FAQs

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FAQs


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No.  Appendix 7 of the Plan describes the Secondary Routes of the 7 Corridors. The Bruce Freeman Rail Trail through West Concord, Sudbury and Framingham is not included as a Secondary Route.

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Yes, Phase 1 is listed as funded and advertised for construction. Additional phases are proposed.

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No. Appendix 6 of the Statewide Plan describes the Primary Routes of the 7 corridors in detail. The Bruce Freeman Rail Trail through West Concord, Sudbury and Framingham is not described as either a Primary … More

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This 25 year bicycle plan from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Transportation, made in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration, (the principle funding source for bike paths) has the … More

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Standard shared-use-path design employs several types of warnings to trail users that they are approaching an intersection. The warning may be in the form of signs, striping of the travel surface or a travel surface … More

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No decision concerning a curfew has been made. Existing sentiment appears to lean toward no nighttime use of a trail.

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The Town would have the same liability as that for the existing conservation and recreation areas. By statute, this liability is very limited.

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The only motorized vehicles allowed on the trail would be emergency vehicles, maintenance vehicles and motorized wheel chairs. Other motorized vehicles would not be allowed. The Town may need to pass an ordinance to enforce … More

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It is likely that the Sudbury Police Department would patrol the trail. A rail trail built to shared-use-path standards would accommodate patrol cars and emergency vehicles. Users with cell phones have become a key part … More

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A comprehensive list of Massachusetts rail trails can be seen at: http://www.massbike.org/bikeways/ Nearby rail trails include; Minuteman Bikeway (MinutemanBikeway.org/Pages/intro.html Bedford Narrow-Gauge Rail Trail (http://www.bedforddepot.org/MinutemanBikeway.html#NGRT Nashua River Rail Trail (www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/northeast/nash.htm Assabet River Rail Trail (www.ARRTinc.org/) Wachusetts … More

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Advocacy groups that either support or oppose the construction of rail trails publish extensively. However, because these groups take advocacy positions, they may not be as reliable or unbiased as studies done by academics or … More

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The experience with existing rail trails provides valuable information. This information can be obtained by visiting nearby rail trails and by reading studies of existing rail trails.

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All of the towns except Sudbury (Westford, Carlisle, Acton and Concord) are proceeding with the 25% design of the rail trail in those towns. Experience has shown that the process of building a rail trail … More

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The portion of the Bruce Freeman Trail in Lowell, Chelmsford and Westford (Phase I) will have a 10-foot-wide paved surface. Along several sections, fencing will be erected at the request of the homeowners.

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The Central Transportation Planning Staff (CTPS) of the Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization has completed three feasibility studies for the trail. Combined Phases I and II were studied in 1987. An update to this study covering … More

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Phase I runs 7 miles from Lowell through Chelmsford and most of Westford. All of the feasibility studies, design, hearings, funding and bidding are now complete. Construction of Phase I will begin in 2007. Construction … More

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During construction, there would be minimal, if any, filling of wetlands. Sediment barriers would be employed. If the trail were unlighted, disruption of nighttime wildlife use would be minimal. Any fencing must allow wildlife passage. … More

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If built according to shared-use-path standards, the travel surface would be 10 feet wide with a two-foot shoulder on each side. The minimum distance between trees on opposite sides of the trail would be 16 … More

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If the Town decides to convert the rail bed into a rail trail, it is likely that the Town would play the lead role in designing the trail and applying for construction funds. In such … More

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Because ties were treated with creosote, they would have to be disposed of through special arrangements. Any residual contamination of the rail bed due to the creosote would be dealt with as part of the … More

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Several town wells are located south of Route 20 and a short distance east of the rail bed. The RTCAC and other town commissions will carefully examine the potential effects of rail trail construction on … More

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The general procedures for identifying and mitigating contamination along rail trails have been worked out. The Mass. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a document entitled ΓÇ£Best Management PracticesΓÇ¥ that outlines the approach for identifying, managing … More

