The process of converting the abandoned Mass Central Rail Line, a three-mile section of which bisects Weston, to a rail trail has been gaining momentum since 2011 when the MBTA signed a 99 year lease with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) giving it jurisdiction over the Massachusetts Central Railroad line. Furthermore, Eversource, which maintains power lines along the right-of-way, is preparing to conduct major work to improve access and upgrade its electrical lines along the right-of-way. This will include removing the rails and ties and creating a 10’ wide gravel drive for maintenance use.
Given this activity, the Selectmen have charged this committee, among additional duties, with the following: conduct community outreach, especially from abutters; develop a scope of work, budget and implementation timetable; consider how the connections in neighboring communities will work in Weston; consider where user parking might fit to minimize neighborhood impacts; consider access to existing town trails that minimizes damage to sensitive ecosystems; and consider how the rail trail could support and enhance bicycle and pedestrian safety, as well as improving access to transportation hubs planned by the Commonwealth. Read the full Rail Trail Advisory Committee charge (PDF).
The committee is comprised of nine voting members, four of whom will be representatives from the Conservation Commission, Open Space and Recreation Plan Committee, Traffic and Sidewalk Committee, and Weston Forest & Trail Association.
At Large Members
Jack Sands, chair
Patrick O' Donnell
Anne Benning, Open Space and Recreation Plan
Michael McCarthy, Traffic and Sidewalk Committee
Roberta Lamb, Conservation Commission (Alt: Joe Berman)
Meg Kelly, Weston Forest and Trail Association (Alt: George Bates)