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

BeyondRevenue

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Saturday I E-bike toured the north end of Chelsea Creek (aka the Grease Trap) opposite Rt 16. I share this because I know that sounds AWESOME to everyone on this board. Amirite?
After traversing Chelsea's flats and Everett's metamorphosing TOD-in-waiting district (Vale Street is blowing up in a CRAZY good way, BTW). I made my way down Garvey Street to Paris Street in Everett.

Why Paris Street as a destination, you'd ask? Because gritty enclaves like this fascinate me. I mean, why, if the locals were ever given the option to leave, didn't everyone run away? It's a two block residential neighborhood sandwiched between an oil yard, a railroad, a rotary, a 6 lane highway, and some very toxic light industrial properties. And it's all 300 feet from where they assemble Richie's Slush! Explain to me how Dampney doesn't make goo that puts gills on human embryos. Seriously! And what do they care about in the neighborhood?
Clean water? No... Casino Parking! There is no love that could have kept me on that farm!

On my exit, I happened upon this odd intersection adjacent to Sweetser Circle and saw an opportunity for FutureEverett: An NST 'Spur' connecting Paris Street to the world!
Today's Iron Chef ingredients: Sumac trees, wind blown trash and MBTA Rights Of Way...

NSTSpurAfter.jpg
NSTSpurBefore.jpg
 
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FK4

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I have an idea for a Rumney Marsh trail and I don't know where to post it (mods, please move if necessary).

Some aBers must have ridden in, near or around the marsh. After seeing a video about Lynn's Bike to the Sea plan, and the Northern Strand Trail, a while ago I went for a few NST treks trying to find connector paths. Getting there through Revere, the auto-monopolized road treachery was incredibly intimidating. My conclusion: there is no easy, slow or quiet way to traverse Revere or get to Lynn on a bike. It's all menacing, all-car awfulness. They need paths.
There must be other ways the map could connect trails without much expense or effort, so I set a goal: I wanted to find a way to get to to the NST, from the shore, possibly via the Sea Plane Trail below the abandoned Route 1 rotary OR via some trails in between. Seeing on Google maps there was little bike friendly turf at all, I biked up to the 107th Flyers RC plane runway on Hwy 107 from Revere (cool, but dangerous to get to on a bike).
Once there, I rode the narrow bramble laden path south-ish to see what it would take to build a bike friendly link across the Rumney Marsh to Lynn. With a bridged crossing at the end of the Sea Plane trail, a pike path to Lynn could be built without too much noise or habitat destruction and would provide a slower, quieter, respite for hikers, bikers and birders from the 107 Speedway. I also see an opportunity to actually use the abandoned Rt 1 rotary overpasses!
I'm seeing a rail/trail advocacy groundswell and I'm wondering who among us is involved with this effort to connect existing more bike friendly roads to trails unbuilt.
I thought I'd throw in an idea that could be built mostly on the cheap. Brush clearing, road paint and permission on the cheap end with only a little infrastructure expense (at the Rt 1 rotary and a small bridge).

Kick the tires. New trails in Yellow, problem areas in Red:

View attachment 19199
Rumney has been subject to so much encroachment and destruction id prefer to see it left alone and people discouraged, not encouraged, to traverse it.
 

FK4

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Saturday I E-bike toured the north end of Chelsea Creek (aka the Grease Trap) opposite Rt 16. I share this because I know that sounds AWESOME to everyone on this board. Amirite?
After traversing Chelsea's flats and Everett's metamorphosing TOD-in-waiting district (Vale Street is blowing up in a CRAZY good way, BTW). I made my way down Garvey Street to Paris Street in Everett.

Why Paris Street as a destination, you'd ask? Because gritty enclaves like this fascinate me. I mean, why, if the locals were ever given the option to leave, didn't everyone run away? It's a two block residential neighborhood sandwiched between an oil yard, a railroad, a rotary, a 6 lane highway, and some very toxic light industrial properties. And it's all 300 feet from where they assemble Richie's Slush! Explain to me how Dampney doesn't make goo that puts gills on human embryos. Seriously! And what do they care about in the neighborhood?
Clean water? No... Casino Parking! There is no love that could have kept me on that farm!

