Report identifies Hudson pedestrian, bicycle projects

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Report identifies Hudson pedestrian, bicycle projects
Drone photography showed paths within Hudson’s Riverwalk project taking shape in April 2021. One of the projects would connect the Assabet River Rail Trail to Cellucci Park, the skate park and RiverWalk. (Photo/Tami White)

HUDSON – Tom Green of the Ad-Hoc Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee presented the committee’s final report to the Select Board on Jan. 23, which identified several potential projects such as trail connections.

The Select Board voted to create the Ad-Hoc Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee last January.

Green noted that there were three issues and recommendations: improving walking and cycling connections in Hudson, sidewalks and pedestrian and cyclist interactions with motorized traffic.

The committee conducted a survey. According to the report, the survey indicated that there were locations to which residents wanted to be able to access either by walking or biking.

Green said there were a couple of locations that people identified as destinations that they would like to walk or bike to, including downtown, athletic fields, schools, the town beach, Highland Commons and Washington Street.

The report noted that respondents said there were issues with the sidewalks and safety concerns when they interacted with vehicles.

During the meeting, Green said the input the committee received from the community survey became the basis of their recommendations.

The committee has applied for a MassTrails grant. According to the report, the 2023 grant would use funds to hire a consulting firm to create a conceptual design of the downtown and west section of Mass Central Rail Trail along with an evaluation of the existing conditions to provide connections to priority locations along the trail through Hudson.

“If approved, [it] will be a terrific start to improving the walking and cycling connections in town,” said Green.

The Department of Conservation and Recreation is overseeing the construction of the Mass Central Rail Trail from Waltham to Berlin, and the section of the trail from the Sudbury Town Line to the Assabet River Rail Trail has commenced construction with plans for it to be completed in 2025.

The committee identified three projects, two related to the Mass Central Rail Trail – identify and design non-motorized connections from the trail to destinations and prioritize the design and construction of the downtown and western section of the trail. The third project would connect the Assabet River Rail Trail to Cellucci Park, the skate park and RiverWalk.

Green said if bike amenities and wayfinding signs are installed, people could come off the trail and be directed to destinations like the splash park.

“I think it’s trying to attract more people into the downtown and get them to where it is they want to go,” Green said.

Among some of the other recommendations were to have an outside firm do an evaluation of Hudson’s sidewalks, consider traffic calming measures and create a permanent committee.

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