Upper Charles Trail Project – Part 3: An Alternative Proposal to Some Sections of the UC Trail

Upper Charles Trail Project – Part 3: An Alternative Proposal to Some Sections of the UC Trail

A few of the segments  of the Upper Charles Trail project have been actively discussed and debated since the first public hearing on December 8th 2021. 

An alternate trail route was proposed by the Hopkinton Trails Club soon after. The alternative proposal is intended as a solution to some of the potential drawbacks to specific portions of the Upper Charles Trail proposal (close to the schools, EMC park and echo lake area). Some of these potential drawbacks discussed were: 

  • A half mile of trail along the highway – Hayden Rowe Street (Route 85)
  • Three crossings of Route 85: 
    • Granite Street
    • Near Hughes Farm Trail or near 147 Hayden Rowe 
    • At McDermott Path
    • A crossing of either Chestnut Street at the light or Teresa Road and crossings at multiple driveways
  • Existing boundary markers are 12 feet off the existing roadway, meaning the UCTC’s 17 foot trail plus buffer simply cannot fit in the right of way and will require property takings or extensive, costly, and extremely disruptive major re-alignment of Hayden Rowe.   
  • The School Committee voted unanimously not to support the portion of the UCT route (Segment 6) that runs close to Marathon School and EMC Park. The town is considering a new school in this area and there are substantial wetlands in the area. 
  • Cost of paved trails proposed by UCTC vs. Stone dust trail proposed by TC – A stone dust trail focused on recreational use is one tenth the cost of a paved commuter-focused trail, primarily as a result of overly and unnecessarily detailed planning. The Trails Club recommends that the trail be a Class 5 stone dust trail like Holliston’s UCT.

Sources:
Upper Charles Trail Committee hears alternate trail proposal
Response to the Upper Charles Trail Committee’s (UCTC’s) FAQ Sheets From the Hopkinton Trails Club
Upper Charles Trail Proposal by Hopkinton Trails Club 

Also refer to:
UCTC FAQ regarding issues related to Hayden Rowe crossings, private property impacts, Materials and construction costs.

 

The Current State of the Debate

March 2, 2022

After the updated 2020 memo by VHB Engineering Consultants, which stated that Hayden Rowe likely would require a major makeover to accommodate the trail, some members of the UCTC were in favor of revisiting a plan to send the trail west of the Charlesview neighborhood.

One of the main roadblocks the committee had encountered previously was from a single property owner on the west side of the Charlesview neighborhood who asked the UCTC not to contact them again. This property falls on the alternate trail proposed by the Hopkinton Trails Club. Further negotiations are being planned towards purchasing this portion of land to accommodate the design of the alternate route.

Another big consideration discussed was accessibility of the trail. Fire Chief Miller explained – “accessibility, to get our apparatus in is really important.” Miller also said markings are vital, so people can give an accurate description of where they are. 

Source:
UCTC continues discussion about potential trail location
Updated 2020 Memo by VHB Engineering Consultants  

 

Upper Charles Trail Project Public Workshop: Scheduled for April 13, 2022
The Upper Charles Trail Committee (UCTC) will be conducting a public workshop on April 13 at the Hopkinton Senior Center.

When: Wednesday, April 13, 2022 from 5:00pm to 8:00pm
Where: Hopkinton Senior Center, 28 Mayhew Street

  • The goals of the workshop is to provide residents an opportunity to view and provide feedback on the proposed trail alignments evaluated by or presented to the UCTC to date. 
  • The workshop will be hosted by town staff, and individual stations will be set up for residents to ask questions of Town staff and shared-use path design professionals. 
  • Members of the Upper Charles Trail Committee will also be in attendance. 
  • A Google Meeting Room will also be provided for those residents who may not be able to attend in person. 
  • A host will be provided by the town to answer any questions in the remote meeting room. 

Source:
Upper Charles Trail Project Public Workshop

A meeting link and details for the workshop will be posted later. Stay tuned! 

Also Read: 

Upper Charles Trail Project – Part 1: The Beginnings

Upper Charles Trail Project – Part 2: Design Proposal and Potential Impacts

Correction made to this article on 04/08/2022: 

CURRENT STATE OF THE DEBATE:

One of the main roadblocks the committee had encountered previously was from a single property owner on the west side of the Charlesview neighborhood who asked the UCTC not to contact them again. This property falls on the alternate trail proposed by the Hopkinton Trails Club. Further negotiations are being planned towards purchasing this portion of land to accommodate the design of the alternate route. 



1 thought on “Upper Charles Trail Project – Part 3: An Alternative Proposal to Some Sections of the UC Trail”

  • Regarding this text: “One of the main roadblocks the committee had encountered previously was from a single property owner on the west who aren’t keen on having their front yards cut into to accommodate the trail right down Hayden Rowe.” It appears to be a mix of two separate statements (“…a single property owner…” “…their front yards…”). There is indeed a single property owner in the west section who has not agreed to having the trail on their land, but that is in the Trails Club’s proposed western alternative route. The part about folks concerned about the trail going across their front yards (and driveways) refers to the UCTC’s current proposal, which would send the trail down the side of Hayden Rowe Street.

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