Our town is similar in many ways to surrounding towns such as Weston.
In the late 1990’s there was an effort by a small group of individuals to install a rail trail in the Town of Weston. The effort in many ways was similar to what is being attempted by the Friends of the Greenway organization. That effort was defeated by a grassroots effort led by the citizens of the town. Here is a final report and a news article that provides a summary as well as perspective on why Weston chose not to have a rail trail.
They cited several reasons including:
- Was inconsistent with the town’s “character”
- Would become an invasive tourist attraction
- Would reduce the “quality of life” for Weston residents
- Would generate a large tax burden required to police and maintain the trail
- Would reduce property values thereby stimulating a flood of tax-abatement requests
- Would increase crime and litter
- A negligible number of Weston residents would use the Trail
- Would create an impossible parking situation
Here is another article from the Commonwealth magazine on why the rail trail efforts in Weston and Belchertown failed.