Needham/Newton Community Way

Logo for the community way project featuring two white bridges on a green background

Needham/Newton Community Way Area Map

Community Way Study Area

The Town of Needham and the City of Newton are working together to study the future use of the former railroad corridor that historically connected the two communities. Recreating a connection is a long-term interest and effort. The possibility of a shared-use path would extend the Upper Falls Greenway across the Charles River, across I-95/128, and along the former railroad right of way to Webster Street in Needham Heights. This project is still in the preliminary stages and has not yet been planned, designed, or funded.

To assist in planning, the municipalities received state funding to conduct a feasibility study, which included a technical analysis, a survey, and three community meetings to describe the project and hear from the public. The municipalities are considering whether this would be a path for cyclists, pedestrians, and similar uses, or if it should also provide public transportation with electric shuttle bus service.

Here's how you can participate:

  • A hybrid community meeting hosted by the Town of Needham took place on Tuesday, April 18 at 6:00 PM in Powers Hall. The study team outlined the scope of their work and took questions from a hybrid in-person/virtual audience. A recording of the meeting can be accessed at this link.
  • A virtual community meeting hosted by the City of Newton took place on Wednesday, April 26 at 7:00 PM. A recording of the virtual meeting can be accessed through this link (registration is not required).
  • An online survey was conducted in April 2023 to get a sense of the public’s perspective on the project. Click here to access the results of the survey. Thanks to all who gave their feedback. A sampling of submitted public comments is posted below.
  • An additional virtual community meeting jointly hosted by both communities was held on Thursday, September 7 at 7:00 PM. Updates on the study's findings were discussed in preparation for the publishing of the final report (coming soon). A recording of the meeting can be accessed at this link.

This page will be updated as the study proceeds. Please share with others who may be interested!

- 4/18/2023: Linked below is the request for qualifications package that was used to solicit the engineering services required for this study. It contains information related to the scope of the study and the tasks to be completed by the awarded firm, Greenman-Pedersen, Inc. (GPI) Also attached are the posted addenda to the RFQ.

- 4/26/2023: Linked below is the slide deck from the presentation by GPI at the public meeting held on April 18 in Powers Hall.

- 8/28/2023: Linked below is a list of comments from the public that were collected from the survey before, during, and after the public meetings in April 2023.

- 9/8/2023: Linked below is the slide deck from the presentation by GPI at the virtual public meeting held on September 7. Also linked are the answers to the Q&A portion of the meeting.

- 9/25/2023: The final Feasibility Study report was published on Friday, September 22. Find it linked below. Also included is an addendum memo from the project's Working Group to leadership in both communities.

- 9/27/2023: The Town of Needham and the City of Newton are accepting public comments on the final feasibility study report! Please submit your feedback through this form. The open comment period will close on Tuesday, October 31, 2023.

Project Documents