The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, July 18, 2008

Selectmen vote to amend Bedford Road pathway easement

The Selectmen unanimously voted on July 8 to amend a conservation restriction (CR) to enable asphalt paving of the town footpath located on protected land along the north side of Bedford Road. The documentation now goes to the state for approval.

The restriction is held by the Carlisle Conservation Foundation (CCF) on parcels owned by its sister organization the Carlisle Land Trust (CLT) and others.The CCF/CLT had voted earlier, after lengthy discussion among board members, to allow the change. The three homeowners with easements for properties adjoining the land all supported the amendment.

The portion of the pathway under CR currently has the original stone surface, which has had weed control issues. It was noted that the unpaved surface is difficult for handicapped individuals to traverse. “The nature of a conservation restriction is that land will be preserved,” noted Selectman Timothy Hult. “I appreciate their [CLT/CCF] willingness to grant this amendment” in the interests of safety.

Wayne Davis, representing the CCF and CLT, appreciated the recognition of “seeing this as a non-trivial amendment” and noted the importance in terms of “trust and reliability to the public” that restrictions will not be changed at will.

Deb Belanger, chair of the Pathway Committe, updated the Selectmen on the pathways implementation. She cited a cluster of unfinished pieces that they hope to combine into one last construction period prior to the start of the school year. These include the Bedford Road area, the ATM corner, the area near the Fern’s Country store, and the remaining section from Concord Street to Church Street and up Church Street where there is a “huge amount of stonework to get done.”

Belanger noted that some abutters had voiced concerns about the pathway width being wider than the planned four feet, and as such, the paving company went back and trimmed the asphalt in some sections.

Finally, Belanger expressed concerns about finalizing a punch list of issues from the Selectmen, the Pathways Committee, the DPW, and the Traffic Safety Advisory Committee without negatively impacting the schedule. She objected to the need for the various groups to meet again seeing as it is inefficient. The Selectmen felt bringing the groups together was important in order to come up with the best list.

In related news, the Selectmen plan to appoint members to the new Town Common Circulation Task Force at the August 12 meeting. At Belanger’s suggestion, the board voted in June to create this group to study safety issues relevant to the pedestrian and vehicle traffic in the Town Common area. The task force is to include representatives from the Traffic Safety Advisory Committee, the Selectmen, the First Religious Society, the Historical Commission, the Planning Board, the Honor Roll Memorial Committee and town center residents. ∆

© 2008 The Carlisle Mosquito