Docstoc

Danvers Rail Trail Development and Maintenance Plan Progress to

Document Sample
Danvers Rail Trail Development and Maintenance Plan Progress to Powered By Docstoc
					                 Danvers Rail Trail Development and
                                Maintenance Plan
                      Progress to Date and Next Steps




                                   Danvers Rail Trail Advisory Committee
                                                          March 15, 2011




Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011   Page 1
The Rail Trail Advisory Committee

In July of 2009, the Town Manager appointed a nine-member Rail Trail Advisory Committee
(RTAC) with broad representation from the community. The Committee meets monthly, usually
on the third Thursday of the month at 6:00 p.m. at Town Hall. A member of the Board of
Selectmen has been designated as a liaison to the Committee.


Members
       Charles Lincicum, Chair

       Ingrid Barry

       Paula Boyce

       Dan Curtis

       Matthew Duggan

       Lori Dupont

       Peter Matchak

       William Ward

       Sevan Demirdogen, Joint Appointee with Danvers Recreation Committee



Selectmen Liaison: William Clark



Staff support provided by the Department of Planning and Human Services

       Karen Nelson, Director

       Kate Day, Senior Planner

       Kristan Farr, Planner

Staff support provided by the Danvers Department of Public Works

       Robert Lee, Director of Operations

       Dianne Ryan, Electric Division

       Kelly Kobrenski, Electric Division



Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011       Page 2
Contents
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ............................................................................................................ 4
History of the Railroad in Danvers ................................................................................................. 5
Existing Conditions and Progress to Date ...................................................................................... 6
  Current Use of the Right-of-Way and Adjacent Land ................................................................ 6
  Ownership ................................................................................................................................... 7
  Grade Crossings and Bridges ...................................................................................................... 9
  Encroachment Issues................................................................................................................... 9
Proposed Use ................................................................................................................................ 10
  A Range of Experiences… ....................................................................................................... 10
  Surface ...................................................................................................................................... 10
  Trail Amenities and Opportunities ........................................................................................... 18
  Signage, Safety and Access Control ......................................................................................... 20
     Regulations Signs.................................................................................................................. 20
       Stop Signs ............................................................................................................................. 21
       Interpretive Signs .................................................................................................................. 21
       Mileage Markers ................................................................................................................... 22
       Safety at Street Crossings ..................................................................................................... 22
       Access Control ...................................................................................................................... 23
  Maintenance .............................................................................................................................. 23
  Recommendations for Resolving Encroachments .................................................................... 24
  Liability ..................................................................................................................................... 25
  Connecting Links ...................................................................................................................... 26
  Impacts ...................................................................................................................................... 27
  Future Costs .............................................................................................................................. 27
Outreach and Communication ...................................................................................................... 28
Partnering with Other Groups ....................................................................................................... 30
Conclusions and Next Steps.......................................................................................................... 31
Maps, Figures, and Existing Conditions Inventory ...................................................................... 32
Appendices .................................................................................................................................... 48
Related Documents Incorporated by Reference into this Plan ..................................................... 55




Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011                                                            Page 3
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
To understand the opportunity represented by the Danvers Rail Trail, it should be seen both in
historical context, as part of the ongoing life-cycle of our national transportation system,
bridging three centuries, as well as an organic link making connections within the town itself and
beyond to bordering communities.

The golden age of rail occurred between 1830 and 1860, as an enormous surge in railroad
building dominated the U.S. economy (see “History of the Railroad in Danvers” on the next
page). These early railroads replaced canals and horse-drawn wagons as the primary means of
freight transportation. By 1869, the transcontinental railroad was completed, and New England
itself was crisscrossed with nearly 7,000 miles of railroad track. U.S. railroads reached their
peak in terms of total track mileage in 1916.

However, successive years saw a reduction in track usage because of two new competitors: the
automobile and airplane. The rapid development and refinement of automobile and jet travel,
coupled with the development and completion of the U.S. Interstate Highway System, ultimately
doomed local rail transportation. Many rail corridors, such as the rail lines through Danvers, fell
into disuse and disrepair, overgrown with weeds, an industrial wasteland.

Today, as we enter the 21st century, many forward- looking communities have identified such
abandoned rail corridors as valuable, under-utilized infrastructure. They can provide ready
access to pedestrian and other non-motorized recreational users. They can be used economically
and beneficially to improve the quality of life for residents to engage in the kind of physical and
natural activity which is so needed today.

This development and maintenance plan speaks to the history (life-cycle) of the railroad in
Danvers, the foresight which identified the rail corridor as a possible community asset, and the
development of the rail corridor which has been achieved to date. While much has been
accomplished, and real progress made, there is much more to do before the development of the
rail trail can be considered complete, and the work of ongoing maintenance can begin.

However, we believe the goals are now in sight, and notwithstanding certain obstacles which
remain, the “track is clear” for the foreseeable use and enjoyment of the Danvers Rail Trail.




Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011                Page 4
History of the Railroad in Danvers
The Essex Railroad first came to Danvers in 1849, providing connections to Lawrence, Salem
and Boston. Shortly thereafter, a northern link was completed to Newburyport. The advent of
the railroad rapidly diminished the importance of Danversport as the central delivery point for
goods, and replaced the stagecoach as the common form of overland passenger travel. The
Boston and Maine Railroad assumed formal lease of the line 1860. By 1899, there were nine
stations, and 21 passenger trains ran daily between Danvers and Boston. The line, known as the
“Newburyport Railroad,” served as a competitive alternative to the powerful Eastern Railroad,
which connected coastal communities to Boston and Portland. Express trains linked Danvers to
Boston in a bit over half an hour, and one 1899 account notes that “a night theatre train gives
great satisfaction to a large number of patrons.” According to the same source, the railroad
became an economic engine: “…Nor are the freight facilities behind the passenger traffic; no
matter what part of the town you are located if you wish to send or receive freight to or from any
direction you have but a short distance to haul it, for so liberally are the stations located along the
lines of the road that all parts of the town are accommodated.” The “Iron Rails” carried various
shipments including wood, coal, hay, and grain into Danvers, and carried away leather goods,
shoes and bricks to distant markets. Connections now linked Danvers so that “one can start at
any hour for almost any town in New England and make the journey in an almost incredibly
short time.” Passenger service was provided on this line to Topsfield until 1950, when it was cut
back to Danvers; a single daily round trip was operated until 1959. The line was taken out of
service in 1977 and formally abandoned between 1981 and 2005. A well-preserved freight
                                                           house still stands just north of Charter
                                                           Street, and the original depot awaits
                                                           preservation after it was moved to a lot
                                                           off Cherry Street. The MBTA assumed
                                                           ownership of the Danvers stretch of the
                                                           old Newburyport line in 1976.
                                                           Committees to develop the existing
                                                           underused and abandoned railroad
                                                           corridor into a linear park were formed
                                                           as early as the 1970’s, and the idea for a
                                                           shared-use recreational path has been
Figure 1: Danvers Station, Oil Painting by Alden Goodnow seriously considered for over a decade.
                                                           This concept has been part of past and
current versions of the Danvers Open Space and Recreation Plan and the Community
Development Plan. In May 2006, Town Meeting voted to support efforts to move forward on
trail development along the 4.3-mile corridor, which winds on a north-south path through the
heart of Danvers along the abandoned railroad right of way. In November of 2008, the Town
signed a 99-year lease agreement with the MBTA to convert this corridor “from a former use as
a railroad right-of-way to a revitalized use as a publicly owned, improved and maintained
corridor for bicycle, pedestrian and other non-motorized public transportation, recreation and
associated purposes.”
In July of 2009, the Town Manager appointed a nine-member Rail Trail Advisory Committee
(RTAC) consisting of members with broad representation from the community. The Committee
is working to develop the trail using the salvage rights for existing rails and ties with the help of


Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011                   Page 5
Iron Horse Preservation, a non-profit group that develops rail trails in exchange for the salvage
value of the rails, at no charge to the community.
The trail will serve as a non-motorized shared-use path linking schools, the downtown, parks,
and residential neighborhoods along this beautiful green corridor. A grant from the Essex
National Heritage Commission will help ensure that the history of the railroad is told through a
series of interpretive signs in key locations, commemorating the trail’s link to this important
feature of the Danvers landscape and its history.

Existing Conditions and Progress to Date
At the time of the appointment of the Rail Trail Advisory Committee, the right-of-way still
retained its original rails and ties for most of the 4.3 mile-corridor, with the exception of a
section near the Danvers High School where the Electric Division had removed the rails and laid
gravel over the ties to provide access to a substation. In early 2010, the MBTA granted the
Town permission to remove approximately 1200 linear feet of rail in the area between Pine and
Holten streets in order to provide
the Electric Division with
emergency access to transmission
equipment in this area. Rail
removal in this section was
completed during the week of
February 15, 2010 by Iron Horse
Preservation (IHP), and the
Electric Division successfully
completed the necessary work
shortly thereafter. Full
authorization was provided by the
MBTA to proceed with rail
removal and trail construction in        Figure 2: Iron Horse begins rail removal, February 2010
March of 2010 and a scope of
services was executed between the Town and IHP (see Appendix A). The latter proceeded with
removal of remaining rails along the 4.3 mile corridor beginning in April of 2010; to date, all rail
and ties have been taken up, with the removal of several bundles of remaining ties and the
smoothing of the rail bed scheduled for Spring of 2011.

Current Use of the Right-of-Way and Adjacent Land

This right-of-way (ROW) in Danvers begins several hundred yards south of Route 114. Heading
north, the embankment is quite high and is clear. The ROW crosses Route 114 on a metal trestle
that appears to be in good condition. The surrounding area is commercial but difficult to access
because of the grade difference. The ROW continues with long, straight stretches punctuated by
several flat horizontal curves. The next sections are at grade, with some sections that are
elevated 20 feet or more resulting in steep sloping. North of Chestnut Street the right-of-way
rises above grade and the embankment is quite high.




Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011                 Page 6
The natural landscape and topography of the Danvers Rail Trail corridor is a mix of riparian,
second-growth conifer-hardwood forest, recreation, commercial and residential land uses.
Though no form of public use was legally allowed on the corridor prior to the MBTA lease
signing, it has historically been and still is well used by local residents – now primarily in places
where overgrowth is removed by either the Danvers Electric Department or adjacent landowners.

