard (north of Concord Street) cannot easily or safely be walked, as there is ongoing storm sewer pipe installation construction.
2014 NEWS: All rails were removed from the Acton and Maynard sections in March/April.. The company paid the towns for the rails, to be sold as scrap steel.
On June 13, 2013 there was a public hearing on the planned design of the parts of the Assabet River Rail Trail to be built in Maynard and Acton. The meeting was at Clock Tower Place, Maynard. About 80 people attended. After a 30 minute presentation, primarily slides of sections of the proposed design, there were 90 minutes of questions and answers. Here is a link to a pdf of the planned design: http://www.arrtinc.org/design/ARRT%2025percent.pdf.
|As it is in winter, north Maynard|
The purpose of the June 2013 meeting was to become familiar with and comment on the proposed design, referred to as the 25% design. Questions and comments can be clumped into several categories:
A) UNPAVED: Can parts be left unpaved (perhaps covered with crushed stone) and/or not so wide, so to be wilder? The answer to this is "No," primarily because the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that federally funded transportation facilities, including trails, be handicap accessible. Emergency vehicles need to be able to travel on rail trails in case there are injuries.Unpaved trails also require more frequent maintenance.
B) PARKING: People living near where there are proposed parking lots were concerned about the traffic that parking will generate. That includes a 20 space parking lot near Ice House Landing, Maynard. Earlier plans had indicated parking on High Street (Maynard) but that does not appear to be in the current plan. This lot revised to be 12 spaces.
On the other hand, planned parking at the Acton end - only eight spaces - was thought by many to be woefully inadequate. Using the train station parking for weekend recreational access to the Trail will be a poor alternative, as it would require detouring around on roads or using the soon-to-be-built elevator crossing from the north side of the tracks (the parking) to the south side (the Trail).
Sylvia Street, Acton, is a narrow dead end street with informal (small footbridge) access to the Trail now. The proposed design shows paved access to the Trail, but no planned parking area. The homeowners on Sylvia could find themselves faced with an increase in vehicle traffic and non-resident parking. A small parking lot later added to plans.
C) SAFETY: Three sections got many comments about safety problems. The Trail has to cross Route 117 at or near Winter Street, Maynard. If there was a new bridge over the canal (not in the current plan) then the crossing would be farther west, providing more time for crossers to see what traffic is approaching from the east on Route 117. An alternative is to have the Trail border Winter Street and install an actual traffic light on Route 117, so crossers could trigger a red light by pressing a button.
The second section of concern was how to get from the footbridge behind the Maynard Post Office to the far side of Summer Street, as this covers the very busy parking lot behind CVS, Subway, the Outdoor Store and the Paper Store. Suggestions ranged from creating a wide sidewalk on the south or north side of the parking lot to just saying "to hell with it" and letting people wend their way up the middle of the parking lot. Trail will border west side, and some parking spaces lost.
The third section of concern is where the Trail emerges from behind Cumberland Farms gas station to cross that small grassy area and then cross Concord Street, as lots of vehicle traffic turns onto or off from Route 27 and Acton Street to Concord Street. This is already the second-most traffic accident prone intersection in Maynard; adding non-vehicle traffic will only make it worse.
|Railroad spikes recovered from the 2014 removal of rails|
were cleaned and then painted with Rustoleum paints.
E) GETTING AROUND BUILDINGS ON ROUTE 27: In Acton, the Paper Store office complex on Route 27 in
Construction will begin in summer of 2016. When completed, hopefully within a year, or latest by early 2018, this section will be 3.4 miles long, from the South Acton train station in the north to the Maynard/Stow border in the southwest. At the southwest end it will connect to the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge, which offers miles of bike-allowed trails. The majority of the pavement will be 12 feet wide, bordered by 2 foot shoulders. Due to space constraints, several short sections will be 8 or 10 feet wide, some bordered by railings in lieu of shoulders. As part of the project, Maynard's footbridge over the Assabet River will be replaced. with a 16 foot wide steel bridge. Estimated cost for the project is 7.0 million dollars. (Really.) Accepted bid was $6.7 million.
Maps of the Maynard and Acton sections are at the website www.ARRTRinc.org along with updates on the status of the entire trail, locations of monthly meetings, and plans for volunteer efforts to keep the unbuilt portions of the Trail walkable.
Please consider joining ARRT and participating in various volunteer efforts.
WALKING THE ACTON, MAYNARD AND STOW SECTIONS NOW (JUNE 2013)
|Trail under water behind Artisan Automotive|
Past Cumberland Farms gas station the Trail crosses
North of the trestle bridge there are two options. Go straight, and the access to Maple Street requires climbing up a steep embankment which can be precarious, especially when wet from rain, ice or snow. Or cut left and skirt the edges of a farm field to access Maple Street farther west.
|Trestle bridge over Fort Pond Brook, facing north|
By mid-summer all of the
SOUTH FROM MAYNARD CENTER
To go south, again start at
At the far end, turn left on Mill, left again on Route 117, cross Route 117 to continue west on Winter Street, then take a right fork onto a dirt road. This is the beginning of
|Trail passes Ice House Landing, Maynard|