The Concept of the Mascoma River Greenway

new york bike path, pavedThe Mascoma River Greenway (MRG) will be a 4 mile multi-use pathway starting from the Northern Rail Trail at Spencer Street in downtown Lebanon to Westboro Rail Yard in West Lebanon,  extending the Northern Rail Trail from its beginning in southern NH to the Vermont border. The MRG will be the core transportation corridor for bikes and pedestrians through the heart of Lebanon and West Lebanon, connecting Lebanon’s neighborhoods with workplaces, schools, open spaces, shopping areas, a medical center and transit stops. You can help by donating  your time, talent, and resources. Contact Paul Coats (paul.coats@lebcity.com) or Frank Gould (go2teach@comcast.net) to get involved.

MRG – March 2014

Photo by Rainie Kelly

Photo by Rainie Kelly

The MRG trail in winter . . . in time, it will be a groomed trail. Imagine being able to cross-country ski all the way from downtown Lebanon to West Lebanon!

Lunch, Ceremonial Spike-Pull, and Walking Tour 11/16/13

Double-fisted Spike- Puller

Double-fisted Spike- Puller

Saturday was a warm and sunny day for our Ceremonial Spike-Pull and Walking Tour of the Mascoma River Greenway. We started with lunch, an update on trail progress, and a presentation by Ed Ashey on Lebanon’s railroad history, then took to the trail with crowbars and pliers for removing spikes and date nails. Many of us took home souvenir spikes and date nails stamped with the year of our birth.  The event was a celebration of the official abandonment of the tracks up to mile marker 140, an important step in the creation of our Greenway trail.


The Lebanon Times

TheLebanonTimes
Have you received a copy of the new quarterly publication The Lebanon Times? The focus is on “Good People – Good Places – Good Things Happening”. In the first issue, the Mascoma Greenway is one of the good things happening in Lebanon. You can check out the article on page 19 at this link:
http://thelebanontimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/LT-Fall-2013-web.pdf

July 19 Trail Work Day

MRGJuly19

The morning was already hot and humid as volunteers from Hypertherm, RSG, and King Arthur Flour showed up with saws, loppers, and work gloves, to continue work on clearing the trail. It was amazing what was accomplished. The trail is now clear of trees and brush from downtown Lebanon to Glen Road. As you can tell from the photos, that took a lot of sweat equity. Thanks for all the hard work on a sweltering day!

King Arthur Flour Volunteer

King Arthur Flour Volunteer

Hyper-Therm Volunteer

Hyper-Therm Volunteer

Beyond Bicycle Lanes

Around the country, communities large and small are boldly implementing active transportation strategies to make it easier for people of all ages and abilities to connect to their destinations by being physically active.

Shared Bicycle Lane Symbol (Sharrow)

Shared Bicycle Lane Symbol (Sharrow)

In Portland, OR, one of four Platinum Level Bicycle Friendly Communities (along with Boulder & Fort Collins, CO and Davis, CA), transportation and bicycle program officials have been at work for over 20 years, and have learned a few things about what makes a city bicycle and pedestrian friendly.

As part of the League of American Bicyclists Bicycle Friendly Community Program, these and hundreds of other communities, universities, states, and businesses are changing the way we design transportation systems, which directly impacts our choices for how we get around town to do errands, go to school, work, and play.

Bicycle Boulevard sign

Bicycle Boulevard sign

Lucky for us, Portland has created a handy brochure that outlines strategies that create a more safe, inclusive, and holistic active transportation system. Some improvements are relatively easy, like making a map of the city’s active transportation system, painting the roads with bicycle boxes, adding symbols for sharing the road with bicycles (sharrows), and selecting low speed, low traffic volume streets to designate as bicycle boulevards. Other treatments are more expensive, like bike/ped friendly bridges, bicycle traffic signals at intersections, and constructing separated pathways like the Mascoma River Greenway.

Portland Sunday Parkways

Portland Sunday Parkways

I recently had the good fortune to participate in one of Portland’s “Sunday Parkways” events, which draw thousands of people each year to bicycle and walk between parks, enjoying food, music and activities on a system of streets that are closed to cars. What fun!

Maybe someday Lebanon will join Concord and Keene, and achieve a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community designation – who knows?

MRG Update

New MRG Kiosk at Intersection of High, Mascoma, and Mechanic

New MRG Kiosk at Intersection of High, Mascoma, and Mechanic

Dear Rail Trail Enthusiasts

A quick update:

1. Our Capital Campaign continues.

2. There is a new Kiosk donated and erected by the Rotary Club of Lebanon at the High Street intersection. It’s beautiful, thanks!

3. Our Marketing Team is preparing posters and banners for publicizing the MRG.

4. Marketing is also looking at special activities the community can participate in, suggestions welcomed.

5. Come by our table at the Lebanon Farmers Market on Thursdays, as usual. Join the conversation.

6. Friday, July 19 is another Trail Clearing day. Several local companies have offered time for the work, other companies and individuals are welcome to join.

Announcing: Paul Coats and I are establishing a Friends of Recreation and Parks group. The group will support the MRG when it is completed as well as promote other elements of our community’s health and fitness. If you would like to join this group let me, or Paul, know.

If there are any of the above Teams and activities you can become involved in you are welcome.  Contact Frank Gould at go2teach@comcast.net or Paul Coats at paul.coats@lebcity.com

Frank Gould, Co-chair Mascoma River Greenway.

Trail Day Clean Up – 6/1/13 – A Scorcher of a Day!

Clearing the Tracks

Thank you so much. It was an amazing turnout on such a hot day. The effort you put into clearing the rail corridor was magnificent. We accomplished a lot.  I hope everyone survived the heat and humidity; it certainly wiped me out the rest of the day. There is still some corridor left to clear. We are going to approach organizations, such as the Boy Scouts, to do some of the remaining clearing. If we set up another Trail Day All Call, I’ll let you know. Again, thank you so much. It was hard work, but a great group of volunteers stepped up to do it.  (Did anyone happen to bring tools home with them by mistake? If so, let me know or drop them off at the Recreation Office in City Hall. I think we’re missing at least one a pair of loppers.)    Frank Gould

Photo by Allison Furbish
Photo by Allison Furbish

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