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There are wetlands and habitat for rare and endangered species alongside the rail bed. Several vernal pools lie close to the railroad right of way. If the rail trail conversion proceeds, the trail will have … More

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The federal transportation act sets aside a certain fraction of the total transportation funds to be used only for transportation improvements that do not involve motorized transportation. A large fraction of the construction costs for … More

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The Town of Sudbury will pay the costs for maintenance. The usual lease agreement includes the assumption of maintenance costs by the local communities. The RTCAC will estimate the maintenance costs by talking with Sudbury’s … More

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The lease agreements would oblige the Town to be responsible for policing. The Town is generally responsible for policing any property within the Town of Sudbury.

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Projections might be made on the basis of the experience in other communities. However, it is difficult to get firm numbers, especially since rail trail maintenance is usually lumped with other public works costs.

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The rails have a salvage value. CSXT has removed the rails and ties in its section of the trail. If EOTPW agrees to lease the rail bed to Sudbury, EOTPW may allow the Town to … More

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The Town of Sudbury would be responsible for future improvements. Money may be requested from the Commonwealth to cover the costs.

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The state EOTPW will lease the rail bed to the Town of Sudbury at no cost. The acquisition cost to Sudbury for the CSXT rail bed authorized at 2008 Town Meeting is $420,000.

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EOTPW will lease the rail bed to the Town at no cost for transportation purposes. A rail trail is considered a transportation use of the rail bed. Rail trail design must be well underway before … More

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The Town would need to gain access to the rail bed through purchase (as with the CSXT right of way) or lease. A lease from EOT may constrain the type of rail trail that is … More

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No one organization has the final authority. For the trail to go ahead, positive decisions will be required by Sudbury Town Boards and Commissions, Sudbury Town Meeting and the state Executive Office of Transportation EOT. … More

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If the trail is to be constructed with partial funding from the Federal transportation act, the Town must commit itself to funding its fraction of the total cost, approximately 10%. The Town’s fraction is usually … More

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If a lease is negotiated with EOTPW for construction of a rail trail on the section they manage, EOT may set some standards on what is built. EOTPW has not indicated any design restrictions except … More

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The Town of Sudbury may decide to fund the rail trail entirely out of local funds, including property taxes, CPA funds and private donations. A second option is the combined use of local, state and … More

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The town has the opportunity to consider building a public amenity along a public right of way. It may become part of a regional trail connecting Lowell and Framingham if other towns along the right … More

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The Town of Sudbury may choose to pay for its fraction of the costs directly through a property-tax levy via an article at Town meeting. Alternatively, the Town’s fraction may come from CPA funds. Any … More

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The preliminary engineering and environmental assessment cost $25,000 and was funded at 2005 Sudbury Town Meeting through the CPA. At the 2007 Sudbury Town Meeting, the Town authorized spending an additional $15,000 to verify EOT’s … More

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Under our current understanding of this program, the Town of Sudbury would pay approximately 10% of the total of the costs of the engineering and other preliminary studies, design and construction. All of the upfront … More

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Construction costs are highly variable. Factors that make this cost highly variable include the costs of building bridges, highway crossings and other special situations. In general, construction costs of projects constructed in accordance with state … More

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A railroad bed is no longer in active use and the potential for a rail trail is identified A feasibility study done by the state A series of local actions to approve the exploration … More

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Such use of the rail bed is illegal, but usually not enforced. Legal use of the rail bed would only occur if a lease were signed with EOT.

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Probably not. An unplowed trail would be available for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.

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No. CSX has removed the rails and ties from the Mass. Central crossing south to Route 9. With the recent rise in scrap metal prices, the rails have become valuable. Removal of the rails and … More

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There are several options for all or some of the trail: Conventional asphalt Asphalt with and colored-chip stone surface Many variants of non-asphalt material with a binder Stone dust Dirt A rail trail designed according … More

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For most of its length, the right of way is 66 feet wide centered on the tracks. Just north of Route 20, the right of way narrows to 50 feet. A title review and survey … More

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A feasibility study of the Sudbury to Lowell rail trail was done in 1987 by a state agency and the study said that a rail trail is feasible. The same state agency released a feasibility … More

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The state-owned rail bed is 4.6 miles. The CSX-owned rail bed is 1.3 miles.

