Published April 25th, 2017, Swampscott Reporter online.

Rail trail is ‘a wonderful opportunity’, Lou Merino, Plymouth Ave., Swampscott

I am writing in support of the Swampscott rail trail. We have a wonderful opportunity right here in front of us to repurpose this land that has been sitting dormant for nearly half a century. As a runner, I would very much look forward to using it. I use the Marblehead and Salem portions all the time and it’s nice to not have to worry about traffic while enjoying the quiet surroundings and nice scenery. I would also use the trail to go for walks with my family and would actually feel safer walking on the trail with my children than I do on some of our streets. Crossing Paradise Road can be very scary to say the least but a walking bridge as part of the trail across Paradise, would make it easy and safe. Some are arguing that the money should go to schools.

While I agree that a new elementary school is needed, $850,000 is not going to buy us a new school. Others are arguing that we are disturbing the wildlife. I see rabbits and all kinds of other small animals thriving on the Marblehead trail. Many other communities have a similar trail and we should have one too. Why not reuse this land to create a healthy trail that can be used by many for running, walking, biking and more? Schools and scouts could also use use it for field trips and educational opportunities. So, let’s do something good for the community and support the trail and create some much needed green space for all residents to enjoy. – Lou Marino, Plymouth Avenue