The Electric Division has erected power lines along most of the right-of-way extending south of
Wenham Street to the Peabody city line. The Division has a permanent easement for this use,
originally acquired from the Boston and Maine Railroad and extended with the MBTA takeover
of the line. According to the Division, it clears vegetation on a regular basis to maintain access
to its facilities.

Past uses include hiking, cross-country skiing, mountain biking, and horseback riding, although
many recreational uses were significantly impeded by the presence of the rails, ties and
overgrown vegetation.

Ownership

The Town of Danvers entered into a lease agreement with the Massachusetts Bay Transportation
Authority (MBTA) a corporate and political subdivision of the State of Massachusetts, on
November 12, 2008, for the “Alternative Transportation Corridor” (hereinafter referred to as the
Rail Trail). The leased premises are to be used for the purposes of the installation, operation,
maintenance and use of a rail trail as defined in M.G.L C.82§35A. The Town of Danvers is the
Owner or Operator as defined in M.G.L.C. 21E§2.

Rail trails are further defined in the general laws as a property converted from a former use as a
railroad right-of-way to a revitalized use as a publicly owned, improved and maintained corridor
for bicycle, pedestrian and other non-motorized public transportation, recreation, and associated
purposes. The remainder of the premises is to be used solely and exclusively by the Town of
Danvers to access, construct, and maintain the Rail Trail, and for ancillary uses, which provide
no revenue or other tangible benefit, and for other such uses as the MBTA may permit by prior
written consent.

The MBTA reserves the right to require the Town of Danvers to install improvements (including
but not limited to signs) designed to prevent or discourage those using the Rail Trail from
entering onto the remainder of the premises. A later section of this document will address the
signage contemplated by the Rail Trail Committee to discourage such unauthorized use, as well
as to set forth the intended conditions of Rail Trail use.

The lease sets forth the requirement that the Town of Danvers diligently act to fulfill its
obligations under the lease for the design, bidding and construction of the Rail Trail project. The
Town of Danvers has acknowledged that a failure to do so may negate the municipal liability
exemption for rail trails provided under M.G.L.C. 21E§2, as amended.

Under the terms of the lease the Town of Danvers assumes and accepts the Rail Trail “as is’, and
the MBTA makes no warranty of any kind, express or implied, as to the condition of the
premises or their suitability for use as a rail trail. The Town of Danvers is responsible for
complying with all applicable federal, state, county, municipal, and other statutes, laws, rules,


Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011                 Page 7
orders, and regulations as they may pertain to the Rail Trail. The Town of Danvers is
responsible for maintenance of the Rail Trail and is obligated to keep, repair, manage, operate
and maintain the premises in good clean order, operation, condition and repair.

The rights to the Rail Trail from the MBTA are granted subject to existing easements and rights
of record to the extent that such easements, rights, and takings are still in effect and applicable.
The Town of Danvers may request that the MBTA exercise any rights it may have to modify or
terminate an existing lease or license that would prevent the creation of a contiguous rail trail.

The MBTA has no obligation to provide security or lighting for the Rail Trail, and the Town of
Danvers is responsible for providing public safety and emergency services to the Rail Trail.
The term of the lease is for ninety-nine years. The lease is subject to possible earlier termination
upon two (2) years written notice by the MBTA to the Town of Danvers, as the Town of Danvers
acknowledges that the Rail Trail or a major portion thereof may be necessary for active railroad
or other transportation purposes in the future.

The MBTA may also terminate this lease with respect to any part of the non-rail trail portion of
the premises, with one (1) years written notice, so long as the use of that portion will not
substantially interfere with the public uses of the Rail Trail.

Although trail ownership and trail maintenance are closely correlated, it is not unusual for a trail
to be owned or leased by a government entity (such as the Town of Danvers) but to be
maintained in whole or in part by community volunteers. This can be a win-win relationship,
and it appears that the Rail Trail in Danvers is well positioned to develop along these lines.

For example, the Danvers Electric Division has an ongoing interest in maintaining certain
sections of the Rail Trail as a means to access power lines and substations. This interest can be
augmented by the efforts of local Rail Trail enthusiasts, scouting groups, and other community
organizations with a focus on community service. A similar pattern may exist with respect to
assistance in the payment for maintenance, where trail groups may be able to help fund a share of
maintenance through membership dues, donations, fundraising events, and local business and
foundation grants, even though the Town of Danvers actually owns the trail.

The Rail Trail lease to the Town of Danvers will expire on November 11, 2107. It is the hope of
the Rail Trail Committee that the kind of forward-looking thinking that has made the Rail Trail
available today as a source of recreation to Danvers residents, and the greater community at
large, will continue to guide the use and enjoyment of the Rail Trail for the next century.




Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011                  Page 8
Grade Crossings and Bridges

Along the right-of-way (ROW) corridor, there are 11 at-grade roadway crossings. Important
factors that must be considered in designing at-grade crossings are traffic volume, sight distance,
speed of traffic, gaps in traffic, width of intersection,
and angle of crossing. These factors pertain to both the
roadway and the trail. Grade crossings are as follows,
listed from south to north; maps of each are included in
the appendix, “Maps and Figures:”

           1. Prince Street
           2. Collins Street
           3. Pine Street
           4. Holten Street                                 Figure 3: Railroad Crossbuck, Pine Street
           5. Pickering Street
           6. Charter Street
           7. Maple Street
           8. Oak Street
           9. Poplar Street
           10. Chestnut Street
           11. Wenham Street
There is one major above-grade crossing referred to as the “Route 114 Trestle.” There are
several small bridges and culverts. A small bridge traverses Crane Brook near Dyer Court.
There is also a small overpass at the High School. See “Proposed Uses: Grade Crossings” on
page 14 for more detailed recommendations for future improvements at each crossing.

Encroachment Issues

The most significant encroachment found to date exists at 9 Wenham Street. The commercial
activity at this site extends across the entire ROW. It appears negotiation and/or other remedies
may be required to obtain a dedicated clearing through this area that will protect trail users from
mechanized activity.

Another example of commercial encroachment is the paved parking lot at 40 Poplar Street. The
length of the asphalt area is approximately 160 feet and extends 20 feet west onto the ROW.

Illegal dumping has occurred regularly along certain stretches of the ROW. Dumped material is
comprised of mostly yard waste including leaves and brush. Other types of trash are also visible
in certain areas that appears to have originated from adjacent properties.




Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011                      Page 9
Proposed Use
A Range of Experiences…

Under the terms of the MBTA lease approved by the Board of Selectmen in 2008, “the corridor
is to be used for purposes of the installation, operation, maintenance and use of a rail-trail (…) as
a property converted from a former use as a railroad right-of-way to a revitalized use as a
publicly owned, improved and maintained corridor for bicycle, pedestrian and other non-
motorized public transportation, recreation and associated purposes.” 1

Accordingly, the Rail Trail can be used for walking, jogging, hiking, biking, snowshoeing, cross-
country skiing, and similar uses. This means that the Rail Trail will mean a variety of things, to
a variety of people. Perhaps…where you held hands while out for a walk; a place to gather
one’s thoughts; where you jogged in the morning mist or walked the dog at lunchtime; the path
you strolled to go downtown for a sandwich or ice cream; met an old neighbor; bumped into an
old friend; saw part of Danvers you never knew existed; where you stretched out and read a
book; saw a beautiful yard; found a new plant; got an idea for your garden; where you brought
your out-of-town guests for a walk; a path to adventure; a place to explore; how you visited
Town Hall; walked to pay your electric bill; where you noted how high the streams were; or
                                             where you first noted a drought; where you sprinted
                                             through the woods; found an old railroad spike; took
                                             your child for a walk; rode bikes together; strolled
                                             home from church; walked to buy the newspaper; felt
                                             proud about living in Danvers; gave a suggestion to
                                             visitors passing through; returned a book to the library;
                                             watched the leaves turn in the fall; got soaked in a
                                             shower; pulled a sled in the snow; took a picture with
                                             your family; how you walked to the drugstore or
                                             restaurant; where you stopped for lemonade at a
                                             backyard stand; left the first tracks with your
Figure 4: Cross country skiers, winter 2011,
                                             snowshoes; took a field trip with your classmates; how
Danvers Rail Trail                           you walked home after school……

As noted above, the uses of the Rail Trail will vary for everyone, but our respective journeys
along it will make Danvers a more enjoyable community for all.

Surface

Trail Width

It is intended that the Danvers Rail Trail serve a wide variety of users, including pedestrians,
bicyclists, wheelchairs, and strollers. The following is the recommended trail dimension for
urban multi-use trails, as specified in the Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities,
produced by the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials
(AASHTO).

1
 “Alternative Transportation Corridor Lease Agreement between Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and
Municipality of Danvers” dated November 12, 2008.


Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011                         Page 10
                                                          The AASHTO Guide takes into consideration the
                                                          volumes, various speeds and space requirements
                                                          of different user groups.

                                                          a) Shared use paths should be designed with a
                                                          minimum cross section of 10 feet with 2 foot
                                                          shoulders. This will enable the trail to operate as a
                                                          two-way facility.

                                                          b) In areas with high volumes of trail users, 12-14
                                                          foot widths are recommended.
Figure 5: Taking a walk (rails and ties still in place)

                                               c) In extremely constrained conditions, or for
neighborhood trail connectors, trail width can be reduced to 8’, however this is generally only
appropriate for short sections of trails.

In accordance with the AAHSTO Guide, the following conditions should prevail and be
consistent with the projected uses in Danvers:
(traffic studies will be performed and documented by volunteers)

     Bicycle traffic is expected to be low, even on peak days or during peak hours
     Pedestrian use of the facility is expected to be moderate
     There will be good horizontal and vertical alignment providing safe and frequent passing
      opportunities
     During normal maintenance activities, the path will not be subjected to maintenance
      vehicle loading conditions that would cause trail edge damage

Trail Surface

Current Condition

The current trail, as it runs from the south, is a relatively flat corridor that does not exceed four degrees
in pitch at any put since it was designed for locomotives that would struggle in winter at any grade that
was greater. The width of the corridor is mostly 33 feet for most the length with sections expanding out
to 66 feet and narrowing at one point to 24 feet.

Urban Section (South Side to Maple Street)

The surface from the south most point to Pickering Street is compressed two inch minus that has been
overgrown and washed out in small sections. Some trees are down across the trail but would be easy to
cut up and lay aside. From Pickering Street to Maple Street, IHP has graded this section rather flat as a
dirt surface that will need to be covered in spring.




Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011                            Page 11
Rural Section (Maple Street to High School)

Prior to the removal of rails and ties by IHP, the surface in this area was mostly overgrown grass that
covered a rock bed. Much of this section had been narrowed by over grown invasive species or trees
and bushes that had been left unattended for many years. This section is now passable due to the work
by IHP.

Environmental Section (High School to Route 97 Wenham)

The start of this section is wet in most seasons and stays wet most the year due to ledge below the
surface. Prior to reaching Wenham Street a stream runs parallel to the rail bed and does not allow for
drainage. On the north side of Wenham Street, a small section is narrowed by rock cliffs on both sides
and has water at the base with no runoff. The rest of the trail is a raised rail bed that may be spongy
under foot in the spring but firms to a solid base for the rest of the year. The water level is governed by
the amount of runoff and beaver dams. This section was feared by railroad engineers because of the
                                       soggy base and shifting tracks due to the locomotive weight. The
                                       section now is a lush swamp area with a very diverse ecosystem.

                                         There are various surface materials available for
                                         construction of the trail tread. When selecting a surface
                                         material, it is important to consider the corridor setting,
                                         physical features, constraints, needs of the intended user
                                         groups, and the desired final appearance. Hard or semi-
                                         hard surface materials (asphalt, concrete, or crushed stone)
Figure 6: Early spring 2010, Swampwalk   are more practical and preferred for multiple use trails,
area prior to rail removal by Iron Horse especially in urban areas, where a high volume of use is
                                         expected. The hard surface materials tend to be more
expensive to purchase and install but require less maintenance and can withstand frequent use.
Hard surfaces also accommodate the widest range of trail users.

The goal for the Danvers Rail Trail would be to provide a firm stable surface to allow use by
walkers, bike riders, wheelchair users and strollers. As with other rail-trails, the historic use as a
railway provides a stable sub-base. If sections of the right-of-way need improvement, and a new
sub-base is installed, it should be four to eight inches thick, and compacted to a smooth and level
surface.

The sub-base is capped by a trail surface material. A final decision on surface treatments for the
trail will be made in the spring, with guidance from IHP. Factors such as product availability,
cost, life expectancy, anticipated usage, ease of maintenance, and user acceptance contribute to
the choice of surface type. At this conceptual stage of development, IHP suggests that
consideration be given to a granular stone or “crusher run” surface, which would provide a firm,
stable surface and accommodate a wide variety of users including walkers, joggers, bikers, and
strollers. Granular stone, if kept to a maximum of ⅜ inch diameter stone, also works well for
wheelchairs. Iron Horse is exploring various options for supplemental materials.




Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011                   Page 12
                                                     Limestone, sandstone and crushed rock
                                                     are types of granular stone. If crushed
                                                     to a very fine material and densely
                                                     compacted, they hold up well under
                                                     heavy use and are less intrusive to the
                                                     natural environment than asphalt or
                                                     concrete. Ideally, stone should be at
                                                     least four inches thick, spread over the
                                                     prepared sub-grade, and compacted.
                                                     Crushed stone should last seven to ten
                                                     years, although spot repairs or grading
                                                     will occur within that period.
                                                     Additional information on trail surfaces
                                                     can be found in “Trails for the 21st
Figure 7: Wachusett Greenway trail surface
                                                     Century: Planning, Design, and
Management Manual for Multi-Use Trails,” produced by Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.

The Danvers Electric Division has indicated that they require that the surface along their
transmission corridor (Peabody line to Wenham Street) must be surfaced with crushed stone to
provide a satisfactory surface for their trucks, and has suggested that a portion of their ongoing
budget for “Right of Way Revitalization” be directed to providing a stable stone surface along
their lines to provide acceptable maintenance access in this section

Future Condition

After IHP has completed their work, the section from the south end to Wenham Street will be either 3/8”
minus or crushed cement. From Wenham Street to the Northern end may remain a graded path with no
stone or crushed material based on money and availability of media.

After IHP has completed their work, the committee with create a list of plus and minus alternatives to
take the next step to pavement with sub-base or remain as is. This decision will be made by the
Selectmen and Town Manager, with input from various town committees and the citizens of Danvers.
The pavement step, if taken, is perceived to be a long-term solution and, at this time, no source of
funding for trail paving has been identified.

Grade Crossings

The Rail Trail Signage Subcommittee held a site visit on March 25, 2010 with representatives
from DPW - all eleven street crossings were individually evaluated. The following is a summary
of their findings and recommended future actions.

Major Issues and Recommendations: Safety for both the trail user and road user are
paramount. As Iron Horse completes trail smoothing and surfacing, implementing plans for each
intersection becomes more urgent. While the Rail Trail and the intersections must be designed
with the trail user in mind, specifically trail approach to intersections and trail signage, the
primary focus needs to center on warning drivers about upcoming intersections and providing a
safe crossing point for trail users.


Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011                 Page 13
                                        Street stencils preceding crossings are recommended; the
                                        subcommittee envisions a white painted “X” with some
                                        markings denoting a trail crossing painted on the
                                        appropriate lanes on the road surface, similar to existing
                                        railroad crossing markings (see example of Pine Street
                                        stenciling). Pedestrian/bike crossing signs, standard at all
                                        crosswalks, are also recommended, perhaps with a rail-
                                        trail motif to enhance awareness of the corridor.

                                          Classification of Crossings: The subcommittee broke the
                                          intersections down into three levels. Tier 1 intersections
Figure 8: Street stencils at Pine Street
                                          are those which the subcommittee feels will be the most
                                          difficult to design and construct in terms of safety issues
 and/or logistical problems. Tier 2 intersections are those of less concern than Tier 1, but still
 appear to pose moderate challenges for safe design. Tier 3 intersections are characterized by
 lower levels of traffic and will be the easiest to make safe and passable for both trail users and
 road users. Within each tier (below), intersections are listed in a south-to-north order.

Tier 1: Collins Street, Maple Street, Poplar Street, Wenham Street

         Collins Street
             Possible location for a flashing light
             Crosswalk needed
             Trail crossing signs needed along road
             Stencil warnings in road
             Rail removal and repaving completed for crossing by IHP Fall 2011
         Maple Street
             Direct trail traffic to cross at newly redesigned intersection, crosswalks and
                pedestrian lights are already installed. While this may not be the ideal solution,
                as a start it is the safest and easiest way to begin considering the traffic volume
                and existing crossing points
             Signage will be needed, primarily for trail users
             Pay phone on south side of Maple Street may need to be removed to provide
                proper width/access for trail users
             Possible location for a planter behind existing sign poles to split trail users and
                direct them to the correct crossing point
         Poplar Street
             High traffic volume
             40 Poplar Street has significant encroachment
             Possible need for pedestrian light or flasher
             Crosswalk to be installed, recommended at 90◦ angle to the road to reduce the
                crossing distance for trail users
                        Two existing crosswalks are close by, may need to relocate one
             Trail crossing signs will need to be installed on road, plenty of existing
                locations/posts
             Stencil warnings in road
             Good sight lines


Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011                 Page 14
        Wenham Street
           Town-built wall needs to be removed
           Crosswalk to be installed, recommended to be at a 90◦ angle to the road to reduce
             the crossing distance for trail users
           Trail crossing signs to be installed on existing posts on Wenham Street
                     Slight curve in road coming from Wenham, a trail crossing sign should
                     be installed on the road before the curve
           Stencil warnings in road

Tier 2: Pine Street, Holten Street, Pickering Street, Chestnut Street

        Pine Street
            Fence near culvert needs repair
            Crosswalk to be installed
            Trail crossing signs to be installed on road
            Stencil warnings in road
        Holten Street
            This is a unique intersection, a wide
               cross-striped area is recommended
            There is a bus stop nearby and plenty
               of room for trail design, small park a
               possibility here
            Trail crossing signs to be installed on
               road
            Stencil warnings in road
        Pickering Street
            DTAC reviewing report on redesign of
               the street intersection near the
               trail/street intersection
            Crosswalk to be installed
            Trail crossing signs to be installed on road
            Stencil warnings in road
        Chestnut Street
            Chestnut Street sees heavy traffic at certain times, specifically in the mornings
               and afternoons due to the High School
            There is a gate blocking access to the north side of the trail
                       The subcommittee recommends keeping this gate until a comprehensive
                       plan is finalized to direct trail users at intersections
            A planter in the trail at the intersection point may help to slow trail users, there is
               plenty of room at this intersection
            Crosswalk to be installed
            Trail crossing signs to be installed on road
            Stencil warnings in road




Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011                 Page 15
Tier 3: Prince Street, Charter Street, Oak Street

          Prince Street
              Blind corner coming from Merrimack Valley Distributing, possible coordination
                 with Merrimack Valley Distributing
              Crosswalk to be installed
              Trail crossing signs to be installed on road
          Charter Street
              One way road traffic
              The subcommittee recommends installing a stop sign for road traffic and giving
                 the right of way to trail users
              Crosswalk to be installed
              Trail crossing signs to be installed on road
          Oak Street
              The subcommittee recommends installing a stop sign for road traffic and giving
                 the right of way to trail users
                        This is a low traffic area, and a good place to let trail users continue on as
                        there are other nearby intersections where the trail user will be required to
                        stop
              Crosswalk to be installed
              Trail crossing signs to be installed on road

Future Actions: The subcommittee will meet with the Danvers Traffic Advisory Committee
(DTAC) to review any recommendations and any/all guidelines put out by various federal, state,
local and professional agencies in regard to proper implementation of signs and other safety
features.

Route 114 bridge

                                                The southern-most bridge on the Rail Trail is
                                                the Route 114 girder bridge that spans the four
                                                lanes of Route 114 adjacent to McDonald’s
                                                restaurant. The bridge is owned by Mass
                                                Department of Transportation (DOT).2 IHP
                                                has offered to apply a rust colored coat of
                                                paint to the bridge in the spring at their
                                                expense. The bridge has been deemed safe
                                                and is not on the state list of bridges that need
                                                immediate repair. The surface is currently a
                                                1½” minus rock base. IHP has committed to
                                                taking the extra rock off the bridge and
                                                moving the material to thinner spots. This
would allow a grade level pressed ⅜” minus material to be placed on top to create a seamless

2
  Mass DOT requires that permission be sought to use the bridge for trail purposes. The correct form has been
obtained and is awaiting consideration by Town administration. When consulted, Mass DOT officials indicated that
re-painting of the bridge may raise lead/hazardous materials concerns but that can be discussed as part of the overall
use request and evaluation.



Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011                                 Page 16
transition from the grade on both sides. Once IHP has finished their work, the RTAC will
submit a letter to the Town Manager and Selectmen for approval requesting McDonald’s
restaurant to honor their 2009 commitment to rebuild their old stairway from their parking lot to
the trail. This will serve both parties as parking and access for the trail will also allow trail users
to visit McDonald’s restaurant restrooms, provide additional business.

Rebecca Nurse bridge

                                                     Half way between Collins Street and Pine
                                                     Street is a railroad bridge constructed of
                                                     ties. The bridge was built in order to
                                                     allow the passage of water from the
                                                     Crane Brook below. The bridge is of
                                                     sufficient width and strength to support
                                                     any means of vehicle that would travel on
                                                     the Rail Trail. IHP placed landscaping
                                                     timbers on a 45-degree angle last fall.
                                                     They have also committed to place
                                                     railings on both sides for safety and
                                                     guidance this coming spring. This step
                                                     was beyond the two agreements that were
                                                     signed but was offered as a good faith
measure. If IHP does not complete the railings, RTAC will pursue help in labor and material
from a local entity.

First pedestrian bridge on Cabot Road

                                                         Half way down Cabot Road is the first of
                                                         two pedestrian underpasses. The small
                                                         earth bridge is a filled-in depression that
                                                         allows for crossing over to Cabot Road for
                                                         students to walk to the High School and
                                                         the Rail Trail to pass over. The material
                                                         for this bridge will be compacted ⅜”
                                                         minus rock. Railings are seen as optional
                                                         at this time but will be discussed with the
                                                         appropriate town department to consider if
                                                         a program should be put in place to finance
                                                         and construct a railing system for safety.




Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011                    Page 17
Second pedestrian bridge near High School

                                                    Directly adjacent to the High School and the Electric
                                                    Division substation is the second pedestrian bridge.
                                                    This bridge is covered by two metal plates. The
                                                    Electric Division has driven their vehicles down this
                                                    section and the plates are sufficiently robust to
                                                    support Rail Trail activity. IHP and the Electric
                                                    Division have both stated they would not want to
                                                    remove the metal plates. IHP has offered to coat
                                                    these plates with an abrasive no-skid material that
                                                    would supply traction for trail users. Additionally,
                                                    IHP has committed to install a railing system to
                                                    increase the safety factor of this section. Failing IHP
                                                    installation of a railing system to aid in safety and
passage of this section, a welded railing system leaving sufficient width to allow passage of electrical
trucks could be considered.


Trail Amenities and Opportunities

Amenities along the trail could include the following:

General:
       Benches
       Bike racks
       Safe passive recreation area

Natural:
       Open spaces and parks
              Choate Farm Conservation Area: 22 acre conservation area

                   Moore Woods: five acre conservation area

                   Putnamville Playground: small neighborhood park

                   203R Locust Street: eight acre open space parcel adjacent to high school and
                   Putnamville Playground, includes Third Pond for fishing, skating, etc.

                   Swampwalk: elevated boardwalk across large wetland area

                   Mill Pond: pavilion and benches

                   Tapley Park: baseball fields

        Habitat areas:
                Vernal pools at high school and 203R Locust Street (Spurr property)
                Great Wenham Swamp


Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011                Page 18
        Adopt-A-Trail segments available at quarter-mile increments for sponsorship

        Planters: Railroad tie planters to be added to Adopt-an-Island Program. Islands will
         be sponsored, planted and maintained by local businesses and organizations.

        Farms:
                  Connors Farm, Valley Road

        Passive recreation activities:

                  Birdwatching                     Cross country skiing
                  Dog walking                      Hiking
                  Mountain biking                  Photography
                  Running                          Snowshoeing
                  Stroller use                     Geocaching

Transportation:
       Bus routes and stops: The MBTA runs busses through the downtown area. Check the
         schedule at http://www.mbta.com/schedules_and_maps/bus/
                    468 - Salem Depot-Danvers Sq. via Peabody
                    465 - Salem Depot-Liberty Tree Mall via Peabody & Danvers
                    436 - Liberty Tree Mall-Central Sq., Lynn via Goodwins Circle
                    435 - Liberty Tree Mall-Central Sq., Lynn via Peabody Square

        Parking areas: Holten Street lot, downtown lots, High School, Tapley Park

        Local routes: Routes 114, Route 62 and Route 35

        Highway routes: Interstate 95, Route 1

Commercial:
         Downtown: a variety of restaurants, convenience stores, nail salons, hairstylists,
            banks, pharmacies, dance, fitness and martial arts studios, home and automobile
            care, and other services are available throughout the downtown area. Businesses
            are mainly located on Maple Street, Elm Street, Conant Street, High Street,
            Hobart Street, Cherry Street, Locust Street, and Page Street.

                     Post Office, Conant Street
                     Western Cycle, Maple Street

           Trailside businesses
                    Wal-Mart, Andover Street
                    Lowe’s Home Improvement Center, Andover Street
                    McDonald’s Restaurant, Andover Street
                    Boston North Fitness Center, Prince Street
                    Pete’s-A-Place Restaurant, Pine Street
                    Chet’s Lock Shop, Pine Street

Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011             Page 19
                       Sweet William’s Garden Center, Pine Street
                       Olive Garden Restaurant, Andover Street
                       Centro Indoor Soccer Facility, 150 Andover Street (under construction)
                       Cherry Street Fish Market, Hobart Street
                       YMCA, Pickering Street

Town services:
          Town Hall, Sylvan Street
          Peabody Institute Library, Sylvan Street
          Danvers Electric Division, Burroughs Street
          High School, Cabot Road
          Fire Department, High Street
          Police Department, Ash Street

Lighting: None--usage of trail strictly dawn to dusk

Tourist and Historical:
           Rebecca Nurse Homestead, Pine Street
           Danvers Historical Society, Page Street
           Witchcraft Memorial, Hobart Street
           East Plains railroad station

Educational:
          Outdoor classrooms for local school groups
          Bird watchers, biologists, botanists, geologists, historians
          Railroad history depicted through interpretive signs


Signage, Safety and Access Control

The Rail Trail Advisory Committee formed a signage and safety subcommittee in the Fall of
2010. The subcommittee has been working on several fronts, including regulations and
interpretive signage and mileage markers.

A logo was developed (at right), consistent with the styling of the
Border-to-Boston trail signage. Topsfield also adapted this for their
“Linear Common” logo, and it is expected that additional
communities may also do so to provide visual consistency.

Regulations Signs

 With the help of graphic design volunteer Adam Prentiss, the group developed a “Regulations”
trail sign (next page). Costs for the signs (which will be paid for by Iron Horse) will be about
$30 each; a total of 30 signs will be ordered to allow for several in reserve in addition to posting
one at each trail entrance at the 11 street intersections. The regulation sign can also be posted at
other key points as needed, and having several in reserve will allow for quick replacement in the
event of theft or vandalism. Note the small “Danvers Rail Trail” logo next to the Town seal in
the lower right.


Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011                 Page 20
Trail use will, of course, also be governed by Danvers’
general bylaw provisions: “CHAPTER XXV-
REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE USE OF TOWN-
OWNED LAND,” which offer more extensive guidance
regarding the full range of permitted and prohibited activities
on Town land. The full text of this bylaw is provided in the
Appendix, “Related Documents Incorporated by Reference in
this Plan.”

Stop Signs

A small stop sign will be posted on the back of each
regulations sign so that trail users are alerted to upcoming
street intersections. These are to be paid for by Iron Horse as
well. The sign is consistent with those used on the Topsfield Rail Trail, and it is anticipated that
Wenham may also utilize these for consistency along the Danvers/Wenham/Topsfield trail
continuum.

Interpretive Signs

The Planning Department received a grant from Essex National Heritage Commission for
interpretive signage commemorating the history of the railroad in Danvers. The signage
subcommittee is currently completing research and development for what will most likely be a
series of three large interpretive signs with photos, maps and text. The grant is a matching grant,
providing funds in the amount of $2,500 which can be matched with in-kind contributions and/or
volunteer and staff time. An example of Topsfield’s lovely interpretive sign is shown on the
below; it is anticipated that the Danvers signs will be similarly styled. Plans call for completion
and installation of these signs by June 30, 2011.




                                  Figure 9: Example of interpretive sign, Topsfield




Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011                 Page 21
Mileage Markers

The signage subcommittee is developing plans for installation of mileage markers at intervals
along the length of the trail. The group met with public safety personnel from Danvers to
establish the maximum distance desirable between markers (1/10 mile or, at maximum, ¼ mile)
and has secured examples of sponsor-funded mileage markers from the Salisbury Rail Trail team
(below, left). These are attractive, simple and inexpensive; the marketing package prepared by
Salisbury to sell the sponsorship is included in Appendix C. An alternative design is shown on
the right.




In the Salisbury example, the signs are provided in exchange for an annual trail
sponsor commitment of either $250 or $150 per sign; all of the funds raised
will be used to maintain and improve their coastal trails. Within a couple of
months of launching this program, Salisbury has raised $4,000 for trail funds
through this initiative. Both examples illustrate a clear way to allow trail users
to identify their location on the trail to allow public safety personnel to respond
quickly to any emergency.


Safety at Street Crossings

The signage subcommittee has conducted an
extensive series of site visits to review crossing
design, accompanied by staff from DPW when
appropriate. The group recommends that striped
crosswalks be painted at each crossing, in
accordance with the design preferred by DPW
and public safety staff. Signs showing a
pedestrian crossing the street should be installed
consistent with all other pedestrian crossings in
Danvers. The removal of rail from the street        Figure 10: Iron Horse removing rail from Pine Street
beds, conducted by Iron Horse at their expense,     crossing, fall 2010
has significantly enhanced the pavement surface
for both pedestrians and bikers using the crossings as well as improved the maintenance outlook
and driver experience in these areas.


Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011                     Page 22
Access Control

In order to prevent automobiles from entering at trailheads, bollards will
be needed at each street crossing. DPW and the Electric Division have
reviewed options and prefer to utilize a design that has proven
successful and acceptable in other locations, which consists of a cement
collar with a steel insert, topped by a PVC cap encased in a bright
yellow plastic sleeve. The Rail Trail Advisory Committee defers to
Electric Division on what is acceptable, as the bollard’s chief function is
to impede vehicles from entering the trail but to allow quick access
should Electric need to repair transmission lines along the corridor. Iron
Horse has indicated that they will pay for the bollards and provide the
labor for their installation. Each location will be evaluated by Dig Safe
prior to installation. One bollard at the center of each trail entrance is planned. An example
(located at the entrance to Sandy Beach) is shown at right.

Maintenance

The (RTAC) and volunteer groups will work with the Danvers Electric Division on vegetation
management. A significant part of work will be done during trail construction.
Recommendations are to remove organic matter along the sides of the trail to help prevent
vegetation re-growth. A two foot- wide shoulder with 1.5% slope built with soft surface material
will help with drainage and re-growth. Iron Horse will be doing this work in the spring of 2011.
All the volunteer groups will work together to remove rubbish and debris on the trail. We will
selectively clear and thin existing vegetation to provide safe passage. This work will be done in
the spring of 2011.

Our trail is in a natural setting; organic debris will be left trailside unless deemed unsafe or in the
way of utility trucks. Then the material will be chipped up and used trailside.
The RTAC is considering a plan to install flower planters at the side of trailheads that would
become incorporated into the Town’s existing Adopt-an-Island program. North of Wenham
Street the trail becomes very wet. Some drainage solutions may be needed. Some of the long-
term maintenance issues:

              Fixing drainage problems
              Repairing eroded areas
              Dragging the surface twice yearly
              Re-surfacing (average non-asphalt trail every nine years)
              Cutting grass
              Removal of leaves
              Removal of falling trees
              Invasive species removal
              Pruning
              Tree and shrub planting

Snow Management

Snow removal on the trail will not be necessary. The RTAC recommends that snow dumping at
trailheads be discouraged to allow continued access for passive recreation activities during the

Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011                   Page 23
winter months. This will help with winter trail users’ safety and the minimize damage to gates,
signs and planters. With DPW’s assistance, entrances can be kept clear for winter passage at all
11 crossings.

Recommendations for Resolving Encroachments

40 Poplar Street
The Committee recommends that the Town work with the MBTA to provide the required thirty
day notice3 that part of this parking lot has to be removed to allow the Rail Trail to follow its
natural course. By changing from head-in to parallel parking, four parking spots will be lost but
the corridor could be added. If done correctly, the cost could be minimized by using the parking
lot as part of the trail and not remove the asphalt but rather fence the section for safety and taper
the ends off to street level on one side and trail level on the far side. This Route 62 crossing is
extremely busy and every attempt to stop trail users before crossing should be made.

In any case, the support and help from the Board of Selectmen is needed to help bring this
encroachment issue to a resolution.

9 Wenham Street

It is recommended that the Town Manager/Board of Selectmen, RTAC and the operator of 9
Wenham Street meet and try to find a resolution that works for both trail users and this
established business. Some of the suggested resolutions could be:

                  a. pull all material back to the correct property line;
                  b. create a 12-foot wide corridor through the property and fence both sides;
                  c. design trail to take a detour around playground and rejoin on far side of
                     Wenham Street;
                  d. run trail along fence in left field of playground; or
                  e. negotiate another solution to provide effective and safe access.

Along with this, a decision should be made about the trail area directly behind the mulch pile.
This 500 foot section of trail is very wet in all seasons and would require a great deal of work
and upkeep to keep in passable. Suggestions have been made to bring the trail into established
paths in the adjacent woods and come down the road that once went to the substation.

Note: The point of the trail directly behind the mulch pile is known to be the location of a
triangular-shaped granite post that says N20 on one side and B20 on the other. This is the
halfway point between Newburyport and Boston. Every attempt to find this post has been
unsuccessful but the searching will continue.

Brush and Other Dumping as an Encroachment

Visual inspection of the existing corridor suggests that many abutting property owners have
historically used the rail bed as a place to dispose of yard waste; as the trail is completed and

3
    See Appendix B.


Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011                  Page 24
usage expands, additional reminders may be necessary to eliminate this practice. Under the
provisions of CHAPTER XXV, “REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE USE OF TOWN-
OWNED LAND,” Section 3.f. prohibits “Littering, dumping, or placing of waste of any
description on Town-owned lands or in ponds, brooks, streams, waterways, or rivers, except in
containers designated for such purpose.” Also under Section 10, “Visitors to Town-owned land
are urged to leave the land in the same condition in which they found it and to report violations
of these regulations to the Danvers Police Department, the Town Manager, or the Open Space
Management Task Force.” Specific enforcement authority is provided under Section 11, “On all
Town-owned property, violations of these regulations may be punishable by fines not to exceed
$100.00 (M.G.L. Chapter 40, Section 21).”

Liability

Under the provisions of CHAPTER XXV, “REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE USE OF
TOWN-OWNED LAND,” Section 9. Public liability, “The Town of Danvers cannot assume for
itself any liability for injuries to persons or damage to their property while on Town-owned land;
persons entering thereon do so at their own risk.” While every effort can and should be made to
create a safe and enjoyable trail, the Town’s exposure to liability for rail trail use is identical to
that for any other piece of Town property, including parks, streets, playgrounds, etc.

Under state law, the Town of Danvers is generally shielded from suits related to use of the towns
recreational facilities, and the municipal insurance coverage carried by the town will extend to
the use of the Rail Trail. However, it is helpful to set aside concerns for the Rail Trail to
consider what actually is known:
        Rail trails and rail trail users are inherently safe. Most reported suits are the result of an
        individual being reckless, who then seeks to shift blame for injury onto the trail owner.
        Rail trail incidents are relatively few: A survey of over 100 trail operators, where trails
        had been in use for an average of twelve years, with an average trail of 136,986 users per
        year (over 150 million trail visitations) revealed only 11 rail trail related suits.

The RTAC is aware of basic steps that can be taken which will help to mitigate liability to the
Town. These include:

       Designing the trail for safe use. A safely designed trail will help insure the positive
       experience of the trail users, while avoiding possible injuries. Particular care is needed at
       street crossings, and trailhead access points;
       Establish regularly inspections of the Rail Trail Advisory Committee, and correct any
       unsafe conditions, and keep records of actions taken to help insure and maintain safe
       conditions; and
       Prominently displaying the hours of Rail Trail operation, other rules and regulations, and
       emergency contact information, at trail heads and access points.

The Town of Danvers has a number of active departments with resident expertise that can help
safely guide the Rail Trail as it develops. The Rail Trail Advisory Committee has sought and
will continue to seek input and oversight from the Danvers Electric Division, the Fire
Department, Planning Division, Police Department, Public and Environmental Health Division,
Public Works Department, Recreation and Waterfront Divisions, and the School Department,
and their related committees. Rail Trail Advisory Committee meetings are regularly attended by


Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011                   Page 25
representatives from Electric, DPW, and Planning; a member of the Recreation Committee is
also on the Rail Trail Advisory Committee. Representatives from Fire and Police have been
designated as Committee liaisons and have been consulted on matters pertaining to safety and
enforcement. The professional and volunteer “eyes and ears” that presently make the Town of
Danvers a pleasant and safe environment should be similarly used in the development of the Rail
Trail.

Some additional comments and statistics related to trail safety and liability4:

        Two-thirds of all rail trails are open from dawn-to-dusk, with most of the remainder
        being open 24 hours a day. Few trails have specific hours of operation. The plans for the
        Danvers Rail Trail call for a dawn-to-dusk schedule.
        Approximately three quarters of all rail trails are patrolled by local police, or similar
        municipal authority; while about one-third have some sort of citizen patrols, with some
        overlap. Specific plans for patrol of the Danvers Rail Trail remain to be developed.
        About two-thirds of all rail trails report vandalism of signs, including graffiti and theft,
        with about one-third of rail trails reporting some instance of vandalism, dumping and
        trespass (mostly illegal ATV access). The Town of Danvers may reasonably expect some
        instances of this type to occur, though will exhaust every available effort to mitigate such
        damage.

Connecting Links

South

The southern portion of the trail could potentially progress 800 feet and join the “on street”
portion of the Peabody trail near the Getty Gas Station on Lowell Street. The City of Peabody is
currently exploring lease options and trail development for this section.

North

The trail will continue across Route 97 into Wenham
and the Audubon Sanctuary, will again cross Route
97 at the Canoe Launch and continue to the Topsfield
Fairgrounds and Topsfield Center. Wenham and
Topsfield will work with the State to add safety
measures at the crossings on Route 97 and Route 1.
Wenham will provide a gate to prevent vehicle access
at the entry leading to the Swampwalk off Route 97.

West                                                             Figure 11: Topsfield Rail Trail, called "The
                                                                 Linear Common" - note stop sign and cross walk
A potential east-west connection exists across Route
62, continuing to St. John’s Preparatory School. After crossing under Route 95 and Route 1,

4
  See “Rail Trails and Safe Communities,” Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, January 1998, available in the Planning
Office and online at http://www.railstotrails.org/resources/documents/resource_docs/tgc_safecomm.pdf for more
information.



Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011                            Page 26
Essex Agricultural and Technical High School and Middleton Square would be accessible.
While this is outside the scope and mission of the Rail Trail Advisory Committee at present, this
could be a valuable addition to the north-south trail currently under development.

East

A potential connection exists crossing the trestles at Endicott Street which would allow access
to Peabody Square and Salem. This railroad bed is currently under the control of Guilford
Transportation; no rail-trail lease rights exist along this right-of-way at present.

