Friday, July 22, 2016

All the cones and construction

It sure looks like there's a lot of work going on in town with all the cones, fences, and trees coming down. If you haven't been paying attention, you might not know that the work on the long-awaited rail trail has begun.

The Assabet River Rail Trail is going to connect the communities of Marlborough, Hudson, Stow, Maynard and Acton, with paved trail that will make biking, walking, running and rollerblading safer. You'll be able to leave your car behind and self-propel your way to the Acton train station.

Areas that already acted as corridors through woodsy areas are going to be widened up and cleared of excess plantings (behind Maple St.), and areas that have no trail present will be created (along Railroad St.). The footbridge behind the post office is in for a major overhaul, as the bridge has to meet certain standards of safety. It is going to be widened to be about fifteen feet wide—able accommodate emergency vehicles.

Coming up in the first weeks of August you'll see lots of cones downtown. Maynard is participating in the states Complete Streets program. With Maynard being one of the most walkable towns in the state—you can get to a lot of places on foot—it only makes sense that the town should consider how people move around.

From the town's Web site: "A Complete Street is one that provides safe and accessible options for all travel modes – walking, biking, transit, and motorized vehicles – for people of all ages and abilities. Designing streets with these principles contributes toward the safety, health, economic viability and quality of life in a community by improving the pedestrian and vehicular environments and providing safer, more accessible and comfortable means of travel between home, school, work, recreation and retail destinations. More broadly, embedding Complete Streets principles in policy and practice help promote more livable communities.

Based on community input in our May meeting, the downtown streets of Main Street, Nason Street and Summer Street will feature temporary traffic configurations that will demonstrate how they could be redesigned to be more welcoming to all users. The temporary configuration will be made of moveable materials and will include elements such as curb extensions, bike lanes, and other features promoting non-automobile oriented circulation through downtown. The feedback gained from the program will help Maynard determine what future improvements residents would like to see in their community.The Town of Maynard is running a Downtown Street Improvement Pilot Project on Summer Street, Nason Street and Main Street from July 29, 2016 through August 3, 2016.

Town officials are requesting that people come experience these temporary configurations and let them know what you think! Please send your feedback on the temporary pilot project to:

While I was downtown I found myself thinking of the rail trail and imagining bikers detouring into our downtown for a coffee and a bite to eat. I hope the Complete Streets program is taking all that into consideration.

Be sure to let them know what you think!

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