Stoneham Town Meeting October 27, 2014:
Stoneham's October Town Meeting is coming up on October 27th. There is a Greenway Warrant Article on the ballot that has generated many questions. Learn more about what is in the Warrant Article here. This is an important warrant to the future of the Greenway as well as to businesses in town.
What's at stake?
The $5.4 million allocated for the Tri-Community Project. If Stoneham does not allow these easements, MassDOT can decide to abandon part or all of the project. The Construction easements are required in order for MassDOT to issue a right-of-way certificate for the project. Without that, plans cannot be finalized and the project cannot be put out to bid for construction. If the project is not put out to bid next year, the funding can and probably will be withdrawn. As of now, the bid date that was expected to be in the late winter has been delayed until at least the summer. If negotiations for these properties do not start now, it could delay this further. This will jeopardize the whole project.
Update on the Article
After a number of meetings with MassDOT, FST (the engineering firm for the project) and the Stoneham Bikeway/Greenway committee, with affected abutters, plans have been updated. There are no permanent takings of private land, contrary to deliberately false rumors that are circulating around Stoneham. See an open letter from the Bikeway/Greenway committee in response to the false information in the Chamber of Commerce's letter.
Many of the the construction easements have been removed along with the permanent easement that would have allowed a ADA-compliant sidewalk since a sidewalk did not exist. There is only 3800 feet of private land involved. These are all construction easements. A construction easement allows access to land by construction workers in order to complete landscaping, erect fences or in several cases put in crosswalk flashing lights to allow safer crossings. It does not mean the land is occupied or that landowners cannot use it. Construction worker access to any of these properties will likely be only a few days or a week in most cases since the construction of the ENTIRE project is expected to be less than six months.
All properties involved are independently assessed and owners will be compensated for the use of their land.
See the temporary construction easements being discussed with Stoneham businesses.
Stoneham Clean Up Day - Thank You:
Even with the damp weather we had over 35 people come out and participate in the clean up. The group pulled out countless plastic items, a few tires and various other trash. The day exceeded our expectations by making it from Williams over to Montvale Avenue. Thank you for helping to keep Stoneham and the Greenway clean. I would also like to recognize Stop and Shop, Spartan Hardware and Rounds Hardware for contributing supplies for the clean up. Please thank them next time you are in their stores.
Interactive Map of the 75% Greenway Design
Do you want to know where the trail goes, what business it will go by and how easy it will be to use? The plans page of this site has an interactive Google map that allows you to zoom in and look around at the details.
The Tri-Community Greenway, will bring open recreational space to Stoneham, Woburn and Winchester. The Stoneham portion will be located on a right of way of the Stoneham Branch of the Boston & Lowell (later the Boston & Maine and MBTA) railroad, which stopped passenger service in 1958. This linear park will create a place to bike, walk and enjoy nature in the heart of our community.