Site logo

Top: MassPaths Home Page
Up: Metropolitan Area Planning Council
Previous: MAPC North Shore And North Suburban

Next: MAPC Three Rivers and South Shore

MAPC NORTH MAP (MetroWest, Minuteman, North Shore, North Suburban)
MAPC SOUTH MAP (Inner Core, South Shore, SouthWest, Three Rivers)
Instructions for viewing the online maps (important!)

MAPC SouthWest, MetroWest And Minuteman

The following proposals and descriptions of existing facilities in the western MAPC region have been submitted to the bicycle facilities inventory.

Existing facilities

The MAPC SouthWest, MetroWest and Minuteman subregions have a great variety of roads. Outside the heavily developed corridor which extends directly west from Boston, many of the roads are lightly traveled. Development, however, is rapid in the SouthWest area.

The Metrowest Bicycle Map, produced by the Bicycle Task Force of the Metrowest subregion, gives a comprehensive suitability review of through routes in most towns of the MetroWest subregion. It also is intended to guide future improvements.

There are designated bicycle paths adjacent to Codman Road and Route 126 in Lincoln.

There is a bicycle task force in Concord and a bicycle committee in Sherborn.

Proposed Projects

The following proposals have been submitted to the bicycle facilities inventory.

Rail-Trail proposals

Several organizations and individuals have proposed rail trails in the region:

Extensions of the Minuteman path

Several commenters proposed extensions from the Bedford end of the Minuteman path. One would go directly to Concord on the extension of the rail right of way used for the present path to Bedford. In response to local opposition and concerns about incursions into the Great Meadows Wildlife Refuge, another option has been proposed to skirt the west end of Hanscom Field and connect with Virginia Road and the interpretive trails in the Minuteman National Historical Park.

Central Massachusetts Trail

This proposed trail on a right of way owned by the MBTA would run from east to west between Waltham and Berlin. The Waltham segment is in the MAPC Inner Core subregion, with a proposed link to the Alewife area of Cambridge (see MAPC Inner Core section of this report).

Lowell-Sudbury Rail Trail (Bruce Freeman Trail)

This trail would run from north to south and connect at its southern end with the Belmont-Berlin trail. Preliminary design funding for the northern segment between Lowell and Westford has been approved.

Assabet River Rail Trail (Marlborough-Acton)

This trail would connect with the Acton commuter rail station at its north end and cross the Central Massachusetts Trail in Hudson before ending in Marlborough. A feasibility study has been approved.

Metrowest Bikeway

This proposed trail would make nearly a complete loop from Framingham south to Hopkinton and Milford, and then north through Holliston to Ashland.

Saxonville Branch

This trail, partly on an active though lightly used rail line, would make use of existing undercrossings of the Massachusetts Turnpike and its ramps.

Riverside Connector, Newton-Wellesley

This short trail would connect the Riverside MBTA station to neighborhoods across Route 128.

Other rail-trail proposals

Several trails proposals are not yet the object of active study or planning. These include opportunities for trails between Norwood and Providence, and between Needham and Dover.

Aqueduct trails

A unique opportunity in the Metrowest area may be provided by aqueduct rights of way, primarily in Wellesley, Wayland, Natick and Framingham. One aqueduct is no longer in use and is the object of an active proposal by the Town of Wellesley.

Road improvements

Improvements to streets and highways were suggested by a number of individuals. The Charles River Wheelmen bicycle club submitted maps indicating most of the lightly traveled and scenic roads in the area which are used for the club’s rides. The Metrowest Bicycle Map comprehensively indicates suitability of roads for bicycling.

Cross-state bicycle routes

See the section of this report on cross-state routes for more detail on the following routes:

The southern east-west route passes through the MAPC SouthWest Region on its way to Cape Cod, and has a spur from the west into the Boston area. The northern east-west route connects with the Minuteman trail in Bedford and makes its way to Boston via this trail, the Charles River bicycle paths, and streets.

Top of Page