Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Three cars were involved, with one on its side.
A three car accident was reported at the corner of Carlisle and Acton roads near the end of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail at approximately 3:50 p.m. this afternoon. One of the vehicles was reported on its side, and one person was reported to have minor injuries, but no one involved in the crash was entrapped in their vehicles. Emergency vehicles left the scene by approximately 4:20 p.m.
Thursday, January 24, 2013
The board discussed the controversial Vose Parcel as well as new sidewalks in the area.
The Board of Selectmen addressed several issues surrounding the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail on Tuesday night, including two issues impacting the long standing debate on parking in the area of Carlisle and Acton roads. With Westford Conservation Resource Planner Bill Turner fully recovered from illness that prevented him from attending the board’s last meeting, the Selectmen gathered his counsel on how to proceed with a conservation restriction agreed to by the Conservation Commission. Although the small size of the property (8,500 square feet) made it an unusual choice for a conservation restriction, the Conservation Commission recommended pursuing a restriction approved by the state due to a certified vernal pool near the property, the …
Friday, January 18, 2013
The issue that dominated Town Meeting last year continued with several items last week.
If there was one continuing news item Westford continued to see in 2012, it was the issue of parking along the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail. And while it's 2013, that didn't stop the Board of Selectmen from hearing more updates on the topic. Westford director of land use planning Angus Jennings presented an update on the Cresthaven parcel, a small piece of land on Acton Road along the trail just north of Carlisle Road. Since a subdivision approval in 1988, a cloud has been on the title of the property, which at one point was a potential location for a parking area near the trail. Jennings informed the board that issue at hand, whether the boundary of the property in its deed was the northern or southern stone wall on the property, had been …
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
The $1.5 billion bill helps build infrastructure that strengthens the state’s economy over the long term, governor says.
Gov. Deval Patrick called a $1.5 billion transportation bond bill that includes funding for the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail "what the state needs to strengthen its economy and "quality of life for the long term.” Patrick signed the bill on Aug. 9. “Our transportation infrastructure had suffered from years of neglect, so this administration started rebuilding roads, rails and bridges in every corner of our state and creating thousands of jobs," Patrick said after he enacted the bill, which enjoyed the strong support of the Legislature, passing the House by a vote of 150-2 on July 31, the last day of the session. The bond bill ensures funding for many projects already under way and allots money for the planning of future improvements across …
Friday, June 29, 2012
Memorandum of Understanding from neighbors' group reviewed
The Tax Possession Sale Committee was missing one of its three voting members on Thursday night and decided to hold the Vose parcel vote until their next meeting in July. As soon as the meeting began, members Bill Harman and Darrin Wizst stated that they would wait for missing member Ernie Hyde to be present before taking a vote. This did not stop the forward motion on the parcel, however. The neighbors’ group, led by Wade Ripley of Acton Road, presented a memorandum of understanding to the committee. The memorandum laid out the agreement and the deed restriction details starting with the assumption that the TPSC will transfer the Vose parcel to the Conservation Commission. In the agreement, the Conservation Commission will hold …
Thursday, June 28, 2012
In a stark contrast from March's Town Meeting, the Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization approved earmarking federal funding for Phase 2A of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail along with dozens of other transportation related improvements around Eastern Mas
In a stark contrast to the hours of debate that dominated the 2012 Westford Town Meeting, the Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization approved $8,788,000 to extend the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail from its current terminus in Westford all the way to near the Acton/Concord border. The decision came as part of a unanimous board approval on BMPO’s Fiscal Year 2013-2016 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), which earmarked hundreds of millions of dollars in state and federal transportation money for improvements across Eastern Massachusetts. Although originally money for the Phase 2A portion of the trail was expected to come from the sale of former rail lines along its projected path, the new funding will be coming as part of the …
Friday, June 22, 2012
The Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization will be voting on proposed funding for the Phase 2A extension on the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail next week, although questions remain on the recent Town Meeting vote to accept a gift that would study issues relat
The controversy surrounding proposed parking on the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail may be coming to a close next week, although the discussion was still alive during last week’s Board of Selectmen meeting. Initially, the Selectmen were slated to appoint Chris Barrett, Todd Lobo, Brian Skedd, Emily Teller and Tim Walsh to the new Bruce Freeman Rail Trail Extension Working Group, but those appointments were postponed due to an impending meeting of the Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization (BMPO) next Thursday where potential federal money may be allocated toward the proposed Phase 2A extension that would bring the trail to within 1,000 feet of the Concord Rotary. During the multi-month debate, pro-parking and anti-parking advocates had long …
Thursday, May 10, 2012
The matter now goes back to the Tax Possession Sales Committee, which meets on May 17, and appears that it will eventually go before Town Meeting.
In the latest chapter of the ongoing Bruce Freeman Rail Trail parking issue, the Conservation Commission agreed to help place a conservation restriction upon the controversial Vose Parcel. After a recent discussion by the Tax Possession Sale Committee (TPSC) on how to dispose of the property drew a lengthy debate, a delay was made to see if the parcel could be transferred from its current status as a TPSC property to the ownership of the Conservation Commission. The idea was brought forth as a way to ensure that the town could keep the property in a natural state while ensuring that people would not congregate near the property per the neighbors’ desires. “This is a happy solution for all sides, but we’d need to get a legal opinion,” …
Friday, May 4, 2012
The Tax Possession Sales Committee has delayed a decision on how to dispose of the property for the time being.
The debate over the future of the Vose Parcel will continue following the decision to delay any decision on the property from the Tax Possession Sales Committee on Thursday. Located just north of the intersection of Acton and Carlisle Road on the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail, the property has become a source of controversy over the past several months, with a vote on allowing an Eagle Scout to put an information kiosk on the property losing by three votes in a roll call that ended almost an hour of discussion at this year’s Town Meeting. The property, which is appraised at $2,000 and is approximately the size of the small park adjacent to the Town Common and Parish Center for the Arts at the end of Hildreth Street. It’s likely too small for …
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
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 "the Acton Plan." Any hopes of the plan coming to fruition were expected to take decades, even though it appeared to have a positive reaction 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…