Sudbury Aqueduct Walking Trails

Issue summary

Newton has a rare opportunity to legally acquire public access to the top of the Sudbury Aqueduct from the MWRA. The MWRA Trails program would allow Newton then to formalize the current off-road walking trails through Waban and Newton Highlands. Not all of the land above the aqueduct is owned by the Authority, but most of the frequently-used parts are. The MWRA is not charging for this access, but does require some trash pick-up and path maintenance.

 
MWRA Aqueduct Access Trails Logo
 
The Waban Area Council has discussed the aqueduct at two meetings, and supports the city's moving forward on the permit for the Sudbury. It would give residents an off-road walking alternative through our area, and could connect us via linear park to Needham, Southborough, Natick and Framingham. 
 
 
The MWRA has an FAQ as well as online maps.

 

Comments

48 rental units under 40B 105 parking spots with access onto Karen road

The Beacon and Chestnut St intersection. is already too congested. We would contribute to stop this development. Developers make promises, but the reality of the finished project is always worse than what was proposed

Oakvale Road, unfortunately, is a private road and therefore is not maintained by the city. It is the cut-through of choice for vehicles going to Karen Road. Residents of Oakvale have been suffering the destruction of Oakvale's pavement by hundreds of construction trucks since the McMansioning of Karen Road started 10 or 12 years ago. So far, none of the developers has taken responsibility for mitigating the damage. We anticipate that this will get even worse during the project at St. Philip Neri. We would like to propose an agreement with the developer of St. Philip Neri that they will either send their trucks down a public street such as Montclair or Moffat rather than Oakvale, or repave our street when they are done with their project.

Residents of Oakvale are also concerned about the amount of traffic that will pass daily over our deteriorating private road once the multi-housing project is completed. We would appreciate an opportunity to discuss with the city and the developer ways to mitigate this problem, and would like to be included in “near neighbor” meetings. Possible solutions to the problem include: establishing Oakvale as a one-way street from west to east, on the model of nearby (private) Roslyn Road; putting the ingress to the new development on Short/Beacon Street rather than Karen Road; having the city make Oakvale a public road without charging the abutters for the improvement; or by some other means.

I asked several questions at the end of May 6th meeting at the WC which was attended by approximately 140 people to get a sense of where people stood after the presentation.

  1. How many were involved in the meetings the developer held prior to the May 6th meeting? Less than a dozen raised their hands
  2. How many were in favor of the current proposal? About a dozen raised their hands
  3. How many were opposed? 80-90% raised their hands
  4. How many would favor a design that had half as many units and preserved the Church structure? 50-60% raised their hands.