The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 13, 2008

Selectmen discuss new pathways in town center

With Doug Stevenson (vice John Williams/ Bill Tice clerk) preparing to take over the helm for Timothy Hult as the Chair of the Board of Selectman, Hult seemed focused on providing for a smooth transition at the committee as well as easing Carlisle’s acceptance of change. Hult highlighted the visible differences at the town center, and emphasized the town’s progress including the slow economy and alternative energy. “We’ve introduced a lot,” said Hult of the town green, and added, “It’ll take a while to get used to the changes.” He referred to the revised monument, the outdoor plaza at Ferns, the new park and the new footpaths.

Deb Belanger, chairman of the Pedestrian and Bike Safety Advisory (Pathways) Committee, reported on the progress of the pathway installation currently underway. With most of the stone work complete, the application of the two-inch binder foundation nears completion everywhere it can take place. The subsequent layer of one-inch asphalt will take place either June 23 or June 30 pending completion of outstanding stone work and resolution of a few outstanding homeowner concerns on Concord and East Streets. After three to four weeks, this second layer will “cure” and then the half-inch chip-and-seal surface can go down.

“We are required to put chip-and-seal in the Historic District,” said Belanger and added that the intent is to do that on Bedford Road as well. The Traffic Safety Advisory Committee feels compelled to honor the verbal understanding of the job when ten landowners off Bedford Road signed easements. The currently favorable project status and budget enabled Belanger to say, “We expect to be able to put it [chip-and-seal coating] throughout the system.” The coating results in a look perceived as compatible to New England’s historical structures. You can view a finished application of this approach at the Orchard House in Concord.

The Selectmen approved two applications that Belanger planned to make to the Historical Commission (June 11) for certificates needing to cover adjuncts in the center to improve pathway linkage and safety: one to connect the crosswalk across from the Gleason Library up to Ferns, and one at the north side of Bedford Road to the Lowell Street corner. Belanger reported that Ferns will share the cost of the pathway from the library crossing. The Selectman also supported amending a conservation restriction on a portion of the Bedford Road pathway to allow for asphalt versus a dirt path. Pending approval by all entities, the documentation will proceed from the Historical Commission to town counsel, to state conservation officials, back to the Board of Selectmen, and then back to the state.

Belanger will revisit the Selectmen at the next meeting scheduled for Tuesday, June 24, to discuss the formation of an advisory group to identify how pedestrians can most safely get around the common, and to consider applications to Chapter 90 funds which support establishment of safe routes to school. In addition to the Pedestrian and Bike Safety committee, she proposed representation from the Selectman, the Historical Commission, and the Planning Board. The Selectmen identified other stakeholder groups including the Unitarian Church and Village Court residents.

The Pathways Committee will host a celebration during the Old Home Day weekend on Saturday, June 28, at 2pm. Belanger hopes to also have a booth at the Country Fair to answer questions and share information about the current and proposed future projects. ∆

© 2008 The Carlisle Mosquito