Soon, pedestrians in Warren will be able to walk from the village to the trails behind Warren Elementary School without spending too much time alongside traffic.
On Tuesday, September 24, the Warren Select Board voted to turn over management of an existing footpath connecting Brook Road to Warren Elementary School to the Mad River Path Association.
"What the town gets from this is help to build the trail properly and keep it up," select board chair Andy Cunningham said. The footpath was closed following Warren resident Sue Carter's 2012 appeal of a Vermont Probate Court decision that granted the town a right of way to the portion of footpath that crosses her property. The town won the court case, but the footpath remained closed.
In efforts to re-open the route, the Mad River Path Association plans to install a split-rail fence along a portion of the footpath as well as take care of any other maintenance work that needs to be done, including clearing brush and installing signs. "Really, there's not a lot of construction involved [on the footpath]," Mad River Path Association director Will Flender said. "Our hope is to get it up and running this fall."
Right now, pedestrians traveling from Warren Village have to walk up Brook Road to School Road in order to reach Warren Elementary School, but once it re-opens, the footpath will essentially "cut off that corner," Flender said, and provide a more direct and safer route for students walking to school.
In taking over management of the footpath, "I know many of the [Mad River Path Association] board members were excited to help the town out," Flender said. The path is a "great addition" to the nonprofit organization's plan for a system of continuous public pathways from Warren to Moretown, Flender said, as it will connect to an existing portion of path in the Eaton Parcel behind Warren Elementary School.