Opinion

Letter to the Editor: The rail trail and quality of life

Recently a rail trail supporter wrote a letter encouraging Lynnfield residents to support the rail trail’s public pathway as their civic duty owed to the community.   Please consider another perspective of the Lynnfield community and vote no.

The supporter’s letter read in part: “We, as the citizens of Lynnfield, form a community that shares its values and supports each otherWe form a community where we should accept that at times, what is to the benefit of the larger public requires compromise by others.”  

In the case of this public path, a small gain for some comes at a transformational expense for others.  

Even if you have checked all the boxes of safety, taxes, traffic, parking and environmental impact I ask that you consider the impact a public path would have on a few hundred of your fellow community members’ homes. Proponents have convinced themselves that having a public path in the abutters backyards is not that big of a deal and that we, as abutters, should, “compromise” and be more community minded.   I doubt they would feel this way if the public path affected the quality of life in their own homes.

For the supporters I hope that you have taken the time to see, firsthand, how this under-surveilled public path will infringe on the properties of other community members as it cuts its way through Lynnfield.  

If you have walked the tracks and determined that the imposition on our homes is one that you feel we should accept, or maybe even an imposition that you would accept for yourself if you lived where we do, then so be it.  If you haven’t looked for yourself please don’t discount the impact. Many proponents including many from the Friends of the Lynnfield Rail Trail and the Recreational Path Committee haven’t even looked for themselves. How about those of you with green signs?  

Resident Alan Dresios once wrote one of the basic attitudes in our Lynnfield community has often encompassed the majority respecting the impacts that projects would have upon their fellow citizens.  Alan provided a list of projects as examples of this community attribute. In this case, the affected group is not an insignificant sized group as compared to a typical park or school’s impact on a neighborhood due to the path’s “linear” design.  

Please also consider how a public path in ones backyard is unique compared to most other impacts on neighborhoods involving other town projects.  Community leaders boast when they can, from a political standpoint, support the minority and this is often a measurement for the quality of a community.   

Having an under-surveilled public pathway through our backyard will dramatically lower our quality of life.  The impact will degrade our property by taking away privacy, peace of mind and beautiful views of the Reedy Meadow golf course. We will need to be perpetually vigilant in our own home.  

I find it conflicting that the Friends of the Lynnfield Rail Trail are completely apathetic to abutters yet spout community values that seem to be ostensible and unbalanced.   I can honestly say and unequivocally commit that if you lived where I do, I would support your right to maintain the quality of life in your own home and not support this proposal.

Please carefully consider the impact your vote will have on many of your fellow community members for simply adding one more place to run, roll, walk or stroll.   

Bob Breslow

Lynnfield

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