Bedford Friends Meeting, Dec 7, 2013

Topic: Toole Recommendations for Bikeway

Summary of Bedford Friends comments:

  • Overall, found the observations and recommendations quite good
  • Pleased that Arlington Selectmen have already heard and accepted the report
  • Bedford BAC will recommend Town (selectmen) accept the recommendations as a guide and standard for bikeway improvements, including the planned extension along the Reformatory trail
  • Hope to hear Lexington BAC will formally endorse the Toole recommendations
  • Bedford recognizes that both Arlington and Lexington will have more share-holders and issues to contend with because of more bikeway miles, intersections, and its path thru their town centers.

Specific comments

  • bikes and (versus) peds (discussed in Arlington) - yes the bikeway is a shared-use path; yes, we need to monitor bad (too fast) bicyclists who are a hazard to other bicyclists as well as pedestrians, but do not dilute the importance that the MM bikeway is indeed a 'commuter bikeway'
  • at Wiggins intersection (Bedford), remove gates; replace stop sign w/ (bikes) yield to road traffic
  • Examples where tri-town collaboration is needed
    • Consistent (new) Signage
    • night riding rules
      • reflectors and lights required (including pets)
      • guidelines on light lumens (too bright a common complaint and hazard)
    • guidelines on reflectors used by towns
      • highway grade inappropriate (too bright/blinding)
      • required on all posts, etc on or near bikeway
  • monitoring/reducing bad behavior
    • ask Toole for existing programs
    • suggestion: look at volunteer 'ski patrols' for possible duties, role examples
    • high school (mature, w/ training) students doing public service are possible 'ambassadors'
    • civilians will not have any enforcement role
    • provide assistance (air pump, directions, maps, minor mechanics, …)
  • Lexington plans to updates signage in 2014; We hope the Lex BAC will work closely w/ Arlington, and us to establish standards acceptable to all three towns.
  • Some joint administration needed - yes
    • begin w/ obvious, common-sense items above
    • annual ride w/ a rep (selectmen, dpw, …) from each town
    • meet regularly, more than annually
    • BACs exchange minutes/agenda, and explicitly identify tri-town MM items (eg, in separate paragraph, summary)
    • formal regional coordination (with MAPC?) (maps, detour info, path conditions, closures, …) as part of the metro bike network. Many commuters would like a one-stop web site for trail updates
    • closer collaboration w/ neighboring towns that connect to Minuteman. Eg, Somerville also calls their connector 'the Minuteman Extension'
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