Opinion

Letter to the Editor: It’s time for the rail trail

The Peabody Independence Greenway, our neighboring Peabody pedestrian and cycling trail, has a new look at Crystal Lake at Lowell Street.

There’s a new fountain in the middle of the lake and benches on the shoreline. There is also a memorial to the Curleys, a couple accused and convicted of witchcraft in Salem in the 1690s.

The memorial reminded me that the spread of misinformation and myths is not new, but intertwined in our society from its Colonial beginnings.

Some local residents still believe that a rail trail will result in an increase in crime.

But the consensus of area public safety agencies is that crime is not a byproduct of rail trails. Our own police chief is on record in saying that crime is not a concern. Further, area towns that already enjoy the benefit of a rail trail have not demonstrated an increase in crime.   

Talking with a Falmouth resident who uses the Sea to Shining Sea rail trail, I learned that the Falmouth police chief, asked about crime on the rail trail, commented that if the rest of Falmouth had similar crime problems, he could comfortably eliminate half of his force.

Some local residents are concerned about noise on the rail trail. From personal experience on dozens of rail trails, they are very quiet places. Already minimal sounds of bikes and pedestrian conversations are muted by the quiet of the fields.

The path for the trail is a rail line. Any identified pollutants have been removed or sealed. The trail will not disturb wildlife.

I urge Lynnfield residents to resist misinformation and tired myths. And for the third time, advance our desire for a new rail trail. Attend the special town meeting and vote to approve the funds that are needed for the final design of the Lynnfield/Wakefield Rail Trail.

Peter Perlmutter

7 Thomas Road, Lynnfield

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