In view of the current discussion about the routing and surfacing of the Hopkinton portion of the Upper Charles Trail, I’d like to alert readers to the results of a petition I initiated in 2020. I collected signatures in person on Center Trail (which will surely form a part of the Upper Charles Trail) and online, with a total of 288 responses. (You can access the online petition at ipetitions.com/petition/keep-the-trails-soft.) The results show the overwhelming majority of trail users favor a surface of stone dust, not asphalt, and a trail that runs through woods wherever possible, not along roadways. Some typical comments were: “The Blackstone River Bikeway is an example of the havoc roots eventually create for any wheeled vehicle on a paved trail.” “Do not pave forest trails that should be enjoyed for their natural beauty.” “I don’t know of one nature lover who walks in the woods so they can be on pavement.” “The [stone dust] surface is a distance runner’s dream.” “Paving would unnecessarily increase runoff.” “Unpaved trails are easier on my old knees.”
— David Dollenmayer, Hopkinton
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