Wakefield Town Meeting Gives Unanimous Yes To Bike Path

As opposed to Lynnfield’s vote 342-341 vote, Wakefield residents are all in on bike path.
By Bob Holmes, Patch Staff | May 10, 2018 10:30 pm ET
Bike Path

Wakefield Town Meeting Gives Unanimous Yes To Bike Path
On the last of the three-night Wakefield Town Meeting marathon, residents unanimously approved Article 19. And why should Lynnfield residents care? Because it’s the bike path article that authorizes the Town Council (formerly the Board of Selectmen) to execute a lease of up to 99 years with the MBTA for land that will be turned into a multi-use rail trail. Sound familiar?

That almost identical article at the April 24, 2017 Lynnfield Town Meeting produced the historic 342-341 vote in favor of the bike path. While Lynnfield residents continue to debate the bike path, Wakefield has embraced it and is ready to go forward, with or without their neighbors. But Town Administrator Steve Maio hopes the two-town approach continues.

“We are in this together,” said Maio of Lynnfield, which if/when built would have roughly 2.5 miles of the path with 1.9 miles in Wakefield. “We are committed to going forward with this. Mass DOT is much more inclined to spend the time and energy to finalize the plans, to meet with us, to meet with our engineers.”

Maio isn’t sure why his town embraces the bike path while Lynnfield’s debate continues.

“We’ve been talking about this for many, many years. We have a very active rail-to-trail group that has been pushing it for years. We’ve had many forums, they’ve been at countless events in town with pictures of it. I think the other thing is that we don’t seem to have abutters that are living on an old abandoned line, that push back a little bit so I think that’s a help too. Although a big portion of theirs goes through Reedy Meadow, so I don’t get it.

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