Warren gets $62,500 for bike path work


Warren will soon get $62,500 to make improvements to the East Bay Bike Path between Child and Franklin streets.

The money was released by the state Department of Environmental Management (DEM) as part of its Trail Grant program. Statewide, $1.54 million in grants is being distributed under the program this year.

Town Planner Caroline Wells said the money will be used to install two "wayfinding" signs that steer visitors to businesses and  restaurants, as well as historic and cultural sights. In addition, there will be  two small directional signs, two bike shelters, 10 benches, six picnic tables, and as many as 30 new gravel parking spaces along the path near Cole Street. However, Ms. Wells said, the exact layout and configuration of the parking spots has yet to be set in stone.

The grant is a good opportunity to direct path users local businesses, Ms. Wells said.

"I mapped about 20 restaurants within walking distance to the Child Street (bike path) hub," she said.

The grant requires a 20 percent local match, meaning the town must put up $12,500 on its own. But Ms. Wells said some of that local match includes volunteer labor.

"Once we have the contracts signed I will put the word out for volunteers," she said.

The flip side of the grant request is the state's denial of a grant request for the Warren River Walk. Apart from the bike path money, Ms. Wells had asked for $100,000 to install signs and other features along public rights of way down to the Warren River.





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I don't mean to be a grinch, but is this really a good idea? The bike path is in perfectly good shape between those two streets, and there isn't a great deal of space for turning it into a picnic area. In fact, the layout of the land seems unsuitable for that. On the bike path next to the Park n Ride, kids sometimes gather to smoke cigarettes and exchange drugs. Do we really want to give them picnic tables at which to do that?

Where are the picnic tables going to go? Near Dell's or near the Park n Ride? If they go near the Park n Ride, who would want to sit down there? Dell's has already put out some chairs for people to sit in.

Where are those gravel parking spaces going to go? The only place they can go is where there is now grass. But we already have a surplus of parking in that area. Personally, I would rather keep the grass. We don't need more parking in this area. Besides, more parking spaces won't do anything to draw people into Warren. If they aren't using the parking spaces that are already there, they won't use the new ones. The Park n Ride is mostly empty all day, every day.

It seems to me that this money would be better used to pave a couple streets.

Friday, April 5, 2013 | Report this

Meanwhile, at the Warren Town Beach we have a wall that has fallen into the water from the FALL OF 2011 and nothing has been done about it. Currently parts of the beach keep eroding into the river.. But apparently it is a good idea to add these things to the PERFECTLY fine bike path.


Can Ms. Wells look into grants into revamping the town beach??

Friday, April 5, 2013 | Report this

I couldn't tell you. I left two messages for Ms. Wells today, and she didn't respond. I'm hoping it only means she was out of the office. A lot of people at city hall have arrogant attitudes.

Saturday, April 6, 2013 | Report this

Because you are a concerned resident they will not return your call.

Saturday, April 6, 2013 | Report this

Caroline Wells and I finally exchanged some notes, and she sent me the original proposal that they made to the DEM. I'll be reading it this week. They are trying their best to improve the town -- you have to give them points for that. I personally feel that Warren is limited by its geography. Downtown being on a hill doesn't help, and the way the streets were built up from the river doesn't help, and none of that can be changed now.

I still have concerns that the plans won't have much effect, but others disagree with me. We keep trying to turn Warren into a go-to place, but I think it will never be that.

A definite decision to put in 30 parking spaces hasn't been made yet, thank God.

I was told that the money for this project can't be used to pave streets or fix walls.

I'll post more as I learn about it.

Monday, April 8, 2013 | Report this

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