Community Path Feasibility Study Winding Down, Recommendation in April

Photo: Anne Archer of PARE Corporation leads residents in the latest round of the Community Path Feasibility Study on Wednesday, March 8.

Before approximately 50 residents in the Belmont Town Hall auditorium on Wednesday, March 8, the consultants conducting the feasibility study on a proposed multi-use community path running through Belmont said the review is “winding down” with a final recommendation from the team coming in about six weeks time.

PARE Corporation‘s Amy Archer and Kathleen Fasser, a ‎Principal at K3 Landscape Architecture,  unveiled several routes and their estimated costs associated with the third segment of the trail which runs from the commuter rail bridge in Belmont Center to Brighton Street adjacent to the Cambridge city line.

Information on the trail and costs have been placed in the Town of Belmont website. Questions and comments made up the remainder of the night. 

Archer said a final public meeting would be held in the next weeks to go over “hot topics” – issues such as privacy and public safety – which produced the most comments or raised matters in the previous three meetings.

Archer added the review team would include comments and suggestions into a recommendation report presented to the Board of Selectmen sometime in mid-to-late April, between town elections on April 4 and the first day of Town Meeting on May 1. 

“It will take about a month to incorporate what the community tells us is important to them into the final report,” she told the Belmontonian. 

Hired last year by the Community Path Implementation Advisory Committee, PARE will recommend to the town a single route that, according to the firm, will “best serve the Town’s residents AND function as a segment of the Mass Central Rail Trail.” 

The MCRT is a 104-mile former railroad line from Northampton to Boston that is being restored as a rail trail, a path to be used by bicyclists, walkers, runners, baby strollers and young cyclists with training wheels, wheel chair users, cross-country skiers, equestrians (in areas out west) and nature enthusiasts.

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