The following is a guest column by Allison Burson, Natural Resources Commission and Mobility Committee and Steve Park, Trails Committee. This is the final in a series of guest columns for “May is Mobility Month” about transportation actions in Wellesley that will support the town’s Sustainability Mobility Plan and Climate Action Plan. Previous columns have addressed public transportation with MBTA train and T services, the MWRTA Catch Connect micro transit and enhanced bus service, and personal transportation actions we can use for daily trips to school that improve traffic congestion, help combat climate change and provide lifelong health benefits.
One of the many benefits of living in Wellesley is being able to step outside and enjoy a walk on some of our lovely town trails. As members of the Trails Committee, we have been thrilled to see so many residents of all ages out walking, jogging and enjoying our trails, walking in their neighborhoods, kids walking and biking to school, and people cycling and walking for errands, exercise and leisure.
Wellesley is so human in scale that in a short time, it’s not difficult to find your way to destinations on foot and bike after quick glances at a map. And Wellesley is so scenic, the best part of this traveling this way is discovering a new garden, hidden street, or picturesque hideaway you may not have known about before.
Try our trails
In our community, we’re lucky to have 28 miles of marked trails and 18 more miles of unmarked trails. The Crosstown Trail, Sudbury Path, and Fuller Brook Park follow a generally east-west route across town. Along the route are two business districts, two libraries, and multiple train stations. Do you and your family have quiet options to walk to school, a library, the drug store, or a doctor? Spring is a great time to consider changing usual transportation behavior and taking steps, literally, to link sidewalks and trails to get to your destination.
What trails are closest to your neighborhood?
The Wellesley Trails Committee has maps, guides, and descriptions about Wellesley’s extensive interconnected network—from long trails that connect open spaces across different parts of town to shorter woodland trails that explore Wellesley’s conservation lands. You can use the MapWellesley Trails Viewer to help you navigate, or search Google maps “Walking and Biking” directions for the fastest and most recommended routes.
If you’d prefer to pedal, bicycles have the right to ride on the roads, on our trails, and on sidewalks except in our business districts. Most destinations in Town—the Library, schools, Green’s Hardware, Whole Foods—have bike racks for you to securely lock your bike when you arrive. With support from local environmental group Sustainable Wellesley, the Wellesley Police Department even has a bike repair station and pump if you get a flat tire or need to make other repairs. (And our friendly WPD officers are happy to help you.) And coming in fall 2022, watch for another bike repair station that will be located at the Warren Recreation Building.
Complete Streets Program
Wellesley participates in the Complete Streets program and in 2019 approved a Complete Streets policy as a guideline for future town street improvements and projects. As the town works to increase bike lanes along busier streets, these can be joined with the town’s multi-use trails network as a complement to walking.
With the beautiful spring and summer weather ahead, we’re planning our walks to get to our errands and appointments, to exercise, and to enjoy the day without the stress of getting stuck in traffic. We hope you will too—see you on the sidewalks, paths, and trails!
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