WOODSTOCK — Area residents saw the proposed design for Woodstock’s bicycle and pedestrian trail unveiled Wednesday night.
Beth Poovey, director of Greenways, Parks and Open Spaces for LandDesign, along with Craig George, director of Landscape Architecture and Planning for Valley Engineering, gave a sneak peek of the plan which will be available to the public for two weeks beginning next Wednesday on the town of Woodstock’s website.
Public input will be gathered for those commenting on the plan and used to identify priorities.
Peggy Boston, of Woodstock, was there with Tom Constable of New Market to hear the details of and see the proposed plan.
“It’s terrific. It’s going to change our world,” Boston said after the presentation. “This is good for the town, good for the citizens and good for the county.”
The design with its trails and green spaces will encourage younger people to move to Woodstock, she said.
Constable was impressed with the plan.
“This is something the community needed. Outdoor recreation is vital,” Constable said.
The proposed master plan for the Woodstock loop trails, if approved, would provide 10.8 miles of paths and trails connecting Woodstock residents and visitors to neighborhood parks, schools, and the historic downtown without having to get in a car.
It is made up of a combination of existing sidewalks, proposed sidewalks, proposed bicycle boulevards, proposed shared use paths, proposed sidepath, and proposed bike lane with sidewalks, according to the plan.
A shared use path is used to separate cyclists and pedestrians, skaters, wheelchair users and more from vehicles, according to the plan.
Sidepaths are similar to a shared-use path but run next to roads.
The plan essentially creates paths encircling the town from Water Street to Hisey Avenue with paths connecting through the center of town providing access to historic downtown. The plan also shows connections that extend from downtown to Riverview Park, accessing Seven Bends State Park, where postcard-worthy views will be created, Poovey said.
There is not yet a projected cost for the plan which is variable depending on what the town settles on as priorities. The town, however, has budgeted $90,000 to begin working on the plan, said Lemuel Hancock, Woodstock’s urban designer. Continued work will be incorporated into the town’s Capital Improvement Plan, he said.
Don Hindman, who chairs the Rails to Trails committee, spoke to those in attendance about pathways and green spaces.
“This is what public health looks like today,” Hindman said.