On my exit, I happened upon this odd intersection adjacent to Sweetser Circle and saw an opportunity for FutureEverett: An NST 'Spur' connecting Paris Street to the world!
Today's Iron Chef ingredients: Sumac trees, wind blown trash and MBTA Rights Of Way...

View attachment 19326View attachment 19333
I’m completely with you on what makes for an interesting destination. And, that’s exactly how you find the interesting findings you found.

i’ve explored Chelsea Creek by boat. It’s pretty awesome.
 

BeyondRevenue

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I’m completely with you on what makes for an interesting destination. And, that’s exactly how you find the interesting findings you found.

i’ve explored Chelsea Creek by boat. It’s pretty awesome.
The view from two wheels is VR compared to the car window filter.
Though, from any vehicle you can see Chelsea is completely underrated and unnecessarily dumped on.
I would love to close Chelsea Creek to ocean-going fuel spillers and run pipelines to the remaining tanks from an airport adjacent dock in the main harbor. It could be great. So much waterfront land could be reclaimed or remediated and/or re-wildernessed. That whole waterway could be cleaned, expanded and ringed with paths. Seems to be a shortage of vision.
Those gas tanks should at least have a stand of trees blocking them from the highway!

Anyway, the main aim of my voyage was to get to this area: The former Forbes Lithography turf. Check out DEP's flickr page
1638985589181.png

Cool history. Here's a then and now:
1638986055441.png

1638986027607.png


I was looking for a way to bike in, but both the bridges are gated and locked. I read there was an offshore firm wanting to go big on a residential development there but the deal fell through.
I had driven by it a lot on Rt. 16 and 1A back in the 90s and it always fascinated me. So many buildings like this falling apart because of short sighted policy and capital.
 
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BeyondRevenue

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Rumney has been subject to so much encroachment and destruction id prefer to see it left alone and people discouraged, not encouraged, to traverse it.
That encroachment is disgusting (the trash burning plant, adjacent landfill, car dismantlers, ad-hoc property expansionists, marsh pavers all) but then I thought about...
  • The unwalkable areas on both sides of the proposed trail so the hiker-bikers would not go far without getting wet.
  • How it makes more sense than trying to build a pedestrian bridge at Point of Pines (loud and much longer) or attaching one to the MBTA bridge (pointless and much longer) AND Building 2 new miles of trail - not near anything.
  • The serious lack of safety for the accursed pedestrians and cyclists forced to cross the marsh today.
  • Traffic calming on 107 (narrowed highway for dedicated bike lanes) would piss off a lot of people, and I'm not so sure I even want to be on their dragstrip (for which it is used, according to the locals).
  • How this trail is only a few hundred feet away from 107, so the noise/runoff/pollution damage is already done.
  • A population who doesn't consider the marsh an option unless they're in the trash or body dumping business. Revere has 54k and Lynn 94k =148k who could be using that area to chill out and get perspective.
  • How there is no way to pedal or walk between those two towns other than by the three VERY unfriendly highways, Rt. 1, 1A, and 107.
  • How that experience could create another Rachel Carson.
Nope. It's still a good idea.
 
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FK4

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The view from two wheels is VR compared to the car window filter.
Though, from any vehicle you can see Chelsea is completely underrated and unnecessarily dumped on.
I would love to close Chelsea Creek to ocean-going fuel spillers and run pipelines to the remaining tanks from an airport adjacent dock in the main harbor. It could be great. So much waterfront land could be reclaimed or remediated and/or re-wildernessed. That whole waterway could be cleaned, expanded and ringed with paths. Seems to be a shortage of vision.
Those gas tanks should at least have a stand of trees blocking them from the highway!

