More than 50 adults and several children showed up for the walking tour of the proposed Community Path Extension on Saturday, Sept. 25.
Joining the tour were state Rep. Denise Provost and Somerville school board members Paul Bockelman and Mark Niedergang. Community Path organizers explained to the dozens joining them that the path may not become a reality if it does not get built as part of the Green Line Project, since the two projects need to share infrastructure and the heavy machinery that comes with it.
This 2.5-mile gritty urban adventure was led Joel Bennett, Alan Moore and Lynn Weissman, who are founding members of the Friends of the Community Path. The Friends group is working to ensure that the Community Path extension gets designed and built to run along four of the seven new stations of the Green Line extension, from the path’s current end at Cedar Street in Somerville to Lechmere/North Point in Cambridge. If built, the Community Path extension will run near six Somerville public schools and two public libraries, creating safe, clean and quiet routes to school and to the Green Line. The Community Path is the missing link that can connect the 13-mile Minuteman Trail all the way from Bedford to the 17 miles of Charles River paths through Boston, Watertown and Waltham.
With the likely delay of the Green Line extension beyond the legal 2014 deadline, MassDOT will be required to propose an “interim offset project” to be in place Dec. 31, 2014, that will provide air quality benefits equal to those that would have been achieved were the Green Line Extension completed on time. The Friends and other transportation and environmental groups are urging MassDOT to complete the Community Path as an interim offset project, including full funding for design, construction and completion of the Community Path in Somerville to Lechmere/NorthPoint in Cambridge.
For more information about the Friends of the Community Path, visit http://pathfriends.org/scp.