Residents voice concerns over bike path trash, planning
MATTAPOISETT — Even though the Goodspeed Island extension to the Mattapoisett Rail-Trail isn’t due to be completed until next spring, the Board of Selectmen fielded questions regarding a lack of preventative measures — especially when it comes to abuse of the surrounding environment by users of the bike path.
Caroline Schemecker, who addressed the board at a Sept. 22 Board of Selectmen meeting, said that the town and those involved with the project need to take a page out of Tri-Town Against Racism’s book (who presented at the meeting,) and “start where you live.”
“We have the opportunity to be proactive in this last phase of planning instead of reactive when the rail-trail opens,” Schemecker said.
She and other attendees’ had major gripes with the treatment of the wetlands surrounding the path and improper disposal of trash by users of the already existing portion of the bike path.
But Board Chair Paul Silva said he’d rather have the board look at those issues after the bike path is complete.
Town Administrator Michael Lorenco said that he’s looking into the issue of people mistreating the wetlands, and that the environmental police are already patrolling the area.
One issue on which everyone agreed, though, was the necessity for garbage cans and port-a-johns along the trail.
“We need to do that,” said Selectman Jordan Collyer. “We need at least one port-a-john, maybe two.”
One solution is a so-called “comfort station,” including an accessible port-a-john and a couple of trash receptacles. The station would be placed on a concrete slab to keep it sturdy in high winds.
“The problem is where we’re going to put this,” said Collyer. “So it’s not an eyesore.”