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Signs For Everyone

by Chris Cain
November 5, 2018

With the completion of Holliston's 6.7 mile stretch of the Upper Charles Trail, the number of users has increased markedly.  To ensure that everyone has the safest and most enjoyable time using our picturesque park, you will notice many colorful signs along the way.

With the completion of Holliston's 6.7 mile stretch of the Upper Charles Trail, the number of users has increased markedly.  To ensure that everyone has the safest and most enjoyable time using our picturesque park, you will notice many colorful signs along the way.

Green signs outline the safe and responsible behaviors for the thousands of users who share this important community resource.  Some would say that these signs are just common sense.  Often common sense does not equal common practice.  These reminders at intervals along Holliston's Rail Trail should increase the frequency of 'common practice.'

Blue signs are 'wayfinding' guides such as where you are and how far have you traveled.  Mile markers are located at half-mile intervals from Milford to Sherborn.  These mile markers are extremely important if emergency response is needed.

In order to reduce 'visual pollution' along our scenic route most posts sport more than one type of sign.  When walking on the trail, this reporter truly appreciates an audible signal that someone is passing.  When riding my bike, I use my very 'old school' bell to alert pedestrians of my impending pass.  As a cruiser-style rider, I especially appreciate when the high-speed cyclists alert me to their presence.

Crossing streets is where signs make all the difference.  At Summer Street, Central Street, Lowland Street, and Washington Street there are button activated flashers alerting drivers to stop for trail users.  Everyone is encouraged to always activate the lights so we all (trail users and drivers) get in the habit of making each crossing a safe one.  The stop signs at each crossing are most  important.  Stop -- activate the signal -- ensure that all vehicles have stopped -- then proceed.

As we so often hear, 'it takes a village' to do just about everything.  The signage along our trail has been supported by the Holliston Trails Committee - wayfinding; Friends of the Holliston Trails - trail safe and etiquette; and this key component (below) installed and maintained as a donation by R&R Landscaping. 

Not only will you find these new signs and guidance along our trail, you will also find some of the original signage from the era when trains traveled through Holliston.  Long before the advent of the safety arms and lights that now flash at railroad crossings, the train engineers would sound the whistle to alert road traffic of the approaching train.  Here is one 'whistlepost' that has been restored to its original look by Rail Trail Committee member Bud Schmidtt.

There are plans in the works to add historical placards at strategic locations so that visitors can see what Holliston looked like when trains rumbled through town. 

The goal of the signs is to ensure that all who use the trail, and the neighbors along the trail, enjoy the beauty and activity in safety and harmony.  It is our park and we all have a vested interest in keeping it an attractive resource for those in Holliston and neighboring communities.

 

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