April 8, 2018 Letter to Editor- Ten Key Facts
The Friends of the Lynnfield Rail Trail have worked diligently to inform residents about the facts and dispel misconceptions regarding the Wakefield– Lynnfield Rail Trail project. We are committed to making sure Lynnfield’s residents understand the opportunity they have to greatly benefit their community in a number of important ways.
Towns across Massachusetts and the country desire these paths and continue to add them. Governor Baker is a Rail Trail supporter and has proposed a dedicated Mass Trails funding line item in the state budget.
In Lynnfield, we are fortunate in that we have an engineered rail bed currently unused that can be converted to a recreational path, and will be paid for entirely with State MA DOT STIP (State Transportation Investment Program) funding and Federal funds and maintained at no cost to the town via a non-
profit group assisted with private donations and volunteer efforts (see Danvers and Topsfield). This path would cross only two streets, abut only 60 of 4,200 homes, and connect the major public buildings in town, including the High School and Middle School, which will enable Lynnfield’s children to walk and bike to school for generations to come. Studies show major safety, health and educational performance benefits to this activity.
Currently, there are 105 Rail Trail/ Recreational paths /Greenways in Massachusetts. All 11 of Massachusetts’ AAA Moody’s rated communities have rail trails. These are among the most fiscally sound and savvy towns in our State. Can these 105 towns all be wrong? Those towns have very carefully vetted these facilities and concluded they were very good for their communities. We urge you to look at the studies, talk to the residents in these communities. Get out and experience a Rail Trail near us. No single solution satisfies everyone, but we believe this is one of the best value opportunities in the history of this town.
Below is our summary response to a recent Letter to the Editor by a No Group supporter
1) -Incorrect Facts from the “NO Group”
$300,000 Final Design funding has to be funded by Lynnfield.
Friends of Lynnfield Rail Trail (FLRT) is in process of seeking a combination of state funding, grants, and business donations. We are looking to raise these funds to reduce or eliminate a request for town funding. This was 1 of the 2 key reasons why a prevailing YES vote was important at the April 2017 town meeting. Lynnfield received all the money to date from the State for the feasibility study and the Preliminary Design. We want to raise this Final Design funding outside the town budget. However, if funds are not successfully raised outside of the town budget, the estimated $300,000 needed would represent a onetime cost of just $71 per household. This is a $15 million+ asset that is available for almost nothing to the town. The MBTA is prepared to give a free lease for a rail bed that is valued at over $6 million, and the State will pay the construction costs now estimated to be $9 million.
2) - Incorrect Facts from the “NO Group”
Construction overrides will have to be funded by Lynnfield.
MA DOT has indicated to our town officials that the amount requested on preconstruction documents will be funded by MA DOT STIP. A cushion for 10 % construction overrides is added to the funding. If in a worst case scenario it goes over this contingency, the project will stop until the Fed/State does fund the dollars needed to complete the project.
3) - Incorrect Facts from the “NO Group”
Trail maintenance has to be paid for by town.
Lynnfield’s trail maintenance costs are anticipated to cost the town nothing. The Friends of the Lynnfield Rail Trail, a 501 c (3) non-profit organization, proposes securing business donations via 1/10-mile marker signs for incidental cash needs and volunteer work to handle routine annual maintenance. This model is used successfully all over the U.S. including local towns like Danvers and Topsfield. If this model was not used, the cost estimate is $5,000/year based upon multiple studies of rail trail maintenance costs.
4) - Incorrect Facts from the “NO Group”
The Long Term Replacement Costs (LTRC) are prohibitively expensive.
If Lynnfield does not get State assistance as is common nor a Wakefield 50/50 maintenance/replacement agreement on the boardwalk section of the Rail Trail, then Lynnfield will be responsible for funding LTRC of the approximately 0.50 of the 0.60 total boardwalk length and the 1.9 miles of asphalt. Using a high-end estimate of $1.1million divided across 4,200 households over a 25-year material life expectancy is only $11 per household (HH) per year. This is less than $1/month to fund the future Replacement of the Rail Trail for Lynnfield’s section. We believe that Wakefield will agree to a 50/50 agreement for the boardwalk, which would reduce estimated LTRC to just $6/HH per year or 50 cents per month per HH.
5) - Incorrect Facts from the “NO Group”
If Lynnfield signs the lease we are committed to build trail.
We are not committed. The lease cost is $0. If we do not raise design money or MA DOT funding is delayed, we simply wait until funds are available.
6) - Incorrect Facts from the “NO Group”
Last year’s Town Meeting Warrant asked for funding for the Rail Trail project.
