Took a walk along the Quequechan River Bike Trail in Fall River for the first time this morning. I produced some of these images using an old Canon 20D and a 24mm lens that was unfortunately stuck in 2.8. Added black and white and photo filter layers using Photoshop for a vintage look.
Over 50 people consisting of community leaders, biking enthusiasts and concerned citizens gathered to hear the specifics and details on the proposed Quequechan River Rail Trail Project at the Government Center in Fall River Tuesday night.
With illustrated drawings of a beautifully, if not drastically, renovated Quequechan River set on easels and a digital slideshow, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the landscape architect firm of Brown, Richardson, and Rowe informed those in attendance what is being proposed for the project and to also listen to any questions, feedback and concerns they may have.
The 1.4 mile bike trail, which is Phase Two of the project, will run from the end of the existing one mile bike path skirting South Watuppa pond (Phase One) and will continue along the Quequechan River and end with a split to Britland Park and Rodman Street.
No information was given when construction of Phase Two would begin.
Fall River grant writer Jane DiBiasio began the meeting by bringing everyone up to speed on the project from its inception in 2002 through the progress and completion of Phase One of the trail in 2008.
Curt Gartner of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs for the state, the agency funding the designs being discussed, was then introduced and stated that he was “optimistic of projects like this one can make a big difference in both in terms of providing recreational opportunities and in terms of transforming cities.”
“This particular project,” Gartner went on, “offers the opportunity to connect residents from one part of a community to another in a way they couldn’t before.”
Gartner mentioned that this is the first round of public conversations with the public involving the designs of the project.
Imogene Hatch, senior landscape designer at Brown, Richardson and Rowe, the architects behind the design of the bike trail, presented a digital slideshow of rendered images of what the firm has researched and planned for Phase Two.
Among items Hatch mentioned in the presentation were installing kiosks along the path with maps and historical images of the area, concrete mileage markers, bike racks, and re-using existing railroad tracks as guardrails along the path.
Hatch also pointed out that Fall River is a very industrial and urban area, which will be in consideration in terms of maintenance and usage when furnishing the trail with benches.
Steven Camara, of the Lower Highlands Neighborhood Association, added to the hearing with a proposal for the waterfront in conjunction with the Quequechan project.
Involving extending Heritage State Park to the east-side of Davol Street and pedestrian crosswalk bridges over Davol Street, Camara pointed out utilizing a parcel of land on the waterfront for a half-shell for outdoor concerts, which drew some “ooohs” from the crowd.
At the completion of the presentation, questions and concerns were aired by those in attendance. Such issues mentioned was installing a traffic light on Quequechan Street, which cuts through part of the bike trail, in order to protect bicyclists and pedestrians, along with placing emergency call boxes on the bike path.