Biking the Boston 'Burbs (Trails, MDC, & Towns beyond Hubway area)

F-Line to Dudley

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Surface Transportation Board once again muddles back into the stalled sale negotiations for the Bruce Freeman Trail. This time Town of Sudbury requesting a 1-year negotiating extension to Dec. 2021 for its proposed buy-up of the ROW from South Sudbury to Framingham city line. Town + CSX lawyers getting catty with each other in the STB back-and-forth...again...to boot.

Why TF is MassDOT still letting this thing malinger at the town level...where tempers have already proven many times over to flare with CSX?!? Bruce Phase III south to FSU could've had its land settled years ago if the state swooped in with one check and a proper landbank...then simply taken in-house any debts owed/committed by the towns rather than leave them to their own devices to get periodically mouthy with a multi-billion dollar corporation. Were it not for 12 frickin' years of this twisting-in-wind farce DCR would probably already be grading trail down that way. Under this asinine division of labor the abandonment still hasn't even consumated yet.

This isn't a large enough sum of money to be sowing hard feelings over. Bring it fucking in-house already!(n)
 

Vagabond

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The Spot Pond Greenway feasibility project is still moving forward, connecting the Northern Strand through Malden Center and up by Oak Grove+Fells. The December community engagement meeting was well done, and this connection would go a long way towards the ongoing livability improvements to Malden Center. Lots of community engagement to come, as there is a lot of "borrowed" easements and government owned property being used by others along the route.

54:25 goes through a who's-who of typical NIMBY opposition: Reduced property values, nobody bikes here anyway, increased crime, peeping toms, trash, "I see nothing but problems."


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Vagabond

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Northern Strand paving is now done out to Lynn. A little bridge work and lots of landscaping still underway, but the path was busy this weekend. Amazing addition to the region!
 

ceo

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Northern Strand paving is now done out to Lynn. A little bridge work and lots of landscaping still underway, but the path was busy this weekend. Amazing addition to the region!
Is the new bridge over the Saugus River open yet?
 

Arlington

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shmessy

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Not as of 5 days ago. Advocate Ron Newman is hoping to lead a ride over it this coming Saturday

Drone footage (bridge was placed back in early-mid May)

If THAT video isn't a testament to the power of music, I don't know what is!!!

Bravo to you, Stantec and Oliver Caplan, whoever you are. You turned something that most of us would watch with some technical appreciation and detachment and turned it into 2:32 of heroic salute to the noble pursuit of building bridges and the beauty of what they truly represent. It almost felt like a Ken Burns tearjerker segment. I know I felt moved beyond what I expected.
 
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ceo

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So they built new abutments and plonked the new bridge down over the old one, and then I assume they're going to demo the old bridge out from under it?
 

kjdonovan

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I've taken the Northern Strand all the way to Lynn several times this spring already and it has been wonderful to see these improvements. Literally decades of advocacy to get this far. The one head-scratcher is the stretch between the Lynn Market Basket and the Common. I know there is a long-term solution for this section, but it would be a no-brainer quick fix to slap some paint down and get a basic bike lane in here for 2021. Also, as others have noted, Lynn drivers are even less fond of bike lanes than Bostonians. Every time I've biked down Market Street since they installed bike lanes, they've been filled for blocks with parked cars. No hazard lights. Just parked. I wonder if that will persist.
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millerm277

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Is that...a path through the center of the rotary, or just some sort of bizarre gravel decoration? Who in Satan would so much as convey the mere optical appearance of that somehow being a safe or recommended way to cross???o_O
So....you're not a fan of Bell Circle and having to cross the road 6 times (on 4 separate lights + an unsignaled one) to get across one intersection on foot? :LOL:
 

shmessy

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I've taken the Northern Strand all the way to Lynn several times this spring already and it has been wonderful to see these improvements. Literally decades of advocacy to get this far. The one head-scratcher is the stretch between the Lynn Market Basket and the Common. I know there is a long-term solution for this section, but it would be a no-brainer quick fix to slap some paint down and get a basic bike lane in here for 2021. Also, as others have noted, Lynn drivers are even less fond of bike lanes than Bostonians. Every time I've biked down Market Street since they installed bike lanes, they've been filled for blocks with parked cars. No hazard lights. Just parked. I wonder if that will persist.View attachment 13153

Easy revenue enhancement solution - - parking tickets.
 

Highwayguy

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Nice surprise; as part of the Woburn line project, looks like Eversourse is about to pave the first mile or so of the Wakefield-Lynnfield rail trail from Main St @ the middle school to Salem St. Although its only over the portion of the route dug up for the transmission line, hopefully this will get the ball rolling on finishing the entire project. For a town without even a single bike lane, even little victories are gladly accepted!
 

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Arlington

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^ That's the one where the anti-powerline NIMBYs tried to tell scary stories about how paved bike paths attract crime (because we always see mountain bikers with stolen laptops under one arm, right?). I'm glad the trail won
 

Highwayguy

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Yup. I think Lynnfield finally voted for it last year. Wakefield as l recollect has been pro trail since the get go. The rest of the trail l believe is still under design though. Looking through the transmission line docs, l couldn’t find a mention of paving the trail as part of the project. Wouldn’t shock me if this is Eversourse doing Wakefield an IOU for revoking the town’s grandfather’d quiet zone status and subsequent closing of the Broadway St RR crossing for 8 months, but who knows.
 

kjdonovan

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I think that is also the thinking in Belmont. It seems like a rare point of agreement between rich and middle class burbs. If you're not in a car you're either a thief, a drunk who lost his license, or an idiot kid.
 

Arlington

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[Most think] If you're not in a car you're either a
  • thief,
  • a drunk who lost his license,
  • or an idiot kid.
This is scary true, but also where wearing Lycra and Day-Glo colors helps, since they happen not to be typical clothes for the above.

I hate the "classist" dimension of that--clingy bikewear is expensive, and not everyone has time to go to Goodwill for the Day Glo, but it is so true that (partly since very few can judge by the bike "what you're doing") people revert to judging clothes--or just the sweeping generalization into one of the bullets above, usually by facial complexion.

But it should not be true...or Drivers should not think themselves in this position of judging others, since the other people who don't have Lycra and Day Glo are:
  • People new to city cycling
  • Occasional/recreational cyclists
  • Other adults
  • Other kids
 

bigeman312

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Somewhat experienced cyclist here (over 2000 miles every year). If you are riding solo, you will generally be given more space and treated less aggressively if you aren't in a full kit. Gym shorts and a t-shirt on a hybrid will get you the best interactions with drivers. This is especially true the further from the city you go. Once you are north of Hooksett, NH, a full kit is asking for trouble and extra road rage towards you.

The drivers who are intentionally unpleasant towards well-trained vehicular cyclists are very few and far between, especially in places like Belmont in 2021 (very different than attitude in the 2000s when I started bike commuting in Boston), but are generally the types who would see a cyclist in full kit on a road bike as part of the "other tribe" but a dude in a T-shirt and gym shorts with flat bars as more relatable.

The same is true for the dirt bike and ATV crew. Always very pleasant interactions when I'm riding a flat-bar bike in gym shorts and a T-shirt.
 

kjdonovan

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Ha! All very sad but very true,. I'd add "basic helmet" to the list of required gear to avoid road rage. I could see a testable theory developing here where there's a sweet spot for not being targeted by drivers:

No helmet using an ill-fitted, ratty fat-wheeler---> "Subhuman and just asking to get hit."

Helmet with a well-fit hybrid ---> "I could see myself as that person, so I'll give them a lot of space."

Full kit on a road bike ---> "Screw this guy."
 

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