Administrative Information

Organization Information

Legal Name of Organization Bedford Friends of the Minuteman Commuter Bikeway, Inc.
Type of Proposal Facility Improvement - Feasibility Study for Extension of the Minuteman Commuter Bikeway
Address: c/o Donald Blake
1 Gleason Rd.
Bedford, MA 01730
Type of Corporation: (501(c))(3)

Staff and Board

Contact Person: Robert B. Sawyer
Title: Extension Subcommittee Chair
Direct Phone #: 781-275-6533
Number of staff: Full Time Paid none
Number of staff: Part Time Paid none

Financial Information

Amount requested: $5000
Total Project Budget: $250,000 to $300,000 estimated
Total Organization budget: less than $300 annual


Authorized Signature:
Title: Extension Subcommittee Chair
Print Name: Robert B. Sawyer

Grant Application Narrative

Proposal Narrative

A. Organizational Information

1. Summary of BFoMB's mission, long-term goals, and history

Organization. The Bedford Friends of the Minuteman Commuter Bikeway was incorporated in Massachusetts on June 4, 1997, doing business as The Bedford Friends of the Minuteman Bikeway (BFMB).

Purpose. The BFMB is a volunteer organization devoted to the advocacy and promotion of safe, enjoyable cycling in Bedford as an alternate mode of transportation and for recreation.. It acts in an advisory capacity to the Bedford Bicycle Advisory Committee, which is appointed by the Board of Selectmen, on matters relating to cycling in Bedford. It is incorporated as a 501(c)(3) organization. It is complementary to the Bedford Bicycle Advisory Committee in that there are some activities in which the town committee cannot engage.

Goals. The goals of the BFMB are to promote enjoyment of the bikeways in Bedford and neighboring towns; to support new and extended trails; to promote safe biking on the roads and ways; to promote youth and adult bike safety education; to promote access to schools, offices, stores and other places of interest; to promote safe bicycle parking at destinations; and to promote community involvement through newsletters, website (, meetings, fund-raising programs, membership development, letter writing and activism.

Ongoing Activities. Since 1998 the BFMB has helped organize and staff an annual one-day police bike safety clinic held in June. Also since 1998 it has operated a free valet bicycle parking service at the annual strawberry festival on July 4th and at the annual Bedford Day celebration in September, to encourage cycling to these events. The website has been on-line since 2001.

History. Bedford has been a principal in the development of the Minuteman Bikeway from its initial inception following the abandonment of the Lexington branch in 1981. The completion of the Minuteman Bikeway to Bedford was celebrated at the dedication on November 20, 1993.

Bike-Skate hub. In 1995, a group of railroad buffs formed the Friends of Bedford Depot Park ( to celebrate the railroad history of the depot area at the terminus of the Minuteman Bikeway. A Federal Transportation Enhancement Program grant has been awarded to restore and redevelop the area, including the depot, the freight house, a Buddliner that had operated on the line and a lovely rest area for bikers and visitors there. A store and rest room at the freight house provide refreshment for cyclists and other travelers on the bikeway and roadways. Parking for about 75 vehicles brings visitors from long distances to enjoy the Depot Park and the three bikeways that start there. As of spring 2004, development of the grounds and parking at the Depot Park area is now largely completed. Restoration of the freight house and the depot exterior, and the renovation of the freight house interior and Buddliner are expected to commence soon.

Bike Shop. The Bikeway Source ( opened across the street from the terminus of the Minuteman Bikeway for the sale and repair of bicycles, skis, skates, and accessories. From a modest start, business there has been thriving, with the large number of cyclists and skaters that pass by there. The shop there is for bikers and skaters who want to upgrade their equipment as well as others drawn to the area for historical purposes and otherwise who are attracted by the abundant biking and skating there.

In addition to the Minuteman Bikeway, two other multi-use recreational paths join at the Depot Park terminus -- the Narrow-Gauge Rail Trail (NGRT) due north to Billerica and the so-called Minuteman Bikeway Extension west toward Concord. The path surfaces are respectively stone dust and packed earth. Many now use these paths, particularly the extension toward Concord. It is expected the numbers will increase significantly once the surfaces are paved. It is expected the users will include both those living in West Bedford as well as in Concord and other surrounding towns.

