History and future of BWALT multi-use trail – February 6

by Beth Melo on January 31, 2019

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Above: A presentation looks at the past, present and potential future of the Boston Worcester Air Line Trail. (images from concept plan cover)

Last year, I shared an opportunity for residents to weigh in on a potential bike trail through Southborough.

At that time, Don Burns, an advocate for the project, commented to clarify some details. Next week, he’ll be visiting the Southborough Senior Center to give another talk on the subject.*

The BWALT proposal is for a “multi-use path” to allow safe area commuting by bicycle. Trails would potentially link up Southborough to Marlborough and Westborough, with possible connections to Northborough and Berlin. From Berlin, cyclists could even link to the Mass Central Rail Trail.

Although the “Boston Worcester Air Line Trail” is clearly rooted in a rail trail, the concept plan would require some non-rail based portions for Southborough connections.

Burns is a member of Westborough’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee. On Wednesday, February 6th, he’ll talk to the public about the “BWALT” project:

This talk will look at the history of the trolley and the railroad whose right-of-ways are used for the trail. A discussion of the economic benefits of the trail and the planned route will be included. . . 

Don will also present a short guide to walks that can be done on the BWALT now.

You can read more about the project on the BPAC’s website.

Burns is no newbie to trail planning. The flyer describes him as building trails in the area for over 20 years:

Don envisioned the Westborough Charm Bracelet walking trail, and the BWALT multi-use trail. Additionally, Don was active in the development of the maps for paddling the Assabet, Sudbury and Concord rivers, and in the creation of the Boroughs Loop Trail through Marlborough, Southborough, Westborough, and Northborough.

The presentation will be at 1:30 pm at the Southborough Senior Center. Refreshments will be served. Please sign up at the front desk or call 508-229-4453. 

*Burns also gave a talk at the Southborough Library in September that was sponsored by the Southborough Trails Committee.

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