The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, September 16, 2005


BOS considers Cross Street pathway

The Board of Selectmen and the Planning Board held a joint meeting on September 13 with two goals in mind. First was the appointment of Brian Larson of 242 Autumn Lane as an Associate Member of the Carlisle Planning Board. This was done without delay by a unanimous vote from both boards. Larson will serve a two-year term ending June 30, 2007. The second item of business concerned an interesting proposal with respect to William Costello's 15-lot conservation cluster on Cross Street.

Developer offers 1/2-mile pathway

As everyone knows who has driven or walked Cross Street, it is narrow, winding and hilly. This poses a threat to pedestrians, runners and bicyclists, especially with the higher density of traffic expected when the development is completed. To remedy this, the Planning Board asked Costello, and he tentatively agreed, to build a pathway paralleling Cross Street that would extend along the entire frontage of his development — about one-half mile. Costello requested that the Trails Committee (or some other Town agency) obtain necessary permits for the work, such as permission to cross wetlands. David Freedman of the Planning Board explained that the pathway will meander on and off the shoulder of the road following existing contours and minimizing wetland disturbance. "The pathway will be partially in the Town's right of way, partially on Town-owned open space and partially on easements on private lot frontages," said Freedman.

Pathway surface and maintenance issues

Planning Board member Louise Hara said the plan includes four wetland crossings where boardwalks will be provided. Costello has offered to build the pathway to subdivision footpath standards with an adequate base and a bituminous concrete surface, but with aggregate rolled in to appear as gravel. Because of the recent controversy over footpath weed control, a bituminous concrete surface was considered. However, since this path will meander through several wooded areas, the Planning Board questioned the life of such a surface after trees grow and uproot the path, breaking it apart. Freedman agreed to talk with D.P.W. Superintendent Gary Davis for his recommendations.

Selectman Tony Allison was pleased with the offer of Costello to assume the cost of construction, but is concerned about the ongoing maintenance cost. Citing the Bedford Road footpath that is presently little used and overgrown with weeds, Allison wondered if anyone has estimated the burden to Town taxpayers once the Cross Street pathway is completed and needs repair and maintenance — "tree roots, poison ivy, brush clearing"

Freedman requested that the Selectmen find a way to commit to the maintenance since it will primarily serve the general public and not just the residents of the development.

Selectmen Chair Doug Stevenson respectfully acknowledged Freedman's request and plans to remain involved in the negotiations. He resides nearby and has personally viewed the pathway location, but confided, "Neighbors are more concerned about the two to three years of development-related noise and traffic."

2005 The Carlisle Mosquito