Coastal Trails Network News
2012 Progress Report
Coastal Trails Coalition, Inc. (CTC) is a non-profit corporation whose mission is to assist in developing the Coastal Trails Network, an almost 30-mile network of rail trails and bikeways connecting the communities of Amesbury, Newbury, Newburyport and Salisbury. Formed in 2004 with the support of the Essex National Heritage Commission, the National Park Service Rivers and Trails Program, and the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission, CTC continues to be a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization withno paid employees. Donations to CTC are tax deductible as charitable donations. CTC invests 100% of donations, grants and membership contributions in the trail network.
With CTC’s assistance and with the continuing support of our Congressman John Tierney and State Representative Mike Costello, the four local communities are continuing to make major progress in building the trail network.
*SALISBURY RAIL TRAIL CONNECTOR TO OPEN IN EARLY 2013
*NEW SALISBURY GHOST TRAIL CONNECTION TO ROUTE 110 COMPLETED
The Town of Salisbury received a $50,000 grant from the Massachusetts Recreational Trails Program to construct a connecting trail from the Ghost Trail to the Play Ball batting facility on Elm Street (Route 110) and to improve drainage and add a finished stone dust surface to the western section of the Ghost Trail. The project provides trail parking at Play Ball and easy access between the Ghost Trail and the commercial area along Route 110.
*MASSDOT TO BUILD A SHARED USE PATH ON THE NEW I-95 WHITTIER BRIDGE BY 2016
*DESIGN OF AMESBURY RIVERWALK EXTENSION CONTINUING: 2014 CONSTRUCTION FUNDING COMMITTED FOR LINK FROM LOWER MILLYARD TO DOWNTOWN
The Town of Amesbury is completing designs to extend the Riverwalk 0.2 miles from the Lower Millyard into downtown Amesbury. The Merrimack Valley Metropolitan Planning Organization (MVMPO) has committed $1.8 million of federal and state highway funds to build the Lower Millyard trail extension in 2014. In addition, CTC is working with town officials on developing a connection between the Riverwalk and the Salisbury Ghost Trail, including a recreational trail easement between Stop & Shop and Elm Street and an easement on the old railroad right of way under I-95. CTC paid for a title search of the right of way and has committed funds for any necessary appraisals.
*DESIGN OF CLIPPER CITY RAIL TRAIL (PHASE II) ON CITY BRANCH RAIL LINE UNDERWAY: CONSTRUCTION FUNDING COMMITTED FOR 2015
The City of Newburyport is working on preliminary design and permitting for Phase II of the Clipper City Rail Trail and Harborwalk. This 2.1-mile project will provide an off-road pathway for pedestrians and bicyclists to travel along the Merrimack River shoreline, connecting the City’s downtown and central waterfront with Joppa Park at the seawall. The pathway will continue through the South End neighborhood and the woodlands south of March’s Hill Park to Parker Street in Newbury. The City anticipates installing sculptures and public art along the trail, as in the first phase. The preliminary design process is supported primarily by local Community Preservation Act funding, and will facilitate securing a 99-year lease from National Grid for the remaining portions of the corridor. The MVMPO has committed $2.8 million of federal and state highway funds to construct the trail in 2015. Additional funding will be required to complete final design and specifications and install enhancements.
* NORTHERN SECTION OF BORDER TO BOSTON TRAIL BEING DESIGNED; CONSTRUCTION FUNDING COMMITTED FOR 2.3-MILE SALISBURY SEGMENT IN 2016
Work is underway to design 16 miles of the northern section of the Border to Boston Trail. The design will include a new 2.3-mile rail trail linking Salisbury’s Old Eastern Marsh Trail to the Ghost Trail and Seabrook, NH; an on-road link from the MBTA commuter rail station in Newburyport to Byfield in Newbury; and a 7.2-mile rail trail from Byfield, through Georgetown and Boxford, to Topsfield. The design should be completed in 2013. Funding for the design includes $718,000 of federal highway funds, supplemented with $343,000 of state highway funds and $192,000 of local matching funds from the four towns. CTC contributed $5,000 toward Salisbury’s $59,000 match and $3,000 toward Newbury’s $12,000 match. CTC also raised $44,000 of additional funds for Salisbury’s match. Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank, Institution for Savings Charitable Foundation, TD Bank Foundation, SPS New England and CTC Board members all made grants to CTC to support design of the trail in Salisbury. The MVMPO has committed $3.85 million of federal and state highway funds to building the new Salisbury trail in 2016.
