Milton residents worried about armed invasion from Mattapan win battle over bike path

The Globe reports Milton selectmen this week voted to oppose a proposal to have a bike path along the Neponset cross the river at Capen Street.

Although selectmen said their vote for a two-bridge crossing is actually pro-Boston, because keeping the path entirely there would provide "better access" to Boston residents, it's a big win for residents in the Capen Street area worried about ruffians and ne'er-do-wells crossing over from Mattapan Square:

Referring to Mattapan Square, another resident, Andrea Synnott, wrote that she and her husband "worry about the safety of our kids if the neighborhood is made more accessible to a busy commercial area with high crime. I believe it would cause fundamental changes to an otherwise quiet and isolated neighborhood."

Because, of course, there is currently no way for thugs to cross the Neponset from Mattapan Square. No word if Miltonians would be further assuaged by armed border crossings.

Via Mike Ball, who recounts the history of bike-path NIMBYism in Massachusetts.

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        Is that an accurate summary of the Globe article?

        I don't think it is, Adam. Quoting from the article:

        In their letter, the selectmen asked the state to look at a route suggested by former town administrator John Cronin, which starts in Milton at Central Avenue, quickly crosses over to the Boston side before Capen Street, and then comes back to the Milton side near Mattapan Square.

        That says to me that Milton wants the path to have two bridges across the Neponset, connecting Milton to Boston.

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        You're right about the route

        By on

        I've fixed that part of the post; thanks.

        But the key point remains that the Capen Street residents won this battle: They won't have a bike path through their neighborhood ferrying all those evil people from Mattapan.

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        Voting is closed. 2

        Makes you wonder

        how the good people of Milton would respond to a petition to build a mosque in Milton. Are concerns about importing crime and ne'er-do-wells via bike path comparable to concerns about importing Muslims and potentially a radical imam?

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        Voting is closed. 5

        People don't want bike paths

        People don't want bike paths in Concord either. Teens have been traveling to railroad tracks to drink and raise hell since railroads were invented - how is this any different? This neighborhood is entirely residential - that's what the residents bought when they moved there. Is it any surprise that they don't want what they have to change? Your 'thugs' could get to their streets very easily, but they'd have to walk on lighted streets in plain sight. A bike path is another matter.

        And just to be clear about this: North Milton, south of Mattapan sq., is an integrated district. Take the T or ride your bicycle south through Mattapan square into Milton. You'll see black kids playing in the streets and black adults working in the yards. Where did those black families come from? Mattapan and Dorchester. They left the city for a reason. Think about it.

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        One problem with that

        Every study that I've seen in thirty years of studies says you are wrong - bike paths do not bring crime to an area. Period. They do create an avenue of patrol.

        If they don't want bike paths, then why are they driving to other communities to overcrowd the existing ones?

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        People do want bike paths

        Concord already has a bike path. It is not paved, but it exists, and people use it, and there's even a map and trail guide online:

        http://www.bedforddepot.org/MinutemanBikeway.html#...
        http://www.bedforddepot.org/RBRT_guide.pdf
        http://www.traillink.com/trail/reformatory-branch-...

        Bedford has voted to begin paving their section of this trail. Perhaps Concord will eventually follow suit.

        Teens are much less likely to "drink and raise hell" on an improved trail (such as the Minuteman) than they do now on a neglected or abandoned railroad right-of-way (which was there for a decade before the MInuteman).

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        How is it any

        By on

        How is it any different?

        Hm.

        Abandoned rail line. Secluded. No traffic. No eyes. Perfect for private activities. You could smoke whatever you want and nobody would ever know.

        Active bike path. Bike commuters. People walking dogs. Moms with SUV strollers. Eyes everywhere. Go ahead, just try and break the law amongst all that traffic.

        The argument seems to be:
        "I" wont use the path because "IM" a lazy fatass, thus NOBODY will use the path EXCEPT criminals, because only CRIMINALS ride bikes and own SUV strollers.

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        I've known one person who

        I've known one person who lived in that neighborhood - my undergraduate advisor. He rode his bicycle to work every day, kayaked, and was as skinny as a rail.

        Next time, leave out the insults. Without them, it's harder to determine your true nature.

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        People don't have to live

        People don't have to live there to use the path. I live way over on the other side of Dot but use the current path often and would use a connected path even more often.

        I don't own a car so we should get rid of all the streets around me is basically your logic.

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        I honestly have no idea how

        By on

        I honestly have no idea how your reply is relevant to what I wrote.

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        You know who'd be on that

        You know who'd be on that bike path? I would. And yeah, I am a thug. So I guess you got a point but by your logic we should get rid of streets and cars since they can be used for drive-bys, and well, I'm all for it.

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        milton?

        By on

        shoot i kno a lotta mattapan people. who in the world wants to go to milton? miltons boring!

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        And that is why Mattapan

        And that is why Mattapan residents bought houses in Milton - it's nice and boring.

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        OK, so the selectmen oppose it

        The question is, does DCR really care what the town of Milton has to say about the bike path? Milton is simply voicing their displeasure over the placement of the bike path. So what? When was the last time you saw a proposal that didn't have some kind of opposition? DCR can still choose to follow the original route.

        When it comes to bike paths, particularly paths that are using existing rights-of-way (not sure if the Milton one is), I would have very little patience for any opposition to the path. Sure, you listen to what the opponents have to say, nod your head - then build it. Weston was a perfect example. The old rail line is there, the only thing that had to be done was pave it.

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        No existing right-of-way to use here

        The already-built Neponset path east of here uses an abandoned railroad right-of-way, but from Central Ave to Mattapan Square, the right-of-way is very much in use as the MBTA's Mattapan Line.

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