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The former Framingham to Lowell Rail Line (the proposed Bruce Freeman Rail Trail) has two segments. The state of Massachusetts owns the rail bed north of the east-west crossing of the Mass. Central rail line … More

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Information concerning the rail trail (e.g., studies, FAQ, links to other sites) and the meetings of the RTCAC (e.g., schedule and minutes) is posted on the committee’s web site (http://www.town.sudbury.ma.us/committees/RailTrail). Questions may be sent to … More

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One way is to talk to the members of the RTCAC and to town officials. RTCAC meetings are open to the public and the committee solicits community input. Leasing of the rail bed, funding of … More

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Two advocacy groups are trying to influence the process. One of these is the Sudbury Citizens for Responsible Land Stewardship that is hoping that the railroad right of way will remain as it exists today. … More

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In addition to the Rail Trail Conversion Advisory Committee, various Town boards and commissions (e.g., Department of Public Works, Park and Recreation Commission, Conservation Commission, Planning Board, and more) are involved in the investigations either … More

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The Board of Selectmen has tasked the RTCAC to examine the following concerns: financial resources, environmental issues, impact on abutters, engineering, trail surfaces, safety, parking, maintenance and costs.

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They are listed on the Town of Sudbury’s web site. Six members are from Town Commissions and Departments. The committee also includes at-large members who were selected by the Selectmen after a number of candidates … More

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In September 2004, the Sudbury Selectmen established a Rail Trail Conversion Advisory Committee (RTCAC) to advise the Selectmen concerning the conversion of the unused north-south rail line into a rail trail. The committee is tasked … More

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The Bruce N. Freeman Memorial Rail Trail (BFRT) is named for a state representative from Chelmsford who had the vision of turning this rail line into a trail for non-motorized recreation and transportation. Just before … More

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Some residents and town officials perceive that the rail trail has the potential to enhance the quality of life in Sudbury and provide increased recreational opportunities and an off-road corridor for non-motorized transportation. The consideration … More

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It is a proposed multi-use recreational trail and alternative transportation corridor along the former Lowell Secondary railroad line. This 25-mile Lowell-to-Framingham rail line opened in 1871 and operated for over 100 years. The right of … More

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Two railroads criss-cross Sudbury. One is the former Mass. Central Railroad that ran east-west roughly paralleling Route 20. The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) is pursuing negotiations to lease this line from the … More

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The Minuteman Bikeway has become a very popular and heavily used rail trail. It runs through a heavily populated area and provides a direct route in and out of the center city. The usage of … More

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Many residents of Sudbury and nearby towns would travel to the trail by bicycle. Parking for others has been addressed in the Engineering and Environmental Assessment and would be further addressed in the design phases. … More

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Cyclists would probably be one of the largest groups of users. However, a rail trail is a community path that, if appropriately designed, can accommodate many kinds of users including walkers, runners, and families with … More

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We don’t know how many people will use the trail and how many will drive to the trail from out of town. We will work with state agencies to get some estimates. Because of its … More

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It is an unused railroad right of way that has been converted into a multi-use recreational path and an off-road corridor for non-motorized transportation.

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Restrooms are available at some of the Town recreation areas that abut the trail. If found to be desirable, portable facilities can be provided at some spots as is done along the Nashua River Rail … More

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Many rail trails have accommodated both equestrians and other users such as walkers and cyclists by constructing a separate dirt path alongside the prepared trail. In Sudbury, some sections are on a raised rail bed … More

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In Sudbury, the trail would provide access to Three Town conservation area Three town recreation areas abutting the trail A fourth recreation area abutting the trail planned for the Mahoney Farm property south of Route … More

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