Norton Might Have a Bike Path in the Near Future
Norton townspeople and officials met on Tuesday to talk about the possibility of a bike path.
Principal transportation planner for the Southeastern Regional Planning & Economic Development District Adam Reccia met with Norton officials and townspeople on Tuesday to discuss the possibility of expanding the World War II Memorial Trail bike path into Norton.
Reccia said though he and the SRPED are very optimistic about the proposed expansion, the plan is only in its infancy at the moment.
“This is very preliminary at this point,” he said.
Residents and officials talked with Reccia and brought forth potential issues the construction of the path could create.
Issues brought up during the meeting were equestrian accommodations, abutter’s issues and crossing safety.
Recchia said since the current plan is very tentative, abutter concerns could be accommodated when the path goes into the actual planning and engineering stages.
“There wasn’t anyone who was completely 100 percent opposed to the idea,” he said.
Recchia also said residents and members of the Norton Board of Selectmen said they were worried about maintaining the path. Recchia said that a system of adoption, like in the state highways, could be instituted.
"A couple people were concerned about the crossings on N. Washington Street,” Recchia said. “It’s not a project killer, there are a lot of engineering options that can increase sight distance.”
Recchia said such options included an S curve in the path to force bikers to slow down and short vertical posts known as bollards at the crossings to make bikers, skaters and runners stop. Other options are available too.
“Warning signs, pavement markings, passing pedestrian lights and stuff like that,” he said.
"Someone did ask if we could separate the horse trail from the bike path itself, because in Mansfield they’re right up against each other,” he said. “That’s definitely something we could look into.”