Since it seems to be (another) bicycle day in Newton, I thought I would throw this out there:

Like many (hundreds?) of other Newtonites, I ride my bike in the area quite a bit. I ride the Pan-Mass Challenge every summer with several friends, and do what I can to get training miles in. One popular route from newton takes us through Weston, and down Meadowbrook Road by the Weston Country Club. It’s the most direct and on e of the safer routes to Weston Center (and from there, Lincoln, Sudbury, Concord et al).

It turns out residents are hiring a police detail this weekend to turn away cyclists (and presumably other non-resident or club member motorists). This brought up a bunch of questions, and I don’t pretend to know all the answers:

  • Meadowbrook Rd is marked as a “Private Way.” Does that give residents the right to block access? I’m not saying it does or it doesn’t; I’m asking, as there seems to be nuanced thinking on the topic. I have also seen conflicting information stating this is a “Private Road” or simply “Private Property,” perhaps the latter designation makes a difference.
  • Bicyclists have used this throughway for years without incident (to my knowledge– there may have been, in fact I’m sure Meadowbrook is no more incident-free – or prone – than any other road. I have used it for 5 years without ever being turned away. Why suddenly enforce it now?
  • What will cyclists do? It’s a very popular route, but there are alternatives. If I go the Weston-Concord route this weekend, I will likely so that but am curious if other cyclists feel more strongly, enough to challenge this.

Enough people in Newton bike frequently – and through Weston – that I thought this would be of interest. Any thoughts?

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