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Bruce Freeman Rail Trail Parking Coming to Acton Sooner Than Expected

The Town of Westford has announced they are seeking to establish a working group to make the "Acton Plan" a reality, due in large part to unexpected funding recommended by the Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization.

 

Yesterday, the Town of Westford announced it wants volunteers for a working group aimed towards coordinating the proposed Bruce Freeman Rail Trail extension and parking lot in Acton, also known over the past few months as "."

Any hopes of the plan coming to fruition were expected to take decades, even though it from factions for and against proposed rail trail parking lots in Westford. 

That was until last week, when Land Use Management Director Angus Jennings informed the Planning Board that the Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization (BMPO) voted to recommend Phase 2A of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail, which extends from Westford into Carlisle and Acton. 

"No one saw this coming," said Jennings.

The unexpected news was also reported in the Spring 2012 Friends of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail newsletter released recently.

Although the BMPO does not have jurisdiction over Westford, it serves 101 cities and towns surrounding Boston, including Carlisle and Acton.

The BMPO has estimated the price of Phase 2A at just under $6.7 million, and public comment on Phase 2A and other competing studies opening May 2 on the BMPO's website.

Anyone interested in participating on the working group can fill out a citizen's activity form available on the town website, or contact Tina Landry in the Town Manager's office at 978-692-5501 ext. 1. for more information.

Tim Walsh May 01, 2012 at 01:02 PM
Andrew, Any insights on whether this development negates the perceived need for parking in Westford? If the Trail terminus moves to Acton (where there is more than ample parking close by that exists in properly zoned areas), will the BFRT officials continue to push for parking in residential neighborhoods here? I'd be interested in hearing what your readers have to say about that. Thanks, Tim Walsh
Parker Village Resident May 01, 2012 at 04:22 PM
This would erase even the "perceived need" for parking in Westford. There was never a real need. Chelmsford lots for this state, not town. bike trail continue to offer more than ample parking. It is interesting that town officials would even consider disregarding zoning bylaws at the request of a specific lobbyist group operating under the guise of a 501(3)(c). How about some investigation into the IRS requirements of a 501(3)(c): http://www.irs.gov/charities/charitable/article/0,,id=96099,00.html ? Seems the Friends may be violating some of these requirements? Anyone agree?
Andrew Sylvia (Editor) May 01, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Tim, If I hear anything on that front, I'll let you know. On the second comment though, I thought that I had included the fact that this was also mentioned in the Friends of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail newsletter, I'll add a link to that now.
Sam May 01, 2012 at 05:54 PM
There is no real need for parking in Westford and this Acton extension will only help. But, this group will not go away. they will fight for lots till the end.

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