* ADOPT-A-TRAIL AND ADOPT-A-BENCH PROGRAMS
With CTC’s leadership both Salisbury and Amesbury have implemented Adopt-a-Trail Programs. The two towns’ rail trails now have mileposts every 1/10th mile along a total of over four miles of trails. Each post has a sign showing its location and a local sponsor’s name and logo. The sponsoring businesses are making annual contributions to CTC toward maintaining and improving the trails. The mileposts allow people who need help while on the trails to call 911 and give their exact location. People feel safer and first responders can get to the scene quickly when help is needed. CTC and the Town of Salisbury have also implemented an Adopt-a-Bench Program that raises funds to install benches and other improvements on Salisbury’s trails.
* CTC AND RIVERSIDE CYCLE CO-SPONSOR 1ST ANNUAL NORTH SHORE COMMUNITY BIKE SWAP
* CTC CO-SPONSORS BIKE SAFETY CLINICS
On April 21 CTC co-sponsored bike safety clinics with Riverside Cycle and Amesbury Skate and Sport Shop. The early season clinics featured free bike and helmet inspections and safety checks by experienced technicians.
*CTC FUNDRAISERS AT NOT YOUR AVERAGE JOE’S AND FLATBREAD COMPANY
CTC sponsored fundraisers at Not Your Average Joe’s in Newburyport on May 8 and at Flatbread Company in Amesbury on September 25. Lots of people turned out and had a good time eating dinner and meeting and greeting each other. We are very appreciative of Flatbread Company’s and Not Your Average Joe’s support of CTC and other community groups through their revenue-sharing fundraisers.
*CTC AND MVPC PRESENT “GOING DUTCH: BIKE AND PEDESTRIAN PLANNING–WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM HOLLAND’S MODEL?”
On June 5 CTC and the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission co-sponsored professional planner Rick Taintor’s presentation of a film and slide show on development of the Netherland’s cycling infrastructure. The presentation was inspirational and instructive both to cycling enthusiasts and to community planners in the region. It showed how the Netherlands converted its post-war automobilecentric transportation system to one that treats bicycling as an equal and integral part of the system. The presentation was filmed by Salisbury Community TV and is being rebroadcast on community TV stations regionally.
*CTC HOLDS 2ND ANNUAL SLOW BIKE RACE FUNDRAISER
*CTC HOLDS CONNECTIONS 4 ECONOMIC GROWTH LUNCHEON IN AMESBURY
On October 18 CTC sponsored a luncheon to highlight the importance of supplying the missing trail link between Amesbury’s Riverwalk and Salisbury’s Ghost Trail. Local officials, opinion-makers and trail enthusiasts gathered at the Alehouse in Amesbury to enjoy a fine lunch and an outstanding video presentation on the history and future of the Coastal Trails Network. The video is being shown on community TV stations in Amesbury, Salisbury and Newburyport and below.
*CTC PROVIDES FUNDS TO SUPPORT TRAIL DEVELOPMENT AND IMPROVEMENT
CTC uses its funds to assist in developing and improving our trails. During 2012 CTC made the following grants and financial commitments.
a.) $10,000 paid toward Salisbury’s matching funds for Border to Boston Trail design from dedicated funds CTC raised from third parties,
b.) $5,000 paid toward Newburyport’s design and permitting of Phase II of the Clipper City Rail Trail,
c.) $4,000 committed to search the title to the right of way and to pay for appraisals needed to make a trail connection between Salisbury and Amesbury,
d.) $1,250 paid toward Newbury’s legal costs of negotiating a license with National Grid,
e.) $725 paid for doggie bag dispensers, stone dust and signs for Salisbury’s trails from Salisbury Adopt-a-Trail funds, and
f.) $362.50 paid to the Newburyport Parks Commission from the Slow Bike Race Fundraiser.