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Letter to the Editor: No trail along Hayden Rowe

by | Jan 26, 2023 | Letter to Editor

I support Peter LaGoy’s assessment that running the Upper Charles Trail down Hayden Rowe will be of limited usefulness. Not only will it put people’s lives in danger, it will further increase the congestion on a main thoroughfare. The proposed trail route crosses approximately 15 driveways. Right now, trying to back out of a driveway onto Hayden Rowe can be dangerous as cars routinely travel at 40-50 mph. Imagine that the Upper Charles Trail is at the head of all these driveways. The driver now not only has to estimate the speed of the cars traveling on Hayden Rowe but simultaneously watch for hikers, bikers or skateboarders who might be coming in either direction. It is a recipe for disaster. Not long ago, a young man on a bike was hit by a car on Hayden Rowe and passed away. Also, let us not forget the woman crossing Hayden Rowe with a baby carriage who was struck by a vehicle. Does it make any sense to put the Upper Charles Trail on Hayden Rowe when it is proposed that those using it must cross this road three times?

Traffic concerns on Hayden Rowe were raised by several townspeople at the recent ESBC forum as reported in the Hopkinton Independent: Tina Berlan said that she must “plan her whole day around buses and cars going in and out of Hayden Rowe,” Bill Collins referred to the congestion as “horrible” and “incomprehensible,” while Mary Arnaut said that she “feels sorry for people trying to go north and south on Route 85.” In another Hopkinton Independent article on Oct. 12, Select Board member Mary Jo LaFreniere made the following observation about the narrowing of the road on Main Street: “The tighter road has eliminated someone — perhaps a delivery driver — to pull over in front of houses.” With the Upper Charles Trail on Hayden Rowe, the same problem will arise. Both sides of the road will be curbed. This narrows Hayden Rowe considerably and may cause problems for police, fire and ambulances responding to an emergency in a timely manner when lives are at risk.

By putting the Upper Charles Trail on the land west of Charlesview, these problems are virtually eliminated, and folks who wish to take an enjoyable, stress-free walk or run can do so in the woods without the congestion and noise that they will encounter on Hayden Rowe.

— Richard Cunningham, Hopkinton

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