Notes from the first meeting of the "Friends of the
Community Path", May 31st, 2000.
Andy Oakland reporting.
 
We had about 20 people in attendance; Joel says the
Email list has about 200 members. After introductions,
Greg Palmer gave a bit of the history of the community
path. Which goes through several names and
designations as it crosses through Somerville. We must
be patient; the Minuteman trail took seventeen years
to plan, though only three to build once it was begun.
 
Joel points out that we have a good beginning, with
the completed feasibility study from Rizzo Associates,
and strong city support.
 
http://www.bikerizzo.com/somerville/somerville_community_path.htm
 
 
Andy Rubel points out, even if the green-line
extension does materialize, it should not cause any
problems for the path, as the path would be on top 
of the embankment at that point and not on the same
level as the tracks. Where the path does descend to
track level, the right-of-way has ample space 
to accommodate rail traffic as well as the path.
 
One potential problem, though, is that we don't have a
good point-of-contact with the MBTA and may not be
informed if they decide to rebuild the embankment
without including space for the path. Other potential
problems are that it's possible that the Lowell St
Bridge would be rebuilt without accommodations for the
path, or that a driveway for the charter school would
take the space the path needs.
 
State and federal highway funding may be available for
the path, but this funding must be "unlocked". The key
to freeing the funds is that we must secure funding
for a full design of the path, which would cost on the
order of $130,000.The City of Somerville has
committed $30K towards the design, leaving $100K to be
found.
 
We decided to go in search of the $100K. Joel provided
draft letters to Thomas Birmingham and Charles Shannon
asking for funding for the design. Andy pointed out
that we're close to the state's biannual transportation
bond issue, and we may be able to get $100K added to
the request.†† 
 
We decided to organize a letter/postcard/phone call
campaign to have people contact their representatives
asking that $100K be provided for the design.
(Johnís research revealed that our deadline for the
state budget is June 8th. We will want to rethink our
letter writing campaign)
 
We concluded with five action items:
 
         John will investigate the deadline for being added to
the bond issue.
         Turil will investigate the legalities of putting up
card tables to ask for signatures and donations. We
may set up table on the bike path or in Davis Square.
         Joel will make a large graphic of the proposed path
for display at the aforementioned card tables. Apply
for a table at Artbeat.
         Kindra, Jessie, and Turil will investigate setting up
a web site.
         Andy will write up the minutes of this meeting.(All
done!:-)
 
Next events:
 
††††††† Tuesday, June 19th, at 7:00 - Another full-group
meeting at Joel's house.
 
††††††† Saturday, June 23rd, at 11:00 - Anyone who's
interested can walk along the proposed bike route.We
meet at Cedar St, at the current dead-end of the
path.(Rain date 24th, at 11:00)
 
We all thanked Joel for organizing a good and
productive meeting!