Anyway, the main aim of my voyage was to get to this area: The former Forbes Lithography turf. Check out DEP's flickr page
View attachment 19388
Cool history. Here's a then and now:
View attachment 19391
View attachment 19390

I was looking for a way to bike in, but both the bridges are gated and locked. I read there was an offshore firm wanting to go big on a residential development there but the deal fell through.
I had driven by it a lot on Rt. 16 and 1A back in the 90s and it always fascinated me. So many buildings like this falling apart because of short sighted policy and capital.
There's a good view of it from the water.
 

FK4

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That encroachment is disgusting (the trash burning plant, adjacent landfill, car dismantlers, ad-hoc property expansionists, marsh pavers all) but then I thought about...
  • The unwalkable areas on both sides of the proposed trail so the hiker-bikers would not go far without getting wet.
  • How it makes more sense than trying to build a pedestrian bridge at Point of Pines (loud and much longer) or attaching one to the MBTA bridge (pointless and much longer) AND Building 2 new miles of trail - not near anything.
  • The serious lack of safety for the accursed pedestrians and cyclists forced to cross the marsh today.
  • Traffic calming on 107 (narrowed highway for dedicated bike lanes) would piss off a lot of people, and I'm not so sure I even want to be on their dragstrip (for which it is used, according to the locals).
  • How this trail is only a few hundred feet away from 107, so the noise/runoff/pollution damage is already done.
  • A population who doesn't consider the marsh an option unless they're in the trash or body dumping business. Revere has 54k and Lynn 94k =148k who could be using that area to chill out and get perspective.
  • How there is no way to pedal or walk between those two towns other than by the three VERY unfriendly highways, Rt. 1, 1A, and 107.
  • How that experience could create another Rachel Carson.
Nope. It's still a good idea.
I'm not here to argue but I still disagree. Within the eco-movements, most people are for some sort of version of 'let's make nature preservations accessible to humans' which really is just preserving nature for humans, not for nature. Rumney and the adjoining wetlands used to be much bigger, Revere Cinemas and that whole area is paved over wetland. I am not for opening up the marsh or attracting people to the marsh for that reason. Something is, in fact, lost, when you bring people into nature. Wildlife should be left alone every once in a while. Widen 107 or build a boardwalk on the other side of the guardrails, if you must, but leave the marsh alone.

Edit: I want to go a little further: another aspect of “access to nature” presumes that humans are utterly incapable of getting out into the wild without a paved pathway with protective railings. While this may be nice and satisfy ADA regulations, the vast majority of people can and ought to be able to figure out — and have a desire to figure out — how to go out into nature without such assistance. I reject the vision of a manicured park masquerading as wildlife. Doing so falls in line with the ever-increasing separation between humans and nature. Get some rubber boots and clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty, get prepared to get dirty, and go explore. We discourage this implicitly by building more and more pathways that make entering into a “wild” area ever-easier and requiring zero forethought or sacrifice of possible wet feet or dirtied clothes. I am not rigid about this and there can be compromise; you can scroll upthread for my enthusiasm for the N Strand rail trail which opened up the Saugus estuary to hordes of people — which is great. But in some situations, a walk in the woods should be a walk in the woods, not a walk on a pretty little crushed gravel path with “native plantings” etc etc etc
 
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BeyondRevenue

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I'm not here to argue but I still disagree. Within the eco-movements, most people are for some sort of version of 'let's make nature preservations accessible to humans' which really is just preserving nature for humans, not for nature. Rumney and the adjoining wetlands used to be much bigger, Revere Cinemas and that whole area is paved over wetland. I am not for opening up the marsh or attracting people to the marsh for that reason. Something is, in fact, lost, when you bring people into nature. Wildlife should be left alone every once in a while. Widen 107 or build a boardwalk on the other side of the guardrails, if you must, but leave the marsh alone.

