Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Moseley to Maudslay Trail

From today's Daily News:

Moseley-to-Maudslay trail hits bump in road amid concerns
Two councilors seek to reconsider $50,000 funding request

By Dyke Hendrickson
Staff Writer

NEWBURYPORT — Don't start planning that Moseley-to-Maudslay hike just yet.

A day after the City Council voted 7-4 to approve $45,000 in planning funds for a proposed connection trail between Moseley Woods and Maudslay State Park, two city councilors had taken action to bring the issue back before the board for further discussion in two weeks,
The background on this is that the Council each year votes on the recommendations of the Community Preservation Council.

These are this year's recommendations at this link:

The particular recommendation on this proposed trail:
The CPC recommends the appropriation of $45,000 to the City of Newburyport to
support design and permitting of the Moseley-Maudslay Trail. The project is managed
by the Office of Planning and Development.
The CPA category for this project is Recreation.
Project Summary
Development of this new recreational trail along the Merrimack River and through the woods would result in a direct connection between the City’s Moseley Woods Park and the Commonwealth’s Maudslay State Park. The Moseley-Maudslay Trail is generally envisioned as a six-foot wide engineered path with one-foot shoulders. It will serve multiple users – pedestrians, runners, mountain bikers – and will incorporate switchbacks in areas of steep topography to be both wheelchair and stroller accessible.
A small pond on Water Department land adjacent to Moseley will be featured along the trail. The route will then cross a stream and cross under the new I-95 Whittier Bridge.
After reaching Spring Lane, the trail will parallel the road and river for a short distance, offering beautiful views, before crossing the lane to the west. The trail will ultimately connect with the state park’s existing trail system below Castle Hill at the beginning of the designated “Merrimack River Trail.” Proposed amenities include directional signage, potential interpretive signage and a few benches.
The recommended appropriation will support design services for the Moseley-Maudslay Trail, including professional site evaluation, design development, survey, resource delineation, cost estimating, public meetings, and permitting. It is important that the trail be designed and permitted in conjunction with the MassDOT Whittier Bridge design process in 2011-2012.

Here is the video from the Council meeting the other night.

I was one of the 7 who voted in favor of this appropriation. I have concerns that the process so far has not included enough input from the public, the Moseley Woods Commission, and the Maudslay State Park Association. I favor the appropriation on the condition that the City needs to determine that there there is sufficient community support for the trail before starting this design process, a process which is only a small step on a longer path and one which can be stopped if the project isn't feasible. It is not unusual for monies to be rescinded from the CPC allocations.

The interesting stuff regarding the trail (Project Number 11) starts approximately 42 minutes. The timer on the video feed seems to fluctuate but if you start at 42 minutes, you should see it.

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