An inactive old rail corridor extends south from the MBTA Green Line D branch through Newton Upper Falls, overgrown and collecting debris. We now have the opportunity to convert it into a Greenway Trail for safe and car-free pedestrian and bicycle recreation, with easy access to the commercial areas on adjacent Needham Street for shopping and commuting. The really nice touch – we have a method to convert it for free.
The plan works like this: The MBTA, who owns the land, would give the city a long term lease to the property for a $1. The city would enlist Iron Horse Preservation Society, a nationally known rails-to-trails non-profit, to create the trail. Iron Horse removes the obsolete tracks and arsenic-laden railroad ties, sells them for scrap, and the proceeds pay for the construction of the trail.
The Upper Falls Greenway Trail would be a mile-plus linear park terminating at a scenic overlook of the Charles River. It would offer good connections to our other local walking paths, including the existing Charles River Pathway and the DCR loops to Nahanton, Cutler, and Millennium parks. A future trail connection to Needham, Dover, and Medfield via the proposed Bay Colony Rail Trail could provide the residents of Newton a chance to enjoy an off-road experience rivaling the popular Minuteman Bikeway in Lexington.
View a PowerPoint presentation about the plan here.