At the Nov. 16, 2011 Public Safety and Transportation Committee meeting, the proposal advocated by BPTF and written by Matt Brand was passed by a vote of 4-0. Thanks also goes to David Koses (Newton's Transportation Planning Coordinator), Candace Havens (Newton Director of Planning), and the Newton Legal Department. We noted that there are some important inconsistencies and obsolete laws on the books in Newton that prevented the implementation of Safe Routes to Schools via bicycle. With the approved new language, Newton is now defaulting to the state law, allowing young bike riders to use sidewalks outside of business districts (village centers).
The PS&T report on this meeting, including the actual text of the changes, is here.