Edit: I want to go a little further: another aspect of “access to nature” presumes that humans are utterly incapable of getting out into the wild without a paved pathway with protective railings. While this may be nice and satisfy ADA regulations, the vast majority of people can and ought to be able to figure out — and have a desire to figure out — how to go out into nature without such assistance. I reject the vision of a manicured park masquerading as wildlife. Doing so falls in line with the ever-increasing separation between humans and nature. Get some rubber boots and clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty, get prepared to get dirty, and go explore. We discourage this implicitly by building more and more pathways that make entering into a “wild” area ever-easier and requiring zero forethought or sacrifice of possible wet feet or dirtied clothes. I am not rigid about this and there can be compromise; you can scroll upthread for my enthusiasm for the N Strand rail trail which opened up the Saugus estuary to hordes of people — which is great. But in some situations, a walk in the woods should be a walk in the woods, not a walk on a pretty little crushed gravel path with “native plantings” etc etc etc
Honestly, If I’m in God Mode, I’d rip that theater up and re-marsh that parking lot. There needs to be something like a Massachusetts NRDC that expands wetland and wild areas.
Given a preference, I’d narrow and slow 107 right the hell down, then add a bike/ped buffer rather than have to build a trail through that marsh. That’s a political non-starter and we know that. I’m just saying there’s a solid need for a people friendly trail there.
 

FK4

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Honestly, If I’m in God Mode, I’d rip that theater up and re-marsh that parking lot. There needs to be something like a Massachusetts NRDC that expands wetland and wild areas.
Given a preference, I’d narrow and slow 107 right the hell down, then add a bike/ped buffer rather than have to build a trail through that marsh. That’s a political non-starter and we know that. I’m just saying there’s a solid need for a people friendly trail there.
Hell yeah
Love it

Really, I wish there was more true restorative natural projects but as far as states go, Mass is pretty good — check out the twitter for MA DER — amazing stuff the state is doing. You won’t find it well marked online, hence the twitter rec specifically. Anyway, yea, I get what you’re saying. It’s dumb that there’s a turnpike across the marsh but only for cars.
 

BostonUrbEx

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I'd love to plop a multi-use trail on the abandoned I-95 roadbed, but in reality the roadbed needs to go. Completely. It cuts off Diamond Creek (approx 42.439259, -70.993974) and the Pines River cannot properly drain out between tides during a surge, not to mention all the acreage of marshland that is lost.

Also I really want to see that damn unlined ash dump removed. Not just shut down and capped. REMOVE it. Lay some tracks on the backside along the mainline, and just load up whole trains of the stuff every day, like they did with the contaminated soil at Encore Casino. Ship it off to some abandoned strip mine and properly line it. This existing dump is unlined and surely leaches into the groundwater.
 

RandomWalk

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It’s not just ash. I thought there is an old fashioned garbage dump underneath it.
 

BostonUrbEx

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You might be right, but I'm not sure. There's definitely an old garbage dump somewhere near the southwest corner, but I thought it was just a small section. I would love to see the whole thing removed and fully restored to marshland. 😞
 

BeyondRevenue

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I'd love to plop a multi-use trail on the abandoned I-95 roadbed, but in reality the roadbed needs to go. Completely. It cuts off Diamond Creek (approx 42.439259, -70.993974) and the Pines River cannot properly drain out between tides during a surge, not to mention all the acreage of marshland that is lost.

Also I really want to see that damn unlined ash dump removed. Not just shut down and capped. REMOVE it. Lay some tracks on the backside along the mainline, and just load up whole trains of the stuff every day, like they did with the contaminated soil at Encore Casino. Ship it off to some abandoned strip mine and properly line it. This existing dump is unlined and surely leaches into the groundwater.
Agreed. We treat the area horribly.
Every time I look at the satellite view of the marsh I expect to see the remains of a body... Like the guy who solved a missing persons cold case by spotting a car underwater in Google Earth. #floridaman
 

BeyondRevenue

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Agreed. We treat the area horribly.
Every time I look at the satellite view of the marsh I expect to see the remains of a body... Like the guy who solved a missing persons cold case by spotting a car underwater in Google Earth. #floridaman
Holy crap!
 

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