Young bicyclist waits at crosswalk

The challenges are many for bicyclists and pedestrians who seek to travel in Milton.

They include bike lanes that end abruptly at busy intersections, trails and sidewalks that are in need of maintenance with encroaching poison ivy and knotweed, and aggressive drivers who go too fast next to narrow sidewalks.

Whether they are headed to work or school or are just out for some recreation, a growing number of  pedestrians, cyclists, and those in wheelchairs have made their views known to the town.

About 500 people responded to a recent survey seeking input for Milton’s first pedestrian and bicycle master plan.

Led by transportation planners from the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission (MAPC) and the town, the master plan also held a one-day workshop on the plan in early April as part of the one-year effort and continues to want to hear from residents.

Calling it a “vision” for a more connected Milton, the MAPC and town planning officials presented a near-final draft of the pedestrian and bicycle master plan to the Select Board on July 27.

The plan is expected to come back before the board this fall. 

Town Planner Tim Czerwienski said the desire to do this study started with the Master Plan Implementation Committee (MPIC) working with the Planning Department and the town’s Bicycle Advisory Committee several years ago.

“People are biking in town,” he said, noting the heavy use around public schools. “We have done bits and pieces of updating our facilities.”

Czerwienski explained that the plan is intended to be a guide for the town on including pedestrian and bicycle use as it makes decisions about public realm improvements such as paving, infrastructure, and capital projects in the future.

“This plan is going to be a really awesome tool for us to make biking, walking, and rolling through town safer and more effective, and hopefully take some cars off the road and improve congestion and air quality by providing safe and effective options,” he said.

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