The Blog

Why Does Springfield Need a Rail-Trail

i Dec 21st No Comments by

Springfield and Massachusetts Need Exercise

Exercise can help fight obesity and improve general health. For example, walking the rail trail twice, at a moderate pace, could burn approximately 400 calories. Not to mention that you’ll enjoy the fresh air and have a good time in your
community and city.

Why Fight obesity

* People who are overweight are more likely to develop disabling conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, gall bladder disease, and other disorders.

*Type 2 Diabetes is on the rise amongst young children.

*If something doesn’t change, obesity will overtake smoking as the number one cause of preventable deaths in Massachusetts.

Our effort to create a rail-trail is in sync with the Commonwealth’s effort to fight obesity with a healthier and more active lifestyle. Massachusetts recently created, Mass in Motion, a program that aims to promote wellness, and prevent obesity by focusing on healthy eating and physical activity. Springfield subsequently received a grant that helped create the Wellness Council. The Council’s primary task is to prioritize wellness initiatives that support healthy eating and active living.

Reduce Pollution and Automobile Congestion

The City of Springfield is the only municipality in the Pioneer Valley still in non-compliance with the federal Clean Air Act, both for carbon monoxide and ozone.

A rail trail would offer a non-motorized alternative to get from one place to another. Fewer cars on the road means less pollution in the air—less pollution equals fewer kids exposed to harmful pollutants

A Place to Exercise and Ride Your Bike Safely

There is a need for bike paths in the city. It doesn’t make sense to leave the city by car just so you can ride your bike safely. And if you’ve ridden a bike in Springfield, you know just how dangerous it can be: constantly looking over your shoulder for cars; watching out for people opening their doors into the bike’s right of way; nervously scanning the pockmarked street for a pothole deep enough to swallow bicycle and rider.The rail-trail offers the potential to safely ride your bike within your community.

Quality of Life

Springfield blends big city lights with small town charm. The McKnight neighborhood is a perfect example of this—Victorian homes close to downtown retain their old-time grandeur on stately tree-lined streets. The people in the McKnight neighborhood want to be able to exercise and move within their community safely. A rail-trail is a quality of life amenity that can retain and attract residents to Springfield.