The last few days have been an excellent test to find out how affective Clipper City Rail Trail is in getting pedestrians and tourists down to the center of town. I took a little trip on the train and before I boarded, I briskly walked from the river’s edge all the way to the station. One, to save money and avoid the parking fee and two, to do this experiment.
Normally, taking a bicycle regardless of the weather would be a breezy 8 to 10 minutes. And breezy it was! The wind gusted to the point that the rains were driven parallel to the ground. It was cold and that seeping into the bones dampness was present. It so reminded me of all the coming pleasant walks around town during the fall, winter and spring that can be enjoyed on the ‘coast’ in New England.
So, I tried it. I am fairly healthy so I tried in spite of the weather to walk a steady regular pace instead of my usual brisk gate.
It took 20 minutes.
I think that when winter comes, adequately clothed, the rail trail will be an excellent means to get downtown. Of course, for tourists under more pleasant means, it will be and has already been a veritable boon! I can’t wait until Phase II is opened up so the South End can enjoy an influx.
I also noticed that some pedestrians when disembarking from the train were still taking Hill Street to enjoy the protection of the buildings and natural height that blocked the Nor’easter.
Either way, I can see Newburyport becoming a more welcoming place for train passengers.
Now if we can only have a convenience store at the Train Station so we can use the restrooms and be shielded from the cold!