Opinion

Letter to the editor: Safety and the rail trail

Proponents of the Wakefield-Lynnfield Rail Trail claim that the trail would make Lynnfield a safer town, but we strongly disagree for the following reasons.

Creating this trail would actually increase congestion on our roads. The Boston Globe has already reported on this controversial $10 million project, so there would certainly be follow up articles if the trail is built. Millions of people would learn about the trail in our little community.

With our close proximity to Boston and location right off of Route 128, it would give people easy access into town.

Once people are in town, they would then need a place to park. We would have no dedicated parking lot, so they would have to park at the middle school, the high school, Reedy Meadow Golf Course, the Town Hall, or Jordan Park, which are often at maximum capacity or overflowing onto other streets. Should we have to compete for our own parking spaces?

Do we really want to invite crowds of people to park at our schools and then walk next to our children’s playing fields to access the trail? Shouldn’t we be making a safer environment for our children rather than less safe?

Vehicles on our narrow streets would have to go around these bikers, which would be especially dangerous on the roads which have blind curves, like Walnut Street, Essex Street, and Pillings Pond Road. This could prove disastrous to both bikers and vehicles.

Also, with more traffic comes a greater chance of pedestrians being hit by vehicles.

Proponents of the trail claim that crimes are no higher on the trails than in other parts of their towns. The fact is that trails give easy access to vulnerable people walking or biking in remote areas.

There have been many attacks on area bike trails, including a woman and her daughter who were sexually assaulted on the Saugus trail, a woman who was attacked on the Marblehead trail, a teenage girl who was raped on the Malden trail, a group of young girls who had a man expose himself to them on the Amesbury trail, and a man on a bike who was robbed at knifepoint on the Minuteman Trail, to name just a few.

Have you ever heard of any of these crimes happening on the streets of Lynnfield? If just one of them occurred in our town, it would be a 100 percent increase in crime.

We have a very safe town right now, but we may not be able to say the same if this trail is allowed to be built. Because it would be a public transportation route, sex offenders cannot be excluded from it.

No one can guarantee that you and your children would be safe on the trail, especially through the isolated wooded sections, behind the high fences and in the dark tunnel under Route 128.

Anybody can just step out of their front door and use our many miles of sidewalks or ride their bikes in any one of our multitude of neighborhoods. Many people enjoy the peace and quietude of Reedy Meadow now by walking the rail line without the enormous manmade structure and the crowds of people.

The town defeated the huge senior housing project and the theater at MarketStreet of added traffic and their effects on our community. This trail project would have many times the impact on the safety of our residents, our natural environment and our financial future.

For all these reasons, we are voting no at the April 9 election. You can read articles about the aforementioned attacks and much more at NotForLynnfield.com.

Joe Rosberg

Citizens of Lynnfield Against the Rails Trail

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