Impacts

A variety of impacts, both positive and negative, may be reasonably anticipated in association
with the completion of the trail. These include:

Positives:
       Significantly enhanced access for Danvers Electric Division to transmission lines
       Property values tend to increase in proximity to rail trails
       Exercise and health benefits to community
       Creates a beautiful, scenic corridor
       Educational opportunities
       Non-automotive connectivity to new Centro soccer facility/Walmart/Peabody Institute
       Library/downtown/Swampwalk/Wenham/Topsfield and ultimately Border-to-Boston
       communities
        Reduces need to drive for around-town trips
       Better street crossings/paving smoothed at intersections
       Potential increase in visits to trailside businesses

Negatives:
      Disruption/loss of privacy for adjacent properties
      Potential additional burden on public safety
      On-going maintenance requirement
      For encroachment areas, potential loss of private use of ROW may be seen as negative to
      those currently using the ROW (40 Poplar Street, 9 Wenham Street)

Future Costs

This often-asked question is difficult to answer due to the variables that are present. Rail trails
are finished when the owners of such trail are satisfied that the trail is complete for the designed
function and use. The calculated cost and funding sources will be the next focus for the RTAC.
The IHP program (Phase 1) will be complete in spring and leave Danvers a very usable and safe
trail. Pursuit of next steps will be guided by communication with the Town Manager and
Selectmen, as indicated. Phase two on the program may include such steps as:

    Research
        Researching records and maps for abutting parcels to determine ownership, rights of
        way and restrictions



Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011                  Page 27
    Digitized Maps
        Create digitized maps showing footprint, design, boundaries and easements

    Feasibility Study
            Determine the plan and document the results of municipal and citizen partnership
            that will identify the need, desire and concerns of the trail
    Conceptual Design
            Create a final plan and concept design that identifies possibilities that encourages
            public review, participation and comments
    Vision
            Document and set in motion the design and carry out the benefits that will be
            brought to the community. Report to the Town Manager and Selectmen on the
            progress and completion stages during the process

Note: The above bullets are stages of completion derived from suggestions received when the
RTAC had a presentation from Caspian Associates (Stacy Carpenter) outlining the process to
maximize the benefits a Rail Trail will bring to Danvers. Sponsored by George Saluto of the
Open Space and Recreation Advisory Committee, Stacy has indicated that the process she
proposes will be of no cost to Danvers and result in a finished project that will benefit not only
the citizens of Danvers but will concentrate on students and education first and foremost.

Items that have been discussed so far by the RTAC include, Phase 2 to be financed by Iron
Horse, grants, volunteer patrols, Open Space interns and Scouts:
    1. Rail and tie removal, trail smoothing and compaction conducted by Iron Horse in
        exchange for rail salvage at no cost to the Town
    2. Striping of crossings and installation of pedestrian crossing signs (DPW)
    3. Other improvements funded through grants and private donations
    4. Every effort will be made to not use town tax base or funds
    5. Volunteer patrols will be set up to help
    6. No trash barrels “ Carry in, carry out”
    7. Danvers Electric currently has an ongoing vegetation management plan in place for the
        portion of the corridor extending from the Peabody line to Wenham Street in order to
        keep the way clear for their equipment. Additional, supplemental trail maintenance and
        management will be conducted through volunteer efforts (Scouts, Bi-Peds, volunteer
        mowing crew) with a goal of consistent trail grooming two or three times per year.
        Ongoing trail maintenance will be a collaborative effort between Danvers Electric and the
        Rail Trail Advisory Committee for the portion south of Wenham Street; the portion north
        of Wenham Street will be a volunteer effort directed by the Committee.


Outreach and Communication
Since the inception of the Danvers Rail Trail Advisory Committee in July 2009, the Rail Trail
Committee has met on a monthly basis, with meetings publicly scheduled and posted in
accordance with Open Meeting Law. These meetings are expected to continue for the
foreseeable future, and certainly throughout 2011. Most meetings have been held at Danvers
Town Hall, with the Danvers Senior Center and the Danvers High School also used on occasion.


Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011                 Page 28
Several meetings were attended and supported by rail trail advocates from neighboring
communities, including the Topsfield Rail Trail Committee, the Independence Greenway
(Peabody, MA Rail Trail), and rail trail representatives from Wenham, Lynnfield, Wakefield,
and Newburyport. Each of these communities are underway with plans to convert former
railroad rights of way to recreational uses, with Peabody having already completed a substantial,
paved recreational pathway.

Early on, an Outreach Subcommittee was formed to help foster communication with members of
the Danvers community. With assistance from Town staff, the following outreach activities have
taken place to date:

    Presented a televised update/overview to the Board of Selectmen in April 2010, with staff
     from IHP present to discuss plans for rail and tie removal and trail construction;

    Notified trail abutters when IHP was beginning work along the corridor via mail and a
     reverse-911 phone call;

    Developed a Rail Trail informational brochure, which is available on the Town’s website
     and at Town Hall;

    Developed a list of FAQ’s regarding the trail and its purpose (see Appendix D);

    Met on-site with abutters expressing concerns for the impact of the trail on their property;

    Publicized meetings and events through local media to provide for transparency and
     communication;

    Held a widely publicized public informational meeting on November 18, 2010, at the
     Senior Center, which included a talk by local railroad enthusiast Alden Goodnow on the
     history of the railroad, a slideshow on progress to date, and a vision for the future trail.
     This event was attended by over 50 people, including abutters, interested citizens, and
     members of other Town committees.

A presentation to the Board of Selectmen is planned for March 15, 2011, to update the Board and
discuss plans for the next phase of trail development.

Questions and concerns over the conversion of the rail trails are common throughout
communities which have previously undertaken such projects, and Danvers is not an exception.
The Committee has benefitted greatly from the experience of other communities, and rail trail
advocates in general, and will to continue such communication.

Several Rail Trail Committee meetings were attended by residents who oppose the use of the
Rail Trail for recreational purposes, or who have expressed strong concerns over the proposed
uses. The three principal citizen concerns raised are (i) loss of privacy (where a resident’s back
yard may now be visible to passers-by on the trail); (ii) an increase in property crime (such as a
break-in, or vandalism); and (iii) a reduction in property value, related to proximity to the trail.




Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011                  Page 29
In most cases, residents appear to have been satisfied with the answers provided by the Rail Trail
Committee, but ongoing outreach work will need to be done as the town adapts to the new use.
The greatest concern appears related to the loss of privacy, as the opening of a new recreational
pathway through the town will invariably expose some property owners to viewing from
passersby.

In most cases, the homeowner’s recourse is likely to require that they undertake the planting of
screening bushes, trees, or shrubs (such as arborvitae), or the possible strategic placement of
fencing. Some solutions (such as from new plantings) may require some years of growth before
a satisfactory result will be obtained. In most cases, the Rail Trail Committee believes these
privacy concerns can be mitigated by the abutters, and will reduce substantially as trail abutters
become acclimated to the new use.

With respect to the questions of increased crime and loss of property value, the Rail Trail
Committee believes that a well-planned and regulated trail will alleviate these concerns,
supported by ongoing outreach efforts. Reports from communities with established rail trails do
not show any increase in crime due to the trails, and property values are frequently enhanced by
rail trail proximity.


Partnering with Other Groups
There are a number of rail trail advocacy groups that exist around the country, and the Danvers
Rail Trail Committee continues to explore the networking opportunities these provide. It was
through an observant committee member that the initial contacts with Iron Horse Preservation
was made. This ultimately resulted in the cost-effective removal by Iron Horse Preservation of
the old rails and ties which existed the length of the MBTA premises. This is an example of the
win/win scenario that the committee hopes to pursue as the Rail Trail is further developed.
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) is a nationwide consortium of rail trail advocacy groups, and
their web site, at www.railtotrails.org, is a major asset and idea source that continues to be used
and explored.

Good communication with fellow Board members and other committees is an essential task. As
the usability of the trail improves, additional opportunities will arise for collaboration with the
Open Space Committee, the Recreation Committee and Division, the Board of Health on any
illicit dumping issues, the School Department and, of course, the Department of Public Works
and the Electric Division.

Trails and greenways are community-based projects, and our project will need broad community
support and participation to be a success. Opportunities to partner may be found with land trusts,
bicycle and pedestrian advocacy groups, bird watching and nature conservancy groups and even
possibly equestrians. The broad benefits of trails and greenways and the specific benefits to
Danvers will need to be continually emphasized.

Specific event planning (such as National Rail Trail Day, held each year on the first Saturday in
June) can be used to promote Rail Trail use, as well as service opportunities for volunteer
organizations. The 2011 National Trails Day will be Saturday, June 4th, and the 2012 date will
be Saturday, June 2nd.


Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011                 Page 30
Creation of a web site in support of the Rail Trail, as well as creation of a “friends of the Rail
Trail” organization might also help promote the use and support of the Rail Trail. Such media
and organizations can be used to publicize and organize volunteer workdays, plan trail tours to
acquaint people with their neighborhood trails, create and publicize articles that support our
vision for a future trails network, write and develop grant proposals and raise funds for trails, and
help educate the community about government and private funding for trails.

A number of partnering opportunities also exist with local service and social organizations,
businesses, and trail enthusiasts that can help support the Rail Trail. An immediate example of
such an opportunity successfully executed was the identification by the signage sub-committee
of funds available through the Essex National Heritage Commission, to insure the history of the
former railroad is told through a series of interpretive signs in key locations. Pursuit of this
opportunity resulted in a $2,500 grant for interpretive signage, which will add much to the
enjoyment of the Danvers Rail Trail.

Another example has been the expression of interest by local Scouting Troops, who have
indicated to the Rail Trail Advisory Committee that Scout Troops would be interested in
performing volunteer service work to help maintain the trails, while providing their members
with an opportunity to obtain community service and environmental badges.

Finally, there are definite possibilities to engage and partner with local businesses. Many rail
trails have implemented programs where local businesses “adopt a section” and contribute an
annual sum in support of trail development or maintenance, in exchange for recognition of their
support. Such a strategy may well be possible in support of the Danvers Rail Trail.


Conclusions and Next Steps
Compared to the abandoned and forgotten corridors that they recycle and replace, trails are a positive
community development asset that create more open space for recreation, an outside classroom for our
students and a vehicle to link the community together.

The RTAC is hopeful that this report and conceptual plan provide the foundation for future planning,
outreach and fund raising events, and serve as a useful tool for elected leaders, staff, citizens and their
numerous public and private partners. This plan is a compilation of the work completed to date, but it is
only the first step. Further action will be required to advance the vision of the Danvers Rail Trail and
realize all the benefits this 4.3 mile linear park can provide.




Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011                 Page 31
            Maps, Figures, and Existing
              Conditions Inventory




                  Overview of the Danvers Rail Trail Corridor




              Pages 33-41: Detailed aerials of each segment of the corridor

              Page 42: Distance chart between segments and points of interest

              Pages 43-47: Detailed inventory of conditions, opportunities and constraints




Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011            Page 32
Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011   Page 33
Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011   Page 34
Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011   Page 35
Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011   Page 36
Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011   Page 37
Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011   Page 38
Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011   Page 39
Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011   Page 40
                         Mileage Chart for Danvers Rail Trail

Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011   Page 41
All Distances in Miles            From Hobart    Round Trip   Total from
Points of Interest                   One Way       Hobart     South Side       Latitude     Longitude
South Start of Trail                   2.00         4.00         0.00      42°33'12.97"N   70°58'21.02"W

Route 114 Bridage                      1.68         3.36          .32      42°33'22.74"N   70°58'2.47"W

Prince Street                          1.38         2.76          .62      42°33'29.62"N   70°57'43.67"W

Collins Street                         1.09         2.18          .91      42°33'31.54"N   70°57'23.47"W

Pine Street                             .65         1.30         1.33      42°33'34.60"N   70°56'54.34"W

Burroughs Street                        .42          .84         1.58      42°33'42.81"N   70°56'41.50"W

Pickering Street                        .15          .30         1.85      42°33'54.96"N   70°56'31.07"W

Hobart Street                          0.00         0.00         2.00

Charter Street                          .06          .12         2.06      42°34'2.21"N    70°56'19.75"W

Maple Street                            .13          .26         2.13      42°34'4.34"N    70°56'16.19"W

Oak Street                              .23          .46         2.23      42°34'8.10"N    70°56'11.32"W

Route 62                                .31          .62         2.31      42°34'11.72"N   70°56'8.38"W

Chestnut Street                         .46          .92         2.46      42°34'19.02"N   70°56'5.18"W

Cabot 1 (Coolidge Road)                 .70         1.40         2.70      42°34'31.94"N   70°56'2.68"W

Cabot 2 (Surrey Lane)                   .95         1.90         2.95      42°35'47.45"N   70°56'4.16"W

High School                            1.19         2.38         3.19      42°34'57.20"N   70°56'4.12"W

Wenham Street                          1.51         3.02         3.51      42°35'12.71"N   70°56'11.19"W

Choate Farm 1 (Wildwood Road)          1.84         3.68         3.84      42°35'29.73"N   70°56'12.48"W

Choate Farm 2 (Morgan Drive)           2.21         4.42         4.21      42°35'47.45"N   70°56'4.16"W

Choate Farm 3 (Robin Hill Road)        2.56         5.12         4.56      42°36'4.38"N    70°55'55.44"W

Choate Farm 4                          2.89         5.78         4.89      42°36'21.18"N   70°55'49.27"W

Route 97                               3.12         6.24         5.12      42°36'32.78"N   70°55'45.82"W

Topsfield Center                       5.58         11.16        7.58

                                  Western Loop

All Distances in Miles            From Hobart    Round Trip   Total from
Points of Interest                   One Way       Hobart     South Side

Rail Start                             0.00         0.00         2.00

Hobart Street                           .04          .08         2.08

Beaver Brook                            .34          .68         2.68

Route 62                                .6           1.2          3.2

Nichols Street                         1.24         2.48         4.48

Hawthorne                              2.06         4.12         6.12

Aggie                                  2.83         5.66         7.66

Gregory Street                         3.28         6.56         8.56

Route 62                               3.82         7.64         9.64

Middelton Square                       4.57         9.14         11.14




Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011                            Page 42
        Inventory of Existing Conditions / Opportunities and Constraints
The Danvers Rail-Trail corridor includes a complex mix of land uses including single and multi
family residential, industrial, transportation, utility, commercial and institutional uses. The following
describes the existing physical characteristics of the trail corridor. Features such as track
placement, signal and control equipment, maintenance access, topographical conditions, street
crossings, creek crossings, sensitive habitats, adjacent land use and property ownership are just
some of the factors that influence the trail’s design and use.

Segment 1 – Peabody City Line to Prince Street

Characterization: 0.55 miles

This segment of the Rail corridor right-of-way (ROW) begins at Walmart continuing north
across Route 114 to Prince Street and is primarily adjacent to industrial/commercial
neighborhoods. Access to the trail corridor is gained from both the east and west by climbing
steep, brush covered slopes.

Summary of Opportunities:

    A. Stairway from Walmart and/or McDonalds
    B. Adjacent to the Danvers Indoor Soccer Facility and Avalon at Crane Brook apartment
       complex
    C. ROW connection southwards into Peabody, Lynnfield, and Wakefield

Summary of Constraints:

    A. Access from surrounding neighborhood to trail corridor at the Route 114 trestle
       obstructed due to steep slopes and disconnected street system.

Segment 2 – Prince Street to Collins Street

Characterization: 0.3 miles

    This segment’s western portion, consists of commercial properties while the east side is
    shared with a large condominium complex and parking area used for truck storage.

Summary of Opportunities:

    A. Potential trailhead with limited parking

Summary of Constraints:

    A. Power poles interference
    B. Truck traffic




Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011                     Page 43
Segment 3 – Collins Street to Pine Street

Characterization: 0.4 miles

   The majority of the segment’s eastern portion, outside the trail corridor, consists of
   woodlands containing vernal pools that are often flooded during the spring. The western
   portion contains several high density housing structures and a large recreation area including
   ball fields.

Summary of Opportunities:

   A. Trail corridor passes Tapley Field/Playground
   B. Trail also passes the Rebecca Nurse Homestead

Summary of Constraints:

   A. Small stream separates trail from field/playground

Segment 4 – Pine Street to Holten Street

Characterization: 0.25 miles

This segment provides a direct route to Tapley field from the downtown area.

Summary of Opportunities:

Summary of Constraints:

Segment 5 – Holten Street to Pickering Street

Characterization: 0.25 miles

Both sides of this segment have many residential structures in close proximity to the trail,
creating privacy concerns.

Summary of Opportunities:

   A. Connection to the Meadows

Summary of Constraints:

A. Constrained rail corridor near Pickering Street requires placement of trail close to houses.

Segment 6 – Pickering Street to Charter Street

Characterization: 0.2 miles




Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011                Page 44
This segment is immediately adjacent to a large parking lot that will be used as a main access
point for the trail.

Summary of Opportunities:

   A. Large parking lot
   B. Potential location for public restrooms
   C. Intersects with an east/west railroad right-of-way

Summary of Constraints:

Both sides of this segment have many residential structures in close proximity to the trail,
creating privacy concerns.

Segment 7 – Charter Street to Maple Street

Characterization: 0.1 miles

This segment is within the downtown area adjacent to many retail businesses.

Summary of Opportunities:

   A. Access to downtown business district

Summary of Constraints:

   A. Existing poles obstruct trail corridor at Maple Street


Segment 8 – Maple Street (Route 35) to Oak Street

Characterization: 0.1 miles

   A. Residential

Summary of Opportunities:

   A. Access to downtown business district

Summary of Constraints:

   A. Maple Street has moderate to heavy traffic during daylight hours.

Segment 9 – Oak Street to Poplar Street (Route 62)

Characterization: 0.1 miles




Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011                Page 45
This segment of the trail corridor is fenced along both sides preventing access from adjacent
properties along the entire stretch.

Summary of Opportunities:

Summary of Constraints:

   A. Northern terminus of this segment has moderate to heavy traffic during most times of the
      day and evenings.
   B. This segment has experienced a considerable amount of dumping

Segment 10 – Poplar Street (Route 62) to Chestnut Street

Characterization: 0.15 mile

This segment of the trail corridor is primarily fenced along both sides

Summary of Opportunities:

Summary of Constraints:

   A. Commercial encroachment at 40 Poplar Street
   B. Southern terminus of this segment has moderate to heavy traffic during most times of the
      day and evenings

Segment 11 – Chestnut Street to Wenham Street

Characterization: 1.0 mile

Many areas along the eastern portion this segment of the corridor have very steep slopes, which
poses a challenge to trail access from adjacent properties and a potential safety issue. This
sloping also creates a lack of privacy for adjacent properties. This eastern portion transforms
into woodlands after the High School and contains a small pond. The west side of this segment
before the school has many residential structures in close proximity to the trail, also creating
privacy concerns.

Summary of Opportunities:

   A. Direct connection to High School

Summary of Constraints:

   A. Commercial encroachment at 9 Wenham Street
   B. Privacy issues may require remediation with fencing and/or plantings.

Segment 12 – Wenham Street to Wenham town line

Characterization: 1.25 miles


Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011               Page 46
The majority of the segment’s eastern portion, outside the trail corridor, consists of rising and
falling topography, while the western portion, outside the trail corridor, is generally level.
According to the National Wetland Inventory (NWI) map, this segment has areas of a palestine,
forested, broad-leaved deciduous, periodically flooded wetlands.

Summary of Opportunities:

   A. Swampwalk entry point
   B. Choate Farm meadows and hiking trails
   C. ROW connection northwards into Wenham and Topsfield

Summary of Constraints:

   A. Potential flooding




Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011               Page 47
                                Appendices

Appendix A: Scope of Services, Iron Horse Preservation

Appendix B: MBTA letter dated June 12, 2007 regarding 38-40 Poplar Street

Appendix C: Example of Adopt-a-Trail outreach letter, Town of Salisbury

Appendix D: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) prepared by Outreach Subcommittee




   Related Documents Incorporated by Reference into this Plan


General Bylaws, Town of Danvers: Chapter XXV, “Regulations Governing the Use of Town-
                                 Owned Land”




Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011     Page 48
                                       Appendix A




Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011   Page 49
Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011   Page 50
                                       Appendix B




Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011   Page 51
                                       Appendix C
                  Example of Adopt-a-Trail Outreach Letter, Salisbury, MA


Dear Business Owner,

Salisbury has built beautiful rail trails, but help is needed to keep them attractive over the years.
You can help the trails and your business at the same time by participating in the Coastal Trails
Coalition’s Adopt-a-Trail program. This will allow you to introduce your business and
demonstrate your support of Salisbury’s Coastal Trails to the many local people and visitors who
use the trails every day. All of the funds raised will be used to maintain and improve Salisbury’s
Coastal Trails.
Here are the details:
    1. We will be installing Adopt-a-Trail signs along the 1.4-mile Old Eastern Marsh Trail and
        the 1.8-mile Salisbury Point Ghost Trail, placing them on mileposts every one-tenth of a
        mile. Please see the enclosed Coastal Trails map.
    2. An attractive 5” by 8” sign on each milepost will show its exact location on the trail.
        This will allow Salisbury’s public safety personnel to respond promptly to any
        emergency.
    3. The signs will also display the name and contact information of a trail sponsor, with the
        option to add the sponsor’s logo as well. Please see the sample sign enclosed.
    4. Sponsors will be asked to make annual contributions as follows:
        Old Eastern Marsh Trail: $250 per sign
        Salisbury Point Ghost Trail: $150 per sign
        The first annual period will extend through December 31, 2011.
    5. Sign locations will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.

