bikeways workshop 010322

A variety of routes have been proposed for the bikeway through town, indicated by the colored lines.

A bikeway stretching from the Cape Cod Canal to the Service Road is the topic of a planning workshop on Monday, January 10 for the general public to provide feedback and ask questions about route planning for the regional bike path.

The workshop, hosted by the Sandwich Bikeway & Pedestrian Committee, the engineering department and their consultant will take place at the Sand Hill School Community Center at 6 PM.

The three groups are working together to assess potential routes between the Cape Cod Canal and the Service Road to improve bicycle and pedestrian accommodations in hopes of establishing a regional bike route running the 88 miles between Woods Hole and Provincetown.

For those who cannot attend the in-person only meeting, an electronic survey and presentation will be available.

A draft suggested a variety of routes including potential paths through downtown Sandwich, the Sandwich Fish Hatchery, Shawme-Crowell State Forest and even through Joint Base Cape Cod, which was determined to be the least feasible option, due to base security issues and topography challenges.

“We have driven every road at this point and we did get on the ground with the reps who think there are challenges from the topography perspective, which we are all aware of,” said Stephen Rhoads of VHB in December. “I think there is a way we can stitch it together and have a feasible project.”

Although committee chairman Sean Polay does not expect a large turnout, there has been a great deal of interest in the project for years, he said. During one of the local comprehensive plan workshops addressing recreation in town, the canal-to-service-road pathway was a well discussed topic between residents.

“This will provide people with the opportunity to see what our consultant thinks so far, based on ground assessments,” Mr. Polay said. “This will be just as informative, as it is interactive for folks who are not as familiar with the project.”

Despite residential interest in the project and a want for a regional multi-use path, Mr. Polay fears the project does not seem real to people yet because it might not be completed for another 10 years, he said.

“It doesn’t feel feasible to people yet and that is what we are trying to establish for them (through the workshop),” he continued. “That is what part of this session will be; learning more about how feasible some of these options are.”

Of the route suggestions, Shawme-Crowell State Park, which is already state-owned land, could be the best option, Mr. Polay said. But it bypasses the village, which committee members have made clear they need access to.

“Some committee members feel it should go directly through the village but I am not sure how feasible that is,” he continued. “Some sort of Shawme-Crowell bypass with some sort of spur that connects to the village would be ideal.”

Still, Mr. Polay and other committee members encourage residents to suggest new and innovative connections outside of the recommended routes, he said.

“I think we have been talking about it for so long, I am going to appreciate the more technical perspective to broaden my horizons to show me what the challenges, alternatives and most realistic possibilities are,” Mr. Polay said.

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