Eagle Scout Of Honor

Eagle Scout Henry Lord awarded his Eagle Badge for his Summit Park Line project at the Court of Honor on January 14th. Congratulations to Henry and his proud parents Al and Lucy Lord. Below is a picture of him receiving the badge from master of ceremonies Keith Halper and Henry in front of the Park Line diorama. We hope to see more Eagle Scout projects along the Summit Park Line.


Resolution Passed By The Union County Freeholders

A resolution was passed by the Union County Freeholders to allow Union County to use the Rahway Valley Railroad right of way as a rail trail. 

rubino park line.jpg


News R e l e a s e December 19, 2017 For immediate release Summit Mayor: Nora G. Radest (908) 273-6400 City Administrator: Michael F. Rogers (908) 522-3600 Media Contact: Amy Cairns (908) 277-9418 Union County Freeholders Passes Resolution Authorizing Rail Trail Use SUMMIT, N.J., December 19, 2017 –

The City of Summit is announcing that the Union County Freeholders, at its December 7 meeting, passed a resolution with the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT), allowing Union County to use the Rahway Valley Railroad (RVRR) right of way as a rail trail, amending a previous agreement from June 2000. When it was operating, the RVRR served Summit, Springfield, Union, Kenilworth, Roselle Park, and Maplewood. The Summit Park Line plan was introduced by the Summit Park Line Foundation, a 501(c) (3) organization, and approved by Summit Common Council. It was included in the city’s 2016 Master Plan ReVision by the Planning Board. The concept of the Park Line is to use a section of the RVRR abandoned rail line to create a public park in Summit. Phase one of the Park Line was completed in November 2017, and the long-term hope of the Summit Park Line Foundation is to connect downtown Summit to Briant Park and beyond to the East Coast Greenway, a rail trail that runs from Maine to Florida. Union County Freeholder Angel Estrada reports, “This is a great project for Summit and the county. I have been enthusiastic about it from the start.” Freeholder Alexander Mirabella says, “I am impressed with the progress that has been made since I visited the site two years ago. This is a great addition to Summit.” The Summit Park Line Foundation recently received a $35,000 grant from the Summit Area Public Foundation (SAPF). The funds will be used towards the expansion of the Park Line in sections of the abandoned rail line throughout Summit. Foundation President and Common Councilmember Dr. Robert Rubino, explains, “We are looking forward to continuing progress on the Park Line, and we are eager to be able to share it with the Summit community. Once complete, it will be the first public park in Summit in over 80 years.”

For more information on the Summit Park Line, please visit summitparkline.org.

Letter of Support for the Park Line

May 2, 2017

Dear Council Members,

I’m writing to urge that you support the Parkline Project in every way possible because it addresses a huge barrier to our being ONE SUMMIT – terrible pedestrian and bike access between east Summit and downtown/central Summit.

Currently we must walk or bike Springfield, Broad, Morris. That’s it. Pick your poison.

I moved back to Summit with my young family in 1988. As I’ve worked with youth and other volunteer activities, I’ve had reason to move around the City a lot. I’ve always biked if I can because Summit is so compact; you can get anywhere in 10 minutes on a bike with no parking. I get to experience Summit’s beauty in a way you can’t in a car.

For this reason, I’m painfully aware of how there is no decent pedestrian or bike access between east and central Summit. Cars are the only option. That’s inconsistent with our revised Master Plan (or any of our recent Master Plans for that matter).

The Parkline Project offers a unique solution to this barrier; this cleft in our city.

I urge you to support Parkline personally and in your Council duties so that …..

We can truly be ….

One Summit …..


Ted Tolles

Eagle Scouts Create The Summit Park Line Path

Eagle Scout candidate Henry Lord, with the help of other scouts and scout leaders create the phase one path of the Summit Park Line Saturday, April 22nd by spreading gravel over the path to maintain it and prevent overgrowth. Scout masters Keith Halper and Terry Dwyer, Frank Friedel and other volunteers pitched-in, for the community effort. Phase one of the Park Line will make a linear park connection between Broad Street and Morris Ave with a view of the NYC skyline in the distance.





David Burwell, who saw bike paths where trains once ran, passes away at 69

David Burwell, the co-founder and first president of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a Washington-based organization that has led nationwide efforts to convert thousands of miles of unused railroad corridors to trails and parklands, died Feb. 1 at his home in Bethesda, Md. He was 69.

He had complications from acute myeloid leukemia, said his wife, Irene Burwell.

Inspired in part by his mother, who helped create an 11-mile bike trail on Cape Cod, Mass., Mr. Burwell was instrumental in building a national movement to preserve green space and to provide options for alternative modes of transportation.

As thousands of miles of old railroad lines were abandoned each year, some communities across the country remade them as paths for bicycling and nature walks. The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, which Mr. Burwell founded in 1986 with Peter Harnik, became the first group to coordinate national efforts to build such a network.