The warrant authorized – but did not require – the Selectman to sign a no-cost lease for the rail bed with the MBTA for the purpose of establishing, constructing and maintaining a Rail Trail. No funding was requested. The Town voted YES, in favor of authorizing the Selectman to sign a lease for the purpose of establishing, constructing and maintaining a Rail Trail.
This vote was important to show Lynnfield is earnest in wanting a Rail Trail, which evidences the town’s “readiness” for MA DOT STIP funding and improves the ability to raise final design funding from the state, grants, businesses, etc.
To the extent final design funds are needed from the Town, a two-thirds majority at Town Meeting will be required to pass such an appropriation.
7) - A “NO Group” comment
If Lynnfield citizens seek recreation, they should use Peabody’s Rail Trail.
Lynnfield’s citizens should not have to get in their cars to drive to access recreation. We have an amazing rail bed through the center of town that would be available and accessible to our residents of all ages and abilities. This can help bring our town together and foster a sense of community, while offering safe, off-road recreation to our residents. And as evidenced in the facts noted above, the cost to Lynnfield is virtually nothing for this $15 million+ asset.
8 ) - Exaggerations from the “NO Group”
There is not enough off-road parking lots.
There are a total of 6 parking areas available which, due to their current use, have varying parking flow, depending on the time and day of the week. For example, schools lots will be available during non-school hours only, Jordan Park or Reedy Golf Course and Town Hall parking is available during the school hours.
Further, the central location of the Rail Trail will allow most citizens access to the trail even without having to rely on cars to get them there. And any additional parking that may be provided as part of the trail project (to be determined in the final design phase) will also help offset overflow parking at the existing lots, e.g. during church service or school events.
9) -Incorrect Facts from the “NO Group”
Jorden Park playground will be eliminated.
If the Jordan Park parking lot is expanded, the playground will remain. The initiative to expanding the Jordan Park parking lot is unrelated to and independent from the Rail Trail.
10) - Misleading news from the “NO Group”
The Town of Weston voted no on a Rail Trail.
The Town of Weston voted no approximately 20 years ago! A recent vote approved the project.
Weston’s Rail Trail is currently in the construction phase and is expected to be completed this summer 2018.
Towns with strong Education and Rail Trails/ Recreational Paths/ Greenways make up the backbone of the most desired and fiscally wise towns. This is increasingly a must in Massachusetts to maintain desirability. This Rail Trail project exemplifies civic responsibility and civic betterment. It is in the very best interests of the community.
LYNNFIELD -WE CAN GET THIS RAIL TRAIL BUILT. WE WILL ALL BE THE BETTER FOR IT.
Friends of the Lynnfield Rail Trail
Chris and Colleen Anderson
Scott and Cindy Areglado
Cathy and John Ballou Mealey
Edelyne and Stanley Beauvais
Deb and Lee Biggar
Keith and Melissa Boccaci
Sonia and Ian Brady
Carly and Jason Caggiano
Peter and Lisa Cash
Duncan and Kristen Cooper
Diane and John Courtney
Geno and Natalie Covino
Sara and Sam Crosbie
Michael and Shannan Cuddy
Pat and Andrea Curley
Tim and Jamie Curley
Patrick and Erin Curley
Mike and Danielle D'Amelio
Kelly Foley Dan Kelley
Parent/ Guardian of Minors Letter - November 2018.
Lynnfield Medical Professional Letter - June 2018
We are writing in support of the Lynnfield Rail Trail and here is why.
We are health care professionals (nurses and doctors) who are residents of Lynnfield. Our kids have grown up here and attended our schools. We have driven, biked, jogged and walked throughout Lynnfield and noticed an increase in traffic. We care about the health and wellbeing of our town’s people.
There is ample medical evidence for both children and adults that exercising regularly including biking to and from school, work or doing routine errands is great exercise. As we know, exercise helps to keep all of us in good physical and mental health, helps to prevent obesity and reduces the chance of getting diabetes and heart disease. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC), recommends an hour of daily activity for children or 2-1/2 hours per week for adults of moderate intensity activity. Walking or biking to and from home to school and between friends’ homes will tremendously help. “Active transportation” is the term used in medical literature, and is a significant contributor to meeting the exercise requirements for children and set forth by the CDC and the AAP. Similarly the American Heart Association and preventive cardiovascular nursing association recommends regular exercise of at least 30 minutes a day five times a week for your heart health and wellbeing.
There is also ample evidence from pediatric studies, in similar towns to ours, where investigators have found an increased risk of injury to children biking on town roads. There is a reduction of such injuries when children are on designated bike paths like the one proposed. There have been numerous incidents in our town and region where residents have been injured, including one killed in the past few months. Many of us know friends and colleagues who have met grievous injury while riding a bike in our town or on roads elsewhere. Many of us have shared ample instances of unsafe riding on our town’s roads. There are significant pot holes, narrowing the roads further and the side of the roads remains cluttered seasonally with winter sand and debris making shared riding with higher speed vehicles quite unsafe.
