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Christian Donner's blog

Upper Falls Greenway Groundbreaking on October 25th

On October 25th, Newton celebrated the groundbreaking of the Upper Falls Greenway, the first section of the Bay Colony Rail Trail to become a reality. We are excited to share this local Newton TV news story from the event:


Upper Falls Greenway

The Newton Bicycle/Pedestrian Task Force launched a website to promote the conversion of the Newton Upper Falls Greenway. For a detailed map and more information, visit

On Track with the Bay Colony Rail Trail (Winter 2011 Newsletter)

A cross-country skiier enjoys a porton of the 50-mile Air Line Rail Trail in eastern Connecticut, not far from the Connecticut River and the Massachusetts border.

501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Status for the BCRT

We have reached an important milestone - the IRS approved our application for becoming a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We received the letter in the mail just in time for the outgoing tax year.

"Eye On The Bay Colony Rail Trail"

Betsy and Christian chat with Ed Doherty about the Bay Colony Rail Trail on Eye on Medfield, Ed's weekly show on Medfield TV. The program was co-produced by our own Chris McCue and shows footage from other local rail trails at the end.

Hudson River Park

Hudson River Park trail in NYC On a hot June weekend I had a few hours to spend with my kids in New York City. When our boat returned from the Liberty Tour to the Circle Line pier, we decided to rent bikes and ride the Hudson Park trail. The kids had noticed the very busy bike trail earlier in the day when we visted the river front a few blocks further South in Chelsey, and they really wanted to try it out. So I rented two bikes at the place right in front of the Circle Line, one for myself and one for my son, and a trailer attachment for my daughter. She can ride a two-wheeler, but the trail is so busy that I did not want her to be on her own.

9 miles: Albany County Rail Trail


approximately 9 miles


approximately 117 acres


City of Albany, Town of Bethlehem, Town of New Scotland, and Village of Voorheesville

East Terminus

just east of South Pearl Street in the City of Albany

West Terminus

Riding On Railroad Ties

On the first warm Friday afternoon of the season I decided to seize the opportunity and explore the BCRT by bike – mountain bike, that is. I had not seen the entire length of the future trail, only what can be seen from the various road crossings along the way. The vegetation is encroaching onto the tracks, and there are sections that can become difficult to navigate later in the season, so this is an activity that I did not want to postpone.

National Association of Reversionary Property Owners

Most railroad rights of way were acquired from property owners in the late 1800's. A variety of legal tools were used, such as outright purchase, temporary easements, or eminent domain. This would be unimaginable today at this scale, but back then there was the political will and the public support to make this happen, because railroads served a greater public good - mass transportation.

Many rail lines have since become obsolete, though, and the corridors have fallen in disrepair. The reasons for this vary, depending on each specific line, but include the rise of the automobile, changes in local demographics, and public transportation at large being considered a phenomenon of yesteryear, and falling out of favor in many communities.

Common sense should tell us that this can only be temporary, and that the availability of energy-efficient mass transportation will once again become an economic factor for many regions. In the meantime, the public benefit of multi-use shared paths, greenways, and linear parks in our communities cannot be underestimated. As a people, a country, a community, we cannot afford that existing rail corridors and the associated rights of way are lost. The Rails to Trails Conservancy and other advocacy groups have come to the rescue and have been fighting for legislative ammendments, heightened public awareness, and the factual re-establishment of at-risk rights of way through multi-use trails in place of unused rail corridors.

The Nature-Deficit Disorder

A great article by Richard Louv on

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Random Images

Upper Charles Rail Trail, Milford

Upper Charles Rail Trail, Milford

Trail at Harding Street, Looking North

Trail at Harding Street, Looking North

Newton - Curtis Street (active Green Line on right, rail trail on left)

Newton - Curtis Street (active Green Line on right, rail trail on left)


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