Watch ‘Revival: The Story of the Minuteman Commuter Bikeway’

The Minuteman bike path in East Arlington, pictured in May 2019.
The Minuteman bike path in East Arlington, pictured in May 2019.

While trail advocates in Dedham are licking their wounds after a disappointing local election, now seems like a good time to share this 2017 documentary on the Minuteman Commuter Bikeway, produced in celebration of the trail’s 25-year anniversary by Kim Downey.

The documentary features Tom Fortmann and Cathy Buckley, two co-founders of the Minuteman Bikeway organization, who recollect their neighbors’ opposition to the trail when they first proposed the idea in the 1970s.

“It took 18 years to build this,” says Buckley.

Fortman recalls that “many people who abut the bikeway were concerned that this was somehow going to bring crime and other bad things to their homes, which is a little bit silly,” recalls Fortmann.

Similar trail controversies have played out in many other towns across the state, but trail advocates have a good track record in patiently winning supporters to their cause.

In the late 1990s, for instance, voters in the wealthy suburb of Weston rejected by a large margin a proposal to build its local segment of the Mass. Central Rail Trail; last summer, that same trail section finally opened to walkers and bike riders.


Rendering courtesy of the Friends of the Dedham Heritage Rail Trail.

Saturday: Dedham to Hold Delayed Vote on Trail Referendum

Voters in Dedham will head to the polls on Saturday to decide whether to support the Dedham Heritage Rail Trail, a 2-mile connection between downtown Dedham, the town’s schools and the Readville commuter rail station. The advisory referendum asks voters whether they “favor, if there is no cost to Dedham taxpayers for design and construction, […]
Arborway project map

DCR Hosts Virtual Meeting to Discuss Arborway Safety Improvements

The state Department of Conservation (DCR) hosted a second public meeting Wednesday night for a project that’s expected to create new, protected bike and pedestrian routes along the Arborway in Jamaica Plain. The DCR’s “Arborway Parkways Improvement Project” kicked off last winter, and is aiming to produce detailed designs for a construction project that would […]
Advocates say that these upgrades to the commuter rail network would allow trains to run every 15 to 30 minutes on most lines. Courtesy of TransitMatters.

TransitMatters Issues Detailed Game Plan for Regional Rail Upgrades

Advocates from TransitMatters have released a detailed, $2.6 billion strategy for upgrading key commuter rail lines to attain 15-minute, all-day service to Beverly, Providence, and along Boston’s Fairmount Line. Last November, the MBTA’s Fiscal and Management Control Board (FMCB) endorsed an aspirational vision to electrify the MBTA commuter rail network to provide all-day, rapid-transit-style service […]