Many of us have travelled far and wide and have seen bike paths regionally, nationally and internationally which are being actively used by residents of those are communities. We have seen them safely used for biking, jogging, running, kids going to school, people going to work, for skiing in the winter. They serve to reduce automobile pollution, which is also an important determinant of cardiac and respiratory health of both children and adults.
There is also benefit to the mental health of the community as it gives us a place to walk in relative quiet compared to our town’s roads. A place to relax but also a place to see and socialize with other residents, share outdoor activity which it turn helps to bring a community together.
We urge you all to support our rail trail initiative for the health of our town’s residents, our happiness and wellbeing, and for our environment and mutual enjoyment.
Keith C. Nobil, M.D. Calvin Lee, M.D. Lisa Petras, R.N.
Sanjay Aurora, M.D., MPH David Forcione, M.D. Vicki Kvedar, M.D.
Natasha Shah, M.D. Yuriy Levin, M.D. Joseph Kvedar, M.D.
Lydie Pani, M.D. Marc Forgione, M.D. Jane Austin, MS, R.N.
Joshua Goldstein, M.D., Ph.D. Justin Yunes, N.P. Karen Hathaway, R.N.
Michael Aarronson, M.D. Jeff Newton, M.D. Patricia Glennon, R.N.
Patricia Underwood PhD, NP Leslie Smith Olson, R.N. Lisa Connolly, M.D.
Elizabeth Morrison LICSW, RN Caitlin McCarthy, R.N. Deborah Clark N.P.
Anne Ventola R.N. Nicholas S. Kasdon, M.D. Charles Bockoff, M.D.
Nicole V. Thibodeau BS, RN Michelle Grifoni, MS, RN David Richman, M.D.
Sophia Lee, R.N. Donna Bouley, R.N. Maura Sullivan, M.D.
Marc Pifko M.D. Lee Ann Baldini, R.N. Mary A. Taschner, DNP, ANP-BC
Nirmal Jain, M.D. Tiffany Whalley, CMA Gary Mendese, M.D.
Anja Comeau, FNP-BC Stacy Dillon RN BSN Janet Beaudoin, R.N.
Deidre Lamusta, R.N., BSN, CPAN Jessica Perkins, R.N. Lisa Nobil, R.N.
Ryan Millea, M.D. Jose Abrego, M.D.
Leadership Team Letter - March 3, 2017
The Friends of the Lynnfield Rail Trail have worked diligently to inform residents about the facts and misconceptions regarding the
Wakefield– Lynnfield Rail Trail project. We are committed to making sure our residents understand the opportunity we have to greatly benefit our community in a number of important ways.
The Rail Trail will foster in the community:
* Health & Wellness
* Improved social connections
* A Four season recreational path for all ages and abilities
* Town Pride
* A Boost to Home Values
Most important, this Rail Trail can save a child’s life.
There are number of people in town that are worried about the Wakefield -Lynnfield Rail Trail project because of potential crime. A few abutters in an attempt to create fear, cite crimes with no evidence from local and national studies. They have not spoken to local towns with existing trails. Concord this year voted to connect to the Minuteman Rail Trail - the oldest in Massachusetts - 25 years duration. They are a smart, fiscally wise, and experienced town with their first hand viewing of this trail for 25 years. To date, no rail trail communities, not one, have experienced additional crime as a result of their rail trails. This statement is supported both by studies and by direct information provided by officials in communities with established rail trails and if you think about it, why would crime increase in the presence of a rail trail? The corridor was always there, and criminals can access a community by roads much more easily.
These abutters should not decide what is best for the town, you should.
Learn for yourself, get some of your friends and neighbors together on a rail trail and ask the local residents themselves their personal experience and opinion. This will hopefully give you the insight to overcome these fears and vote Yes, to build this rail trail. You will be very happy you did, as all other communities that have done this before us are.
Remember this; of the twenty thousand plus miles of rail trails that have been built not one has ever been closed.. That is a great testimonial to how these rail-trails are viewed and that they are highly prized assets for the communities that are lucky to have them. Can 105 towns that have built rail trails/ Rec Paths in Massachusetts be wrong? Including the most recent to vote yes- Concord and Dover?
A boost to home values- Local and national data indicate that rail trails increase property values, especially those nearer the rail trail. “The results show that houses near the trail sell for a higher proportion of the asking price and in about half the time that it took for houses in the general inventory”. See “Life adjacent to a rail trail“ by Craig Della Penna (Massachusetts Realtor and leading expert on this topic).
