PATCH ANSWERS: Are Sidewalks Coming to Westford Road?

Welcome to our latest "You Asked, Patch Answers"


After our Patch Answers column on how far the sidewalks will go down Old Westford Road, someone asked us whether or not there would be sidewalks constructed on Westford Street between Old Westford Road and the Town Center.

Short Answer: Yes. Longer Answer: They're planned.

The town of Chelmsford categorizes sidewalks into five categories: good condition, fair condition, poor condition, under construction/design, planned for future construction. Westford Street is in the fifth category, with a sidewalk on each side of the street, switching over at Abbott Lane.

We've attached a map from the town with all five categories on all of the town's streets, accurate as of earlier this month.

Iron Mike January 23, 2013 at 01:09 PM
Aah, the age-old quandary – do we need more expensive public infrastructure – or not? The liberals and progressives think 'If we can envision it – we should build it!' Conservatives and curmudgeons ask, 'Why, and who's going to pay for it?' So expensive bike trails are built – to be used by a tiny minority of bikers. Sidewalks are built [beautiful healthy trees sacrificed of course] so city workers can draw overtime. Then there is more miles of pathway and sidewalk to be maintained, and plowed in the winter. And then the inevitable lawsuit – when somebody trips on a crack... So who says sidewalks are urgently needed? Somebody with a vested interest?
ChelmsfordMom January 23, 2013 at 01:30 PM
Iron Mike, that 'bike' trail is actually used by runners and walkers as well as bicyclists. It promotes good health. I see many families on that trail as well.
Andrew Sylvia (Editor) January 23, 2013 at 01:36 PM
Hi Iron Mike, I can confirm that from what I've heard from folks in Chelmsford, the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail is probably considered to be a town treasure. In Westford, it's a gigantic political issue, although it's died down a bit.
Anna Bucciarelli January 23, 2013 at 02:59 PM
I like the bike trail, think it is a great addition to our town even tho I rarely use it. However, the problem it poses to oncoming traffic, not able to see accurately if a walker or biker is about to cross the road is treacherous in my mind, especially at the intersection of Rt. 110 and Fletcher Street. Someone just didn't plan that one accurately. As for sidewalks, I think they are a necessary evil for kids who are walkers to school but I also feel there is a better answer than just cutting down age-old, beautiful trees. Where are the preservationist greenies in this? Seems to me that a better way could/should be implemented.
Bruce January 23, 2013 at 03:14 PM
Count me in as a regular on the Freeman trail, and I'm one of those cranky conservatives. The way I see it, things like bike trails and sidewalks ultimately add to property values as they help make Chelmsford a more attractive town to live in.
Dee Dee January 23, 2013 at 06:14 PM
I would to see sidewalks on the other side of Richardson Rd. We have three main schools there and that road is to dangerous and cars go speeding.
Tim Miranda January 23, 2013 at 06:32 PM
I've never understood why we don't have more walkable neighborhoods around schools, especially in the North Chelmsford area. Kids who live in a neighborhood that has them attending Harrington, then McCarthy, then the high school, theoretically live within walking distance of all three, but there's no practical way for them to walk without encountering roads without sidewalks (Richardson), large roads with high speeds and no traffic calming features (north rd, princeton, middlesex), and side streets with no sidewalks.
Sunny January 23, 2013 at 06:59 PM
I agree with Tim if you expect the students to walk to school then there should be sidewalks.Kids need some exercise away from computer. Is not the responsibility of the sidewalk's abutters to keep it clear of snow? Some cities and towns give out fines. Lately, the dog walkers are using the bike path for daily duty. There were many beautiful trees, shrubs, wildflowers, etc. destroyed in the construction of the bike path. Is it true that new residential developments must have sidewalks?
John Gault January 23, 2013 at 07:46 PM
Gotta agree with Mike, I like just spouting things out too!! Spout spout spout! Let's see how good the spout was: "So expensive (citation needed) bike trails are built – to be used by a tiny minority of bikers (citation needed). Sidewalks are built [beautiful healthy trees sacrificed (citation needed) of course] so city workers can draw overtime (citation needed). And then the inevitable lawsuit – when somebody trips on a crack...(citation needed) So who says sidewalks are urgently (citation needed) needed?
Lee Panas June 06, 2013 at 11:22 PM
I've been living in Chelmsford for 45 years and the bike trail is one of the best things the town has ever done.


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