More great advances, happenings, and events continue for Bike to the Sea and the Northern Strand Community Trail. 2014 will be remembered for the year trail construction began in Revere, with this small, yet vital one mile segment providing a critical link between Malden and Saugus upon completion.
Other memorable events this year included Bike to the Sea Day in June, with over 110 riders of all ages taking part; as well as B2C Board members participating in a high-profile ride sponsored by the East Coast Greenway Alliance, highlighting the completed segments the NSCT.
In addition, October saw the trail extended through Linden Square in Malden, complete with much-needed safety upgrades crossing busy Lynn Street.
Highlights by town included:
The paved trail established itself as a catalyst for smart-growth development, with a large-scale 200-unit residential development taking shape on Waters Avenue, providing direct access to the trail. Future development of the Wynn Resort and Casino on the Mystic River will inevitably be tied in with the extension of the path as a traffic mitigation measure. B2C also celebrated its annual meeting in style – hosted by trail supporters Night Shift Brewing at their brand-new facility abutting the NSCT on Santilli Highway. Check it out!
The city continues to do an exemplary job in its trail stewardship. As mentioned previously, the trail extension and safety upgrades to Linden Square capped a year’s worth of improvements, including clean-ups and art installations. The first full growing season of the Malden Community Garden took root on the trail between Faulkner and Bryant streets, with Groundwork Somerville awarding their annual Golden Trowel Award to the city for its efforts in creating a more green and sustainable city. November saw the unveiling of the Three School mural along the trail behind Yankee Pest Control in Malden. Great job, kids!
Work wrapped this fall by Caruso Construction removing some 3,000 railroad ties along the one-mile long segment of the Northern Strand Community Trail through North Revere. B2C was also instrumental in assisting the City of Revere to remove the Salem Street rail crossing and prepare the sidewalks and street for the future trail crossing. B2C also helped build a safety railing at the Old Rowe Quarry site, as well as installing barriers and signs to help keep ATVs and dirt bikes off the trail. The completion of this work next spring will create a continuous 7.5 mile stretch of trail from Everett to Saugus!
The town’s 2.5-mile portion of the trail is now completely signed at all of its cross streets – making for easy way-finding – from the Revere line near Salem Street through pristine marshland adjacent to the Saugus River ending at Boston Street near the Lynn line. Speaking of the river, additional thanks go to Zoo New England who helped with extensive cleanups near the Saugus River bridge, preserving and protecting sensitive wild life and native vegetation. Nice one, folks!
While the City of Lynn has yet to approve plans for the trail, B2C continues to meet with local public officials and neighborhood advocates in laying the necessary groundwork for future developments. Possible trail connections now include the new Lynn Ferry Terminal and the potential for a pedestrian footbridge over the Lynnway at Blossom Street. In addition, B2C has initiated discussions regarding the Sealink Power project that has the potential to complete the NSCT to Lynn and provide upgrades to the other communities. Sealink is a utility project (headed up by New Hampshire Transmission) also interested in utilizing the former railroad right-of-way.