The benefits of the proposed Dedham Heritage Rail Trail to our community are numerous.
1. beautiful Recreational asset for Dedham Residents
By providing a linear park that excludes vehicle traffic, the proposed rail trail would open recreational opportunities to a wide swath of Dedham's population. Children, teens, adults, and seniors can all share the rail trail as a safe place to bike, walk, jog, walk the dog... even cross-country ski during the winter.
2. Safe Walk to School for Dedham Students
The proposed rail trail would improve the ability of students to walk to the Avery School, Dedham High School, and Dedham Middle School. For students who walk or bike to school from across town, the proposed rail trail would provide a safe route from Dedham Square that avoids the dangerous Route 1 crossing.
3. Stronger Public Transportation Network
The proposed rail trail's connection of Dedham Square to a major hub of public transportation - the Readville Train Station - would be a big step toward creating a stronger network of public transportation in the Greater Boston area. Making it easier to get from one place to another without a car within Dedham, and from Dedham to Boston via the train will help to reduce both pollution and traffic congestion.
4. Appropriate Use Drives Out Inappropriate Use
The current abandoned rail corridor has often been a site for dumping and vandalism. Recent efforts by local groups and businesses, like Whole Foods Market and L.L. Bean of Dedham, have provided a helping hand in cleaning up trash, including hazardous waste like computer monitors and air conditioners. By converting the corridor into an accessible, well-used trail, crime and dumping will be discouraged by the increased community vigilance and greater ease of patrolling by the Dedham Police Department.
5. Enrich the Community
The Rail Trail will provide a venue for public art by local talent from the Mother Brook Arts and Community Center, Dedham Artist Guild, student artists, and others. Evidence suggests that public greenways such as the proposed rail trail are very good for property values. Beautifying and improving this corridor will contribute to East Dedham's revitalization and enrich the whole town as well.
Over 70 Massachusetts communities have Benefited from Rail Trail/Greenway projects:
Abington, Acton, Adams, Agawam, Amesbury, Arlington, Ayer, Baldwinville, Barnstable, Bedford, Belchertown, Bellingham, Beverly, Billerica, Boston, Bourne, Boxford, Brewster, Brimfield, Buckland, Cambridge, Chatham, Chelmsford, Cheshire, Chicopee, Concord, Danvers, Deerfield, East Boston, Eastham, Easthampton, East Longmeadow, Essex, Fall River, Falmouth, Fitchburg, Florence, Framingham, Franklin, Gardner, Georgetown, Groton, Harwich, Haverill, Hingham, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hudson, Ipswich, Jamaica Plain, Lanesborough, Lexington, Lowell, Malden, Mansfield, Marblehead, Marlborough, Marshfield, Mattapoisett, Maynard, Merrimac, Methuen, Milford, Millbury, Milton, Montague, Natick, Needham, Newburyport, North Andover, Northbridge, Northampton, Orleans, Palmer, Peabody, Pepperell, Provincetown, Plymouth, Quincy, Rockland, Roxbury, Salem, Salisbury, Sandwich, Saugus, Shelburne Falls, Somerville, Southbridge, South Dennis, South Welfleet, Spencer, Springfield, Sturbridge, Swampscott, Topsfield, Uxbridge, Watertown, Wenham, Westfield, Winchendon, Worcester