Officials Looking Into Orleans-South Orleans Bike Path

ORLEANS – Officials in Orleans are looking into a way to improve bicycle transportation from the center of town to South Orleans and Chatham.

At a meeting last month, selectmen and DPW Director Tom Daley talked about the feasibility of establishing a bike and walking path that would parallel Route 28 from downtown to Route 39.

Some have floated the idea of utilizing watershed property in the area to create a path, but Daley suggested establishing a path closer to the main road.

“I think the best way is the direct way: Route 28,” Daley said.

“If you want to get from South Orleans to downtown the best way is the Route 28 right-of-way. It’s direct, people can see it, it’s not meandering through the woods.”

Parts of the watershed don’t direct abut Route 28 and the path would have to go around a number of private properties. The area also includes a number of Level 1 zones that contribute to the wells in Orleans, meaning state regulations would prohibit paths in some spots.

If the town were to consider using watershed property, the Board of water and sewer commissioners are open to discussing the matter, according to Daley.

The idea for building a path to connect Orleans and South Orleans was first brought up in 2009, but no action has been taken since then.

Daley recommended the Board of Selectmen look into hiring a consultant to examine the idea. The project would likely bring with it a multi-million dollar price tag.

Daley will update selectmen again on the proposal in the new year.

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