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Rail Trails in Holliston

by Press Release
September 26, 2010

Rail Trails in  Holliston

The HollistonTrail Committe is working on a plan for a trail from Sherborn to Miliford.

 
The Holliston Trails Committee is working to establish a 6.7 mile multi-use trail on an abandoned railbed stretching from the Sherborn to Milford town lines.  It will be part of the Upper Charles Trail, a proposed Rail Trail of approximately 20 miles in length that will connect the towns of Sherborn, Holliston, Milford, Hopkinton, and Ashland.  

The Trail will primarily be an off-road path separated from traffic.  It is planned to be built as a fully accessible trail to accommodate a variety of non-motorized uses such as bicycling, walking, jogging, cross-country skiing, and roller-blading. The Trail will have only ten at-grade street crossings over the entire course of its route through Holliston.  On an average weekend day, the fully built trail would serve an estimated 2,500 users. 

The Town of Holliston currently owns or leases approximately 2.6 miles of the railbed located between Cross Street and South Street.   The Trails Committee is actively working to purchase or lease the remaining portions of the rail trail. 

 The Rail Trail will offer a wide array of recreational, safety, economic and other benefits to the town of Holliston, including—

 -Open Space    The multi-use trail will be a linear park that will provide active recreation for the residents of Holliston as well as others in the region. The trail will be available for non-motorized transportation including walking, jogging, roller-blading, bicycling, and cross-country skiing. The trail provides a connection between residential areas and various conservation and recreation areas including Weston Pond Open Space and Recreation Area, Wenakeening Woods Conservation Area, Mission Springs Recreation Area, Lake Winthrop, Frank Rees Outdoor Classroom, the Adams, Placentino and Miller Schools, and the Dopping Brook Conservation Area.

 -Transportation    The Trail will ultimately provide a route that leads to the Ashland and Framingham Commuter Rail stations. The potential exists for commuters to use the trail to access the railroad station, lowering congestion on roadways. 

 -Safety    The Trail provides a very important benefit to the Town with respect to safety. The Trail provides for a safe route for riding of bicycles, roller-blading and walking. The Town has very few areas to safely ride bicycles since its roads are heavily traveled and have inadequate width for bicycle lanes. 

 -Safe Routes to School    “Safe Routes to School” programs advocate improving the health of children and their communities by making walking and bicycling to school safer, easier, and more enjoyable. The proposed Trail will provide a safe route for a number of children from the “Mudville” section as well as downtown areas to get to the Miller and Placentino Schools on Woodland Street. 
 

 -Links    The Trail provides the opportunity for a safe route that links various conservation lands, schools and recreation areas. The trail provides a walkable community, linking the neighborhoods with the downtown areas and conservation areas located along the route.


 -Scenic    The Trail passes scenic portions of the Town including the view to Factory Pond, the historic stone eight-arch trestle, and stone tunnels at Arch Street and Highland Street. The Trail passes the scenic Wheeler Hill farm and the Mill Pond at the Wenakeening Woods. 

 -Economic    Studies have shown increased property values to residences along multi-use trails. In addition, the 6.7 mile trail could generate thousands of dollars in spending at local businesses when the trail is fully established. 

 -Town Common    A section of the right of way between Railroad, Front and Central Streets is wider than typical, affording the potential to have a small “Town Common” in the downtown area as a focal point along the trail. A conceptual plan includes areas for picnicking, outdoor performances, gazebo, an historic engine or caboose, a visitor center and parking facilities. 

 The establishment of the Rail Trail has been part of Holliston’s Master Plan and will further its reputation as a highly desirable place to live.  Over the last decade this trail has been identified as the number one priority for open space and recreation and will provide recreational opportunities for all Holliston residents.  In an effort to continuously improve pedestrian friendly access to the downtown area, the Rail Trail will facilitate and encourage pedestrian traffic throughout Town.

The Trails Committee encourages all Holliston residents to get involved and learn more about this important civic project as we move forward to its completion.

To learn more, [visit our booth at Celebrate Holliston on September 25, 2010] or] visit our website at http://www.townofholliston.us/hollistontrails, or visit the Friends of Holliston Trails  on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/FRIENDS-OF-THE-HOLLISTON-TRAILS-Massachusetts/158450752964?ref=ts

 

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