In October, I shared that the state was collecting feedback on a major commuting hub in our area. A reader’s comment alerted me today to an element I missed at the time. It’s an opportunity for bicyclists to weigh in on a potential big change.
As I posted last fall, the Mass Department of Transportation asked for comments on the Route 495/90 Interchange. Because of it’s proximity to the Route 9/495 Interchange, they were also seeking comments on needed improvements there and nearby.
Based on concerns many residents have voiced about the section of Route 9 West leading to 495 in the past, I focused on roads, drivers and safety complaints.
But, as a reader pointed out, the Interactive Map for commenting also asks for feedback on potential bike paths.
As part of that, a culvert tunnel is proposed to allow the bike trail to pass under Route 495. The Town of Westborough’s website shares the bike path proposal for “Boston Worcester Air Line Trail: A Route 9 Corridor Multi-use Path”.
A significant portion of the former Boston and Worcester Air Line Trolley’s private right of way that runs along Route 9 is still intact. It is believed that much of the rail line route extending from about half a mile east of Worcester to White’s Corner in eastern Southborough could be fairly readily converted to a multi-use trail. Further adding bike facilities in the Lakeway District of Shrewsbury could extend the western end of the trail to the bike lanes on the Kenneth Burns Bridge over Lake Quinsigamond to create a link into Worcester. In the same vein, to the east, developing a rail with trail along the CSX branch line would connect from Introduction Southborough to the planned Bruce Freeman Trail in Framingham.
You can see the full proposal here.
To comment to the state, you need to visit the state’s project website. I’ve included an image right highlighting which bike icon to click on to find the appropriate field to comment in. (The tunnel would be in Westborough, but facilitate linking a trail that would continue through Southborough.)
To read my original story on the road interchange project, click here.
*Updated (1/31/18 7:56 am): Commenter Don Burn, who worked on the proposal, informed me that I incorrectly labeled the trail as the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail. Apparently, I misread the trail map. Now I understand that the Southborough section is part of the BWALT trail that would connect to the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail, not be considered part of it.