Friends of the Community Path -- Meeting Minutes 11-11-2002

Present: Kimberly, Arun(Ar), Bhupesh(Bh), Marc, Pricilla, Ron Farrar from the City of Somerville, Ethan, Turil, Bryce(Br), Alan(Al),Lynn,Brian,Joel.
Minutes taken by Alan, typed by Brian, sorted slightly by Bryce

Primary purpose of the meeting was to discuss the upcomming RFP for design of the 
path extension from Cedar Street to Central Street.

Br: Apparent funding obstacle now not money, but lack of cost estimates & budgets.
    Cedar-Central requires 3 property easements:
         VNA lot,Cambridge Health Alliance, and MBTA.
    Somerville City has draft lease from MBTA in hand.

    Mass Pike gave $50,000 toward design: award
    uniquely good since uniquely unrestricted, especially
    useful in these early stages.

J/Br: Why FCP working toward Cedar-Central piece separate?

MBTA has approved only part of complete, to
river, concept. Other part innovative, MBTA acceptance
not straightforward.
Why not piece meal? Br: Project size not related to
difficulty, # of separately-funded project parts _is_
related to difficulty.
E:Map present? Why not piecemeal, to fix cost, give
price tag to funders, allowing funding?
Br: Comm Path proj is Mass Highway's...[lost]

Turil still needs to print up broshures
Joel has some display boxes done
L: Somerville Womens Commision (SWC) got letter, gave
letter of support: these are quite influential: ~50
received so far, helped get funding.

Member lives on Richdale, supports: Alisia Bir___
Exec. Dir provided E. Somerville
Nelson Sal_zar, Fluffy Bergman,
-Groundworks(GW) as fiscal sponsor(FS)  L: FCP
received their FS proposal. Who could expertly
(GW co-ordinates volunteer landscaping of Path nearer
Davis - good org'n. MassBike was prev. FS, at no cost,
but tracking complex detailed expeditures doesn't suit
them. GW has put considerable effort into FS proposal,
so FcP shouldn't drop lightly., and FCP wants to avoid
possible conflict of interest - Dir involved with
Bikes Belong, which considers FCP grant proposal.
'______________ might know who could help

L: Somerville City chooses designers, not FCP
Br,...: (?) ...especially core City Mass Highway, yet
certain segments; garden, artwork, benches possible.
- Fed. Trans. Dept.'s T-3 (was T-21, was ISTEA)

Br: being considered soon: AmericaBikes lobbies for
bikes, etc. vs. truckers, etc.
Joining free, donation possible, advisable
Re: joining; no downside seen
J; proposed: FCP joins, gives $100

Bh: I'm Architect, Urban Planner
abutting lots:S-to-N:Camb health _____ parking lot,
VNA, Lowell St....
Maps Re: long term Somerville Transport routes....
FCP Why: 1) Joy: users: young, old, commuters are
easily fundable, socially emphasized subgroups
2) Prioritized Ideals: Crossings important ...
'linear path' vs 'rail line retrofit' typical
Green Corridor planning process
3) Real Obstacles...
R; ...hey, that's my map of Somerville land use
Bh: Rail2Trail linearity as drawback. disconnects from
rest of community -> importance of emphasizing
crossings in planning, impact/effect. Connect the red
Br:... Feasibility best connect favored
destinations Davis & [Union?] not addessed/addressable
by this old rail line/FCP
P Looked at Somerville Ave re-do project? Bikelane...
Br: Comm Path as Mass Bike Pike
T: ...or rt. 1 of bike world...
Br: How to feed into Bike Pike
L: reason for FCP: focus on 1) Rail2Trail (vs
Somerville Bike Commission), 2) community use, rather
than just bikes.
Bh: Two big Ave.s, Somerville and  ______, carry most
traffic, have most common destinations for driver or
cyclist, connect
Comm Path more as park than transport corridor

Br: FCP pre-existing focal limits ...much
beside...wide Right of Way ROW Cedar to Lowell, then
constrained by rail corridor, where Comm Pth must be
on bank
Central used to have rail Station, closed handful of
decades ago.
We don't want the path to be a tunnel, it should remain
open with as many long views as possible, especially
over the railroad.
Green line stop to come in ...
FCP to MBTA 'CP compatible w/ all plans MBTA 'might
be, we'll let you know' , except 'Cedar to Central OK,
witness re: MBTA lease draft , but MBTA scared of
Central -Northpoint' section

Interesting Study
A Japanese study of 2,211 senior citizens linked longevity to access to 
walkable greenspaces such as parks and tree-lined streets.  Living in areas 
with walkable greenspaces positively influenced the longevity of urban 
senior citizens independent of their age, sex, maritial status, baseline 
functional status, and socioeconomic status.  Greenery filled public areas 
that are nearby and easy to walk in should be further emphasized in urban 
planning for the development and re-development of densely populated areas 
in a megacity.

T. Takano, et al, Urban Residential Environments and Senior Citizen's 
Longevity in Megacity Areas, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 

Next meeting: 13 January 2002