2. Description of successes in recent projects and programs.

Milestones. Milestones of Bedford bike-skate support

1981: Lexington rail line abandoned
Minuteman Commuter Bikeway (MMCB) proposal draft, Dec. 27.
1983: National rail-banking act enacted by Congress, Mar. 15.
1986: Ad hoc Minuteman Bikeway Implementation Committee (MBIC) established by Bedford.
1987: Bedford Board of Selectmen sign lease with MBTA for MMCB, including maintenance and policing, Oct.
1992: MMCB dedicated as 500th open rail-trail, Oct. 3.
1993: Bedford Friends of the Minuteman Bikeway (BFoMB) organized, Oct. 20, and newsletter, Bikeway, published.
Bedford segment of MMCB (1.56 mi.) dedicated, Nov. 20.
1997: $35,420 voted by Town Meeting for rehabilitation of former Bedford-Billerica railroad bed for bikeway north to Billerica Town line with hard stone dust surface. $20,000 awarded by State for amenities to this bikeway.
$988,511 awarded, 80% Federal/20% State, for construction of Depot Park at the South Rd. terminus of the MMCB, April.
North portion of North Bikeway surfaced with stone dust.
The BFoMB is incorporated, June 4.
Bicycle valet parking introduced by BFoMB at Bedford Day, Sept. 20.
1998: The Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) is established by the Town Annual Meeting, replacing the ad hoc MBIC, April 11.
Drainage put in Loomis St.-Great Rd. section of the North Bikeway., graded,, paved, April
The incorporated BFMB has first meeting, April 28.
The Selectmen name the North Bikeway "The Narrow-Gauge Rail Trail" (NGRT), May.
The surface of the NGRT north of Pine Hill Rd. is resurfaced with stone dust.
Dedication of the Cambridge end of the MMCB, May 19
BFMB supported the Police Dept. first annual Police Bike Safety Clinic, June 20.
BFMB published bicycle-safety series in the Bedford Minuteman,, Aug.-Sept.
DPW paved NGRT section from Loomis St. to The Great Road, Sept. 18.
Boston Gas applied stone dust surface on NGRT from Pine Hill Rd. to Sweetwater Ave.
2000: (?) BFoMB receives grant from Charles River Wheelmen to erect additional bicycle parking in the vicinity of Bedford Depot Park.
2002: Annual Town meeting passed bylaw to maintain unobstructed sidewalks throughout Town, April.
Annual Town meeting passed zoning bylaw to provide bicycle parking facilities at stores, office buildings, etc., to encourage biking, April.
Note that this article was brought to Town Meeting as a project of the BFoMB.
2003: Town voted $100 penalty to bylaw passed in 2003 for obstructing a sidewalk, April.
Rotary International volunteers started construction of parking lot at Concord-Rd. end of abandoned Reformatory Branch railroad bed (the so-called Minuteman extension).
Construction of parking lot and bicycle facilities at old depot area substantially completed.
2004: Bedford STM (Special Town Meeting) 4 Nov 2004 approved allocating $5,000 from Community Preservation Act funds for a feasibility study of the extension of the Minuteman Bikeway in Bedford. The Community Preservation committee making the recommendation to STM expected that matching funds would be sought.
Continuing: Monthly meetings of BAC and BFMB to conduct business.
Publication of semi-annual BIKEWAY newsletter, March & September.
Annual BFoMB meeting with primary aim of inter-town discussion of bike issues, April
Police Bike Safety Clinic, June.
Provide free valet bicycle (and stroller, wagon, etc.) parking and an information table at Strawberry Festival (July 4th) and at Bedford Day celebration, September

B. Purpose of the Grant

To finance a feasibility study for paving 1.7 miles of an existing abandoned RR right of way now owned by the town of Bedford

  1. Situation

    a. need
    b. environment
  2. Specific Activities

    a. Goals of the project

    To extend the Minuteman Bikeway 1.7 miles from its current terminus at Railroad Ave. in Bedford west to Concord Rd. in Bedford.

    b. Action Plan
    c. Personnel that will execute the action plan

    In addition to volunteer members of the BFoMB, this project has the support of the Selectmen, the Planning Board, and the DPW.

  3. Impact

    a. Measureable outcomes

    b. Other sources of funding

  4. Evaluation

    Success of the larger project is measured by the completion of the Bikeway Extension construction. This project is not likely to have many notable features for other organizations to learn from, although the use of Community Preservation Act funds may be of interest.

    Success of the Feasibility Study is measured by the completion of the study, with parameters as described above.

C. Attachments

  1. Financials

    a. Financial Statements from most recent FY

    This excerpt is from the minutes of the Annual Meeting of the Bedford Friends of the Minuteman Bikeway, April 14, 2004:

    "Don reported that in 2004 we have had income of $130 from membership renewals and $3.70 from bank interest. Our expenses have been $30 for room rental and also an unknown amount for the last newsletter, making a current balance of $714.20"

    b. Organizational Budget for present year

    This excerpt is from the minutes of the Annual Meeting of the Bedford Friends of the Minuteman Bikeway, April 14, 2004:

    "We unanimously authorized the new budget of $380 for next year’s expenses including a tarp for over the booth at Bedford Day"

  2. Other Support Materials

    a. List of Board Members and affiliations

    As of 2004 Annual Meeting


    Officers (1-year terms)

    b. Map / Plan of project and area

    A map showing the proposed Minuteman Bikeway Extension can be found at

    c. Media articles

    At this time, no articles have been generated about this project that we are aware of.

    d. Support letters

    Support letters have been solicited and received from several local sources and are attached to this application.