Trails Connecting Framingham
“Bike Friendly,” and “Bike Connectivity” are two terms heard
with increasing frequency in Nobscot and Saxonville, two historic
villages in Framingham. They are situated at opposite ends of Water
Street about a mile apart as the crow flies. Residents of each village
are actively engaged in a series of visionary sessions designed to
give residents influence over the inevitable changes both villages
face over the next decade. There are certainly many challenges and
opportunities unique to each village, which must be considered as
each explores its options for future development.
Both communities have one common feature – a rail trail. In
Saxonville, the mile-and-a-half Cochituate Rail Trail is now
complete and is enthusiastically enjoyed by residents for a number
of different health, recreation, and social purposes. The BFRT will
be a key feature of Nobscot as the trail brings people to the
Hemenway School, the new Framingham Library, and the shopping
center. Over the last decade construction and planning of the trail
have been proceeding slowly from the Lowell-Chelmsford line
south to Framingham. Sudbury, Nobscot’s neighboring community
to the north, is now planning the design of its portion of the trail.
The major stumbling block at this point for both Sudbury and
Framingham is that the right of way of these last seven miles of the
proposed trail is under the private control of the rail company CSX.
The goal is now to place the control of the right of way in the hands
of either local or state government. In other words – and this reality
cannot be overemphasized – the land on which the trail will be
constructed in these two communities must first be purchased.
Progress toward this transfer has been arduous over the last 14
years, but hope has been reignited. Town officials from community,
state transportation officials and representatives of CSX met in late
April to seek a mutually successful transfer of the property to a
public agency. Once this transfer is complete, both Sudbury and
Framingham can complete the BFRT in their respective
In addition, discussion is also beginning to find ways to connect
the BFRT to the Cochituate Rail Trail in Saxonville, the Upper
Charles Rail Trail in Holliston and Milford and the Central Mass
Rail Trail in Sudbury.
These possibilities for connections are extensive and exciting.
Connecting the various rail trails in the region will offer residents a
significant additional option for transportation. If you would like to
find out more about the development of this inter-modal
transportation system or would like to become more involved to
help make it a reality in MetroWest send an email to
firstname.lastname@example.org (John Stasik, the Framingham BFRT rep) with your thoughts.
Bruce Freeman Rail Trail Spring 2015 Newsletter