The City of Lynn, Massachusetts, is located at the northern end of the Northern Strand Community Trail: a 10-mile, shared-use path along an abandoned railbed. Before the Northern Strand existed, trail users were limited to where they could explore. However, the path was choppy, and the trail’s potential to connect multiple communities had not yet been met. The promise of extending the path offered an uninterrupted route between the trail and the shore—an attractive prospect for those who wished for safe and efficient active transportation between neighboring communities.
Meanwhile, multiple grassroots efforts within the community were working to implement multimodal improvements and better connectivity among in-town neighborhoods. With compatible goals in mind, the Lynn Bicycle and Pedestrian Network Plan created an opportunity to connect these grassroots efforts to the state’s Northern Strand Community Trail expansion.
Coordinating with separate but parallel efforts by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), Kittelson developed the Lynn Bicycle and Pedestrian Network Plan (Network Plan), which integrated both regional- and local-scale planning efforts, assessed route alternatives, identified the preferred route for the Northern Strand in Lynn, and provided design concepts for multimodal improvements. The team produced the Network Plan through a series of interactive public workshops, web-based engagement, and continuous feedback garnered from social media postings, face-to-face interactions, and responses.
Connecting Communities Through Walking and Biking Facilities
The Network Plan is a blueprint for current and future planning efforts to improve Lynn’s walkability and bikeability. The Network Plan is currently being implemented with a two-way separated bicycle facility through Lynn, with the terminus at Lynn Shore & Nahant Beach Reservation. Tied to this work are pedestrian treatments, such as raised crosswalks, a bicycle signal at the intersection of Market Street and the Lynnway, and recommendations for traffic calming and expanding the network for multimodal connectivity. The trail is currently under construction and is set to be a complete, scenic trail in 2022.