A plan to establish a portion of bike path on Point Road that had fallen by the wayside appeared on the agenda of the Marion Open Space Acquisition Commission on February 1.
The plan to construct a bike path on Point Road between Jenna Drive and Joanne Drive was one of five proposed plans that was approved by Town Meeting back in 2005, said MOSAC Chairman John Rockwell, but after years of other more urgent projects crowding the MOSAC agenda, the project was never taken up by MOSAC or any other town entity.
“This plan was the only plan of the five plans that could be done without moving the roadway over,” said Rockwell via phone during a follow-up interview, which made this project more feasible and affordable.
With this approved plan, Rockwell said MOSAC has taken the initiative to apply for Community Preservation Act funding to get it started next year. According to Rockwell, MOSAC would have focused more attention on seeing the project through had it not been bogged down for years by Grassi Bog.
The property along the proposed strip of bike path is, for the most part, controlled by MOSAC.
“Regarding the CPA grant application that we’ll be submitting to build it, or build as much as we can, there’s a limited amount of money in CPA funds,” said Rockwell. “We’re (MOSAC) working on a [fiscal year 2019] budget so we don’t have a budget yet,” he added, so the amount of money that would be made available for this project would determine how much of it MOSAC could tackle. “It might not be able to be done at one time,” said Rockwell.
MOSAC is exploring estimates for the relatively small bike path project, which Rockwell said would likely be stone dust at first to keep costs lower.
“And then if it gets a lot of use and we get all the way to Jenna Drive, we’d pave it. We’d come back and ask [Town Meeting to fund it].”
The main goal with this bike path project is safety, Rockwell said.
“We just want to get people off the road,” said Rockwell, specifically that stretch of Point Road that he described as a bad turn. “People come pretty fast down the road and we don’t have a lot of visibility.”
Rockwell hopes the project will be granted CPA funds to allow for the permitting process to begin in June of this year. There are some sparse wetlands near the site, he said, so a filing with the Conservation Commission is imminent.
The next meeting of the Marion Open Space Acquisition Commission is scheduled for March 1 at 6:30 pm in the 13 Atlantis Drive conference room.
Marion Open Space Acquisition Commission
By Jean Perry