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Merrimack Valley

May 31, 2013

Regional agency, activists strive to promote 'bikeable' communities

(Continued)

Rail/multiuse trails – Trails built on abandoned railbeds that are restricted to bikers, hikers and runners.

North Andover Town Planner Judy Tymon noted that efforts to make a community more “bikeable” are often very difficult. Three years ago, Tymon and others developed a plan to place a roundabout at Waverly Road and Main Street and build a cycle track along Main and Water streets.

The idea was to encourage more people to bike or walk between the downtown and the refurbished mills on High Street, where many businesses have located. The downtown sidewalks had just been replaced, so the plan never took off, Tymon noted.

Tymon, who heads the local Pedestrian and Bicycle Committee, said she and other town officials are now trying to encourage more children to walk to school by building sidewalks.

Deborah Carey of Amesbury, a board member of the Coastal Trails Coalition, suggested that those who want to promote more biking and walking should reach out to the chambers of commerce and other groups of business owners. Bike paths and trails encourage economic development, she said.

People who rely more on their bicycles than their cars tend to shop locally, Armstrong said.

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