“It was David who turned ‘rails-to-trails’ from an idea with very good potential into a powerful national force backed by firm legal standing, true political muscle and undeniable financial backing,” Harnik said in a statement released by the conservancy.

The organization was launched with a $75,000 grant from environmental advocate Laurance Rockefeller, who called Mr. Burwell “a fireball of energy and determination and talent.”

Mr. Burwell and Harnik persuaded officials from the Interstate Commerce Commission to develop regulations that eased the conversion of old rail lines to trails. With his training as a lawyer, Mr. Burwell helped untangle thorny right-of-way ownership issues across the country.

In the beginning, the rails-to-trails coalition fought road builders and other entrenched interests before it could claim a place as part of the nation’s surface transportation network.

“The idea of turning unused lines into a vibrant resource unites many people — hiking clubs, cyclists, wildlife advocates, political types who are community-oriented,” Mr. Burwell told the San Francisco Chronicle in 1997. “But you get long, skinny parks, cutting across several jurisdictions. Such things fall through the cracks of conventional government. Who has the current title? Who’ll fund the trail, who winds up managing it? That’s where we arrive, to provide expertise.”

In 1991, the conservancy won a major battle with the passage of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA), which mandated that a small portion of federal highway funds be reserved for projects other than paved roads. That money helped groups buy old railroad property, rip up the tracks or build new trails alongside existing rail lines.

Today, often in conjunction with the National Park Service, the conservancy has helped build more than 2,000 trails on more than 22,000 miles of rail corridors in all 50 states and the District. Another 8,000 miles of trails are in the planning stage. The longest trail, the John Wayne Pioneer Trail, stretches 253 miles in the state of Washington.

David Gates Burwell was born Sept. 14, 1947, in Boston and grew up largely in Falmouth and Woods Hole, Mass. His father was a doctor. His mother spent more than a decade spearheading the Shining Sea Bikeway, the rail-trail on Cape Cod.

Mr. Burwell received a bachelor’s degree in government from Dartmouth College in 1969 and a law degree from the University of Virginia in 1973. He practiced law in Boston and Vermont before working for a public interest advocacy group in Massachusetts.

He came to Washington in the late 1970s to work on transportation issues for the National Wildlife Federation. He stepped down as president of the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy in 2001 to found the Surface Transportation Policy Project. He later worked as a consultant on transportation, the environment and urban policy before directing the energy and climate program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace from 2010 to 2014.

His first marriage, to Elizabeth Hennings, ended in divorce. Survivors include his wife of 16 years, the former Irene Ovchinnikova of Bethesda; her son, Victor Ovchinnikov, whom he adopted, of Watertown, Mass.; a sister and brother; and two granddaughters.

“My dream,” Mr. Burwell told a Rails-to-Trails Conservancy publication in 2006, “is that one day you could go across this entire country — old or young, handicapped or able — on flat, wide, off-road paths. I want rail-trails to be America’s main street.”



Center For Active Design: The Importance Of Execution

Assembly: Shaping Space for Civic Life


The Center for Active Design (CfAD) is leading a pioneering initiative to understand how place-based design informs a range of civic engagement outcomes: civic trust, participation in public life, stewardship of the public realm, and informed local voting. The findings will be translated into practical design strategies and disseminated in an upcoming publication known as Assembly: Shaping Space for Civic Life. Assembly will serve as a groundbreaking resource for city leaders and designers who seek to strengthen their communities by harnessing design to support civic life. This work is generously supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and guided by a diverse, multi-disciplinary advisory committee.

Read about incredible applications of active design & their effects.

How Did An Obese City Lose A Million Pounds?

February 6, 20158:44 AM ET

Heard on TED Radio Hour

About Mick Cornett's TED Talk

Mayor Mick Cornett realized that, to make Oklahoma City a great place to live, it had to become healthier and cope with gluttony. He explains step-by-step how the city dropped a collective million pounds. Read summary.



A Glorified Sidewalk, and the Path to Transform Atlanta


SEPTEMBER 11, 2016

ATLANTA — Could this traffic-clogged Southern city, long derided as the epitome of suburban sprawl, really be discovering its walkable, bike-friendly, density-embracing, streetcar-riding, human-scale soul?

The answer is evident in the outpouring of affection that residents here have showered on the Atlanta BeltLine, which aims to convert 22 miles of mostly disused railway beds circling the city’s urban core into a biking and pedestrian loop, a new streetcar line, and a staggeringly ambitious engine of urban revitalization.

Even though just a small fraction of the loop trail has been completed, Atlantans, in one of the purer expressions of America’s newly rekindled romance with city life, have already passionately embraced the project. And like any budding romance, it is full of high hopes — for an Atlanta that is more racially integrated, less