Either Bonnie Welcome or I will be following up with you soon. If you would like to set up a
meeting, please call me at 978-465-5325 or send e-mail to salisburytrails@gmail.com.
Sincerely,

Jerry Klima, CTC Director



* There is no extra cost if we place just your name and contact information on the sign or if you
supply an EPS or Adobe Illustrator file (H 3 3/4” X W 4 5/16”) that shows your name,
information and logo. It will cost an extra $50 if our sign-maker needs to produce an EPS or AI
file that includes your logo.




Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011                  Page 52
                                        Appendix D
                         Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 3-31-10
                               Developed for Public Outreach
                                    Danvers Rail Trail

What is the proposed Danvers Rail Trail?
It is a 4 1/3-mile corridor of underutilized land which winds on a north-south path through the
heart of Danvers. It lies along an abandoned railroad right of way. In November of 2008, the
Town signed a 99-year lease agreement with the MBTA to convert the corridor “from a former
use as a railroad right-of-way to a revitalized use as a publicly owned, improved and maintained
corridor for bicycle, pedestrian and other non-motorized public transportation, recreation and
associated purposes.”

When did the idea begin of developing a recreational shared-use path through Danvers?

Committees to develop the existing underused and abandoned railroad corridor into a linear park
were formed as early as the 1970’s. The idea of a developed shared-use recreational path has
been seriously considered for over a decade. This idea has been part of past and current versions
of the Danvers Master, Recreational and Open Space plans. In May 2006, Town Meeting voted
to support efforts to move forward on the development of the path. In July of 2009, the Town
Manager appointed a nine-member Rail Trail Advisory Committee consisting of members with
broad representation from the community; the Committee meets monthly, usually on the third
Thursday of the month at 6:00 p.m. at Town Hall. A member of the Board of Selectmen has
been designated as a liaison to the Committee.

What is the current land usage of the proposed Rail Trail?

It is part of an historic Boston to Maine railroad right-of-way running from Newburyport to
Danvers. It was abandoned in 1981. Upon abandonment it was sold to the MBTA and now
supports utility poles for power distribution operated by the Danvers Electric.

What is the purpose of the proposed path?

The proposed recreational path will make a healthful recreational option available to all residents
and visitors. It will serve as a non-motorized shared-use path linking schools, the downtown,
parks, and residential neighborhoods.

Does the path extend to other towns?

While Danvers is a member of the Boston to Border (B2B) Coalition whose objective is a 28
mile long trail including the towns of Salisbury, Newburyport, Newbury, Georgetown, Boxford,
Topsfield, Wenham and Danvers, current efforts of the Committee are focused on making
portions of the Danvers trail useable for within-town connections.

What rules might govern usage? How about hours of operation?
The trail would be subject to the same rules that apply to all town-owned land. Usage would be
restricted to dawn to dusk hours. No lighting would be installed.


Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011                Page 53
Would the path be used year round?
Yes, with no snow removal planned during the winter months, cross-country skiing,
snowshoeing, bird watching and trekking are suitable uses. Use by motorized vehicles is
expressly forbidden in the MBTA lease, at any time of the year.

How would the path affect property values of abutters?
Towns which have similar paths report an increase in property values along and near to the trail.
Real estate agents report that many homeowners are desirous of proximity to recreational paths
because of increased convenience for transportation and accessibility to safe family recreation.

Will the path affect general property values within the town of Danvers?
The path will be a recreational asset to the town that will enhance the quality of life. It is
expected that the path will have an overall positive impact on property values.

What about security risks?
Shared use paths can improve security to an area because they bring a community presence and
vigilance to an otherwise unmaintained, vacant area.

How would trail maintenance be assured?
As with other town properties, the litter policy will be “carry in and carry out” along the trail.
Users will be expected to leave no trace. Local Cub Scout and Boy Scout troops have already
expressed an interest in providing trail maintenance.

How much will this cost?
There is no out-of-pocket cost to the Town. The MBTA has agreed to allow the entity removing
the rails (Iron Horse Preservation Society, Inc.) to keep the rails for recycling.

What is the current status of rail removal?

The MBTA granted the Town permission to remove approximately 1200 linear feet of rail in the
area between Pine and Holten streets in order to provide the Electric Department with emergency
access to transmission equipment in this area. Rail removal was completed during the week of
February 15, 2010; ties will be removed and the bed will be smoothed once the ground thaws.
Iron Horse Preservation Society, Inc, a non-profit preservation and educational entity, will
proceed with removal of remaining rails along the 4.3 mile corridor beginning in April of 2010;
the process of removing rails, ties and smoothing of the bed is anticipated to take several months.




Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011                   Page 54
Related Documents Incorporated by Reference into this Plan
              Regulations governing the use of Town-Owned Land



                       CHAPTER XXV
     REGULATIONS GOVERNING THE USE OF TOWN-OWNED LAND



                                 CHAPTER XXV
               Regulations Governing the Use of Town-Owned Land

Section 1. Except as hereinafter provided, persons using Town-owned land shall be
subject to the following regulations. These regulations apply to all areas in the Town of
Danvers under the control of the Town of Danvers. All other laws of the Town of
Danvers and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, although not expressly stated
herein, also apply to the use of Town-owned land in Danvers. If deemed appropriate,
signs reading "Under the Control of the Town of Danvers" shall be posted at public
entrances to each such area. Missing or unreadable signs in no way relieve the users
of Town-owned land from using such land in conformance with these regulations.
Copies of these regulations shall be available at the Town Clerk's Office, Planning &
Human Services Department, and the Police Department.

Section 2. Unless otherwise permitted, use of Town-owned land for purposes of
recreation and in conformity with the following regulations is allowed without charge or
special permit from half an hour before sunrise until half an hour after sunset.

Section 3. The following activities are expressly prohibited on all Town-owned land:

a)     Trapping, hunting, shooting or the carrying of weapons or firearms (even if
       unloaded) that are not properly encased or covered, except by law enforcement
       officials and except on Town roads and ways.

b)     Operation of cars and trucks except on roads designated by appropriate signage.
       All-terrain vehicles, dirt bikes, snowmobiles and other powered vehicles are
       prohibited in all areas of Town-owned land. Authorized emergency and
       municipal vehicles of the Town of Danvers shall be exempt from this provision.

c)     The use of power tools, including but not limited to farming or logging equipment,
       except by written permission of the Town Manager or his designee.

d)     Parking of motor vehicles except in designated areas, or after authorized hours.

e)     Walking or riding into or across farm fields and nursery land, or in any way


Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011      Page 55
       injuring crops, plantings, or livestock in these areas.

f)     Littering, dumping, or placing of waste of any description on Town-owned lands
       or in ponds, brooks, streams, waterways, or rivers, except in containers
       designated for such purpose.

g)     The flying of model airplanes, the driving or hitting of golf or polo balls, the use of
       lawn darts or engaging in archery

h)     The building of fires, unless allowed pursuant to Section 7.b. of this by-law.

i)     Cutting, picking, injuring, or removing trees, shrubs, plants, or lawns.

j)     Defacing, damaging, or removing signs, gates, fences, walls, dams, barriers
       (whether temporary or permanent) or other structures.

k)     Operating a phonograph, bullhorn, radio, loudspeaker, or amplifier, or otherwise
       creating noise, at a level that could reasonable be expected to disturb other
       persons in or around any Town-owned land, except during Town-sponsored
       events, and those events for which prior written approval from the Town Manager
       or his designee has been obtained.

l)     Posting of unauthorized signs, selling or giving away of goods or circulars, or
       engaging in commercial activities except at Town sponsored events, or with the
       written permission of the Town Manager or his designee.

m)     Possession and/or consumption of alcoholic beverages and/or controlled
       substances not authorized through a valid medical prescription.

n)     Annoying or threatening other persons, or committing any act of nuisance.

o)     Providing instruction to any person in driving an automobile, or learning to drive
       an automobile.

p)     Utilizing metal detectors or engaging in digging or excavating of sites, structures,
       or artifacts except by written permission of the Town Manager or his designee.

q)     Feeding or disturbing birds or any form of wildlife.

Section 4. Dogs or other pets on Town-owned land shall be subject to Chapter XXI,
Section 2 Dog Leash Law of the Town By-laws.

Section 5. Horses must be kept under control; must not be galloped on woodland
trails; must not be ridden through woods in the absence of trails, or across cultivated
fields, or across private property; or wherever or whenever NO RIDING signs are
posted. Also, horses must not be ridden on trails in wet or muddy conditions, in order to
avoid soil damage.



Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011           Page 56
Section 6. Fishing is allowed in season unless the area is otherwise posted.

Section 7. Specific written permission must be obtained from the Town Manager or his
designee for the following uses of Town-owned land:

a)     Group activities including, but not limited to, horse or dog shows, classes of
       instruction, picnics; and

b)     Camping by individuals, families, or groups. Camping groups must include at
       least one adult who will be responsible for the group. Cooking fires and/or
       campfires will be allowed only in designated areas, and only with the written
       permission of the Town Manager or his designee, and only after consultation with
       the Fire Department.

Section 8. Speed limit shall be fifteen (15) miles per hour on any way approved for
motor vehicle traffic within the confines of any parcel(s) of Town-owned land.

Section 9. Public liability. The Town of Danvers cannot assume for itself any liability
for injuries to persons or damage to their property while on Town-owned land; persons
entering thereon do so at their own risk.

Section 10. Visitors to Town-owned land are urged to leave the land in the same
condition in which they found it and to report violations of these regulations to the
Danvers Police Department, the Town Manager, or the Open Space Management Task
Force.

Section 11. On all Town-owned property, violations of these regulations may be
punishable by fines not to exceed $100.00 (M.G.L. Chapter 40, Section 21).

Section 12. The Selectmen of the Town of Danvers reserve the right to waive and/or
limit these regulations at any time if deemed in the best interest of the Town to do so.
(AUTH: ARTICLE 7, TM 10/19/87, ARTICLE 6, TM 6/20/94, and Article 38, Town
Meeting 5/20/02.)




Rail Trail Advisory Committee: Report to Board of Selectmen March 15, 2011     Page 57

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Stats:
views:26
posted:7/6/2011
language:English
pages:57