We strongly believe the Wakefield- Lynnfield Rail Trail project creating a recreational path that serves the entire community is an initiative that you need to support. Pedestrian, bicycle, baby strollers, roller blade, cross country ski; ADA compliant, Non-motorized use only, dawn to dusk hours of operation.
Towns across Massachusetts and the country desire these paths and continue to add them. We are fortunate in that we have an engineered rail bed currently unused that can be converted to a recreational path, expected to be paid for entirely with State and Federal funds( MA DOT STIP funding) and maintained at no cost to the town via a non-profit group assisted with private donations and volunteer efforts ( see Danvers and Topsfield). This path would cross only two streets and abut only 60 of 4200 homes but would connect the major public buildings in town. This includes the High School and Middle school which towns today strive for especially to allow children and parents to walk and bicycle to school. Studies show the major health and educational performance benefits to this activity.
Community spirit happens when people work together for the good of the whole.
People learn civic responsibility in their families, churches and schools. Working with others to do good for the community creates good feelings. There is positive reinforcement for constructive behavior.
This Rail Trail project exemplifies civic responsibility and civic betterment. It is in the very best interests of the community.
Go to our site www.Lynnfieldrailtrail.org and become informed. Read the Personal statement of Tom Grilk, 29 year resident of Lynnfield and abutter to the rail bed in Lynnfield.
Read the FAQS which are continuously updated, to answer the questions raised by citizens.
Please contact us to help you with any concerns or questions. Become involved with the process and help us get this asset built.
Please vote “Yes” at the upcoming Town Meeting on April 24, 2017 for the Rail Trail initiative, no solution satisfies everyone, but this is one of the best value opportunities this town has had in its history.
Friends of the Lynnfield Rail Trail
Leadership Team ( 3/3/17)
Tom Adamczyk Stephen Fantone
Sheila Aronson Kendall Inglese
Sanjay Aurora M.D. Vince Inglese
Eric Baras Bob Lee
John Ciampa Keith Nobil M.D.
Patrick Curley Dara Reppucci
Mike DAmore Randy Russell
Kate and Michael DePrizio
Khoa and Thuy Do
Kristen and Craig Elworthy
Maria Fernández-Donovan, Brent Donovan and Michael Donovan
Mike and Emily Geary
Paul and Leahla Glasser
John and Dina Hamel
Chad and Christina Hixon
Sara and Mark Hudson
Brian and Heather Hutter
Alex and Nada Jovanovic
David and Lis Kaufman
John and Stacey Langton
Alexis and Bill Leahy
Jenn and Jeff Lupien
Michael and Anne Malenfant
Jen and Bob Mandile
As residents of Lynnfield and parents/guardians of minors (children 18 years and younger), we sign this letter in support of the construction of the proposed Wakefield-Lynnfield Rail Trail Project which seeks to convert the 4.4 mile abandoned MBTA owned rail bed, into a recreational trail that can be enjoyed by all members of our community.
Collectively, we see the benefits of this proposed trail as follows.
1). Providing a route of safe off-road passage free from distracted drivers for our youth between major town landmarks such as our High School, Middle School and downtown.
2). Providing a town asset that can help enhance the overall health of our community, enabling residents of all ages and abilities to easily access recreation such as walking, cycling, cross country skiing, running and rollerblading.
3). Increasing our overall property value by enhancing our community’s desirability within the Greater Boston area.
We have been encouraged and invigorated by the recent show of State level support in helping fund the Final Design, the next stage needed to bring the project to construction ready status. In recent months, the Friends of the Lynnfield Rail Trail, a 501(c)(3) has been awarded a $100,000 reimbursement grant by The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). In addition, members of Lynnfield's and Wakefield's state legislative delegation* have secured a $500,000 funding earmark for the Wakefield-Lynnfield Rail Trail as part of a $2.4 billion environmental bond bill that was recently signed into law.
This Rail Trail can one day save a life. We implore our community leaders to advance this project without further delay.
Parents/Guardians of Minors in Lynnfield.
Sara and Kamden Mauser
Kara and Matt Morton
Nate and Courtney Nunley
Larisa and Marc Patacchiola
Nancy Pecoraro McManus
Mark and Elisa Preston
David and Marylee Riester
Lauren and Nate Rosencranz
Rosie and Ed Schiavo
Shanli Lui Sidun Li
Aicha Charfi Skander Limem
Pete and Crystal Smyrnios
Steve and Sondra Smyrnios
Andrew and Sarah Steer
Patty and Craig Underwood
Michele and Phil Vaccaro
Amber and Craig Vaccaro
Stacey and Sean Valiton
Swati Kodali Vikram Parvataneni
Nomeeta and Kharram Zaheer
-advocating for the Wakefield-Lynnfield Rail Trail project.
Lynnfield Rail Trail