How can I get more information on the proposed rail trail?
Visit the Dedham Heritage Rail Trail page. You can also stay current with information by liking Dedham Trails on Facebook or The Friends of Dedham Heritage Rail Trail. More information on the trail can also be found on the Friend's page at www.dedhamrailtrail.org. Questions can be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 781-751-9213.
Where will users of the rail trail park?
Parking will be addressed by the engineering studies and again in the design phases. One possible option is the Gonzales field lot in Dedham Square.
How do we control cyclists speed on the proposed rail trail?
The Dedham Heritage Rail Trail is meant as a community path that accommodates all kinds of users. Well-trained cyclists who log lots of miles at high speeds are unlikely to use the rail trail, as they generally prefer to use the roads. The cycling users of the trail will be families with children, recreational users and commuters.
Will the rail trail be plowed in the winter?
Yes, to allow for students to use it to access school. A path on the side will be left for cross country skiers and snow shoes.
What is the general cost of construction for the rail trail?
The conceptual plan prepared by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy estimated $1.4 million. Acton and Concord had engineering estimates performed that show that the average cost will run about $1,000,000 per mile, due to major bridge work and road crossings.
Will the communities be liable for accidents on the rail trail?
The communities will face the same liability as they currently have for accidents on the roads, sidewalks, recreation areas and conservation areas. These liability costs are usually minimal and are capped by statute.
How will the trail be policed?
The local police department will be responsible, just as they are now for the space. It will also be self-policed by neighbors and users.
Do rail trails attract crime?
No, the experience from other trails is that crime is less frequent on a rail trail than it was on the abandoned railway before the trail was built. The self-policing nature of a rail trail helps suppress crime. Greenway trails, like public schools, can be unfairly labeled as violent locations. A number of studies have shown that urban greenway trails do not increase crime and, in fact, are commonly regarded as improvements by adjacent property owners.
Can the shrubbery/fencing be installed as soon as the right-of-way for the rail trail is cleared?
Shrubbery and fencing are installed after other construction work is complete. If the shrubbery and fencing are installed sooner, they may become damaged by the construction equipment.
What if I have a special request for screening my property?
Changes can incur additional cost and will be evaluated in that light. If changes are different then what is planned for fencing and shrubbery for the project it may be installed after approval by the Town and at the owners expense.
What is the design process for the proposed rail trail?
The purpose of this project is to construct a multi-use trail within an existing railroad right-of-way. Recognizing that some abutters may want some screening, individual abutters in Phase 1 would be interviewed prior to completion of the preliminary (25%) design to find out their concerns. Shrubbery and fencing would then be added to the design. Abutters will have further opportunity to comment on the design during public hearings for the 25% and 75% designs.
Will the rail trail have lights?
The current plan is not to have lights on the trail. It will be open dawn to dusk in accordance with other Dedham Parks.
Would pets be allowed on the rail trail?
Dogs would be allowed on the trail, but must be leashed and owners are required to pick up after their dogs. Mutt mitts will be provided and receptacles along the trail.
Who would maintain the proposed rail trail?
The Town has the primary responsibility for maintaining the Greenway with plans to create a “Friends of” group that would assist along with local businesses such as L.L. Bean and Whole Foods that would adopt it as their annual community service project.
What is the width of the proposed rail trail?
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) publishes a Guide for the Design of Bicycle Facilities. That guide recommends a minimum width of 10 feet for multi-use paths. Each of the two shoulders is 2 feet wide for a total width of 14 feet.
What is the Dedham Heritage Rail Trail
The Dedham Heritage Rail Trail is a community-led effort to transform a 1.5 mile stretch of abandoned railway into a new linear park and cultural greenway. The project will convert the abandoned railway into a pedestrian and bike path, which will incorporate public art and community gardens, as well as connect adjacent neighborhoods to each other and to Boston.