Important Community Path Meeting This Wednesday, March 8!

The Belmont Community Path is coming. There’s a hearing on the east end of the project this Wednesday. (Image by Paul Roberts.)

In-brief: There’s a meeting to discuss options for the contested Eastern End of the proposed Community Path tomorrow (Wed) at 7PM in the Town Hall Auditorium. Come out to support smart, safe, 21st century infrastructure in Belmont! 

Hey Blogging Belmont readers. As you know, we’ve been following the progress towards realizing the Belmont Community Path for months. I’m writing today to make you aware of an important meeting tomorrow (Wednesday) evening at the Town Hall Auditorium (455 Concord Avenue) at 7:00 PM. Showing community support for a safe, off road path is critical, so I urge all of you to come out to the meeting.

The Community Path Implementation Advisory Committee (CPIAC) will be meeting with the engineering firm the Town has hired to evaluate possible Path routes. This meeting will cover the Eastern End of the proposed Path, stretching from the Clark Street Bridge near Belmont Center to Brighton Street and the existing Fitchburg Cut-off Path that runs all the way to Alewife Station and the Minuteman Trail. This section of the path is quite simple from an engineering standpoint: its flat and there’s ample space for the path along an abandoned railroad right of way. That isn’t the case for either the Central or Western ends of the Path (which have already been discussed). But there is also a fair amount of push back from abutters along Channing Road who oppose a path that runs in back of their homes.

Abutters have encouraged consideration of alternative routes, including one that snakes out to Concord Avenue – a roundabout and dangerous route that would cross a number of streets and dozens of commercial and residential driveways before terminating at the busy intersection by the bridge at Belmont Center. I’ve argued that safety should trump NIMBY (not in my back yard). But this is Belmont, so that kind of thinking doesn’t always win the day.

The engineering firm that is assessing route options will also talk about the next phase of the Feasibility Study including the criteria that will help determine the eventual Path and costs associated with various route options (or “alignments” in engineering speak).

Given that, it is critical for path supporters to show up in strong numbers to voice support for a safe, off road path. There’s more information on Wednesday’s meeting on the Town’s Web site. I encourage all my friends and readers in Town to come out and speak up for safe, 21st century infrastructure in the Town of Homes.

See you there!