An inactive rail corridor extends south from the MBTA Green Line D branch from Newton Highlands through Newton Upper Falls, paralleling Needham Street. It represents both a potential future Green Line light rail extension to serve our local commercial and residential transportation needs, as well as a possible regional greenway recreational path. Such a "rail trail" could connect to Needham, Dover, and Medfield, providing Newton residents the opportunity to enjoy an off-road trail experience rivaling the tremendously popular Minuteman Trail.
Ideally, this section of the corridor through Newton would accommodate a trail running parallel to a Green Line extension. If feasibility studies show that this is not possible, then the trail should only extend south from the terminus of the Green Line. However, until such time as the Green Line extension is built, the BPTF is advocating that the entire length of this corridor be utilized as a recreational trail in the interim.
More about this project:
There's also a Facebook group, Friends of the Upper Falls Greenway, with news and links.
http://wiki.greenneedham.org/gnc/index.php/Transportation/Green_Line_Extension and a website dedicated to news and events about this proposed rail trail: http://www.baycolonyrailtrail.org/
Upper Falls Greenway
Construction on the Upper Falls Greenway begins today, October 22nd. Iron Horse Preservation is bringing in their equipment. Their first task is trimming back branches to allow their machinery to navigate the trail without getting caught on trees.
The official groundbreaking ceremony will be Friday, October 25 at 1pm beside the Depot Café. Mayor Setti Warren will be speaking, along with Massachusetts Secretary of Transportation Richard Davey. Various aldermen, Upper Falls area councilors, and other public officials will also be present.
More details here.
As the trail takes physical shape early this fall, we're hoping you'll help us create the best original logo design for our new Upper Falls Greenway. We need an easily recognizable icon symbol to place on place on signage for the trail entrances, to emblazon on T-shirts, and generally adorn the community effort! The designs could include facets of the path usage (bicycling, jogging, etc), could evoke it's railroad history, might refer to the City of Newton or the Village of Upper Falls, etc. All submitted designs become the property of the Upper Falls Greenway, and the winning logo will be selected by a nonpartisan group of dedicated UFG volunteers.
Please feel free to submit as many logo designs as you wish, in any graphic format (JPG, PNG, TIFF, GIF), even in very rough sketch form - our artistic volunteers can take the best concepts forward and make them presentable!
Click here to submit your image(s) to the contest. And thanks!
The Newton Board of Aldermen voted unanimously tonight in support of signing a 99-year lease with the MBTA. Now it's up to the Greenway working group to write contracts, design, and execute the plan. After a lease is signed, the city will create a design that considers traffic, kiosks, road crossing, terminus features, signage, drainage, construction criteria and surface materials, etc.
The Programs and Services committee of the Newton Board of aldermen approved a docket item last night, clearing the way for a vote of the full board to approve signing a lease and moving forward with development of the Greenway. The vote was 6-0, with two members absent. This was the third of three committees required to approve the Greenway. The full vote could come as soon as next week.
The Upper Falls Greenway plan got a unanimous "thumbs up" from the Board of Aldermen's Finance Committee this week. The Finance Committee needed to approve a request from the mayor for the purchase of an environmental insurance to cover the proposed park. There are still two remaining votes by the aldermen coming up - one from the Program & Services Committee (scheduled for Dec. 5 at their 7:45pm meeting) followed by a vote by the full board. Once that's done, the city will be able to sign a lease for the property with the MBTA.
The will be a brush and trash cleanup on the Upper Falls Greenway on Sunday, October 28 from 1-4pm, starting at the Depot Cafe at the corner of Oak St. and Chestnut St.
The MBTA's Board of Directors will vote at their July 11 meeting to proceed with the lease of the railroad property to the City of Newton. After the vote. it's expected that the signing of the lease should happen relatively quickly. Once the city has the lease in hand, the planning for the new park can kick into high gear.
The Friends of the Upper Falls Greenway, in conjunction with the Upper Falls Area Council and the Newton Bicycle/Pedestrian Task Force, are organizing a cleanup project of the Greenway as part of the NewtonSERVES community service day on April 29. We plan to remove litter and clear brush to make the trail more attractive and accessible. And we can use all the help we can get!
How can you get involved? Sign up on the NewtonSERVES volunteer website (http://www.newtoncommunitypride.org/NewtonSERVES-volunteer-2012.php) and choose the Upper Falls Greenway project. You can sign up just yourself, or a group or family. Teams can be formed by neighbors, friends, families, churches, synagogues, schools, businesses, clubs, scout troops, etc. Please register before April 24.
The project base will be outside the Depot Coffee Shop at 1225 Chestnut St. at the corner of Oak St. Please bring work gloves, loppers and wheelbarrow (if you have them). We’ll supply NewtonSERVES T-shirts, water, snacks, and trash bags. Volunteers are welcome to start the day at City Hall with breakfast and opening ceremonies for NewtonSERVES as well as end the day there with an ice cream sundae at 3:30.
Easy online registration: http://www.newtoncommunitypride.org/NewtonSERVES-volunteer-2012.php
For more information: NewtonSERVES@newtoncommunitypride.org or call 617-527-8283.
Thanks to the many volunteers who showed up on NewtonSERVES day, May 15, 2011 to help clean up and clear brush from the inactive railroad line next to Needham St. Over a ton of trash was removed, including 30 tires which were recycled courtesy of NTB (thanks, NTB!). A mountain of brush was cut down, primarily by a tireless, intrepid group of boy scouts, and then hauled away by Newton DPW. The trail is now fairly walkable from Oak St. almost all the way to Easy St., and a lot nicer without all of the litter. Click to view the slideshow (courtesy of George Kirby).
On Feb. 12, 2012 the Upper Falls Area Council held a public meeting about the proposed plan to build a Greenway along the state right-of-way. Approximately 90 people attended, 15 spoke publicly, and all supported the Greenway project. The meeting ended with a unanimous vote (9-0) by the Area Council in support of the project.
Now the project moves to City Hall where work can begin on the lease with the MBTA as well as design and planning issues.
Many thanks are due to all of the Greenway supporters who signed the petition (782 signatures and still climbing), attended the meeting, spoke at the meeting, wrote letters to the newspapers, and helped get this project going in countless other ways.
The BPTF will remain involved in aiding and monitoring the construction process and in assembling a "Friends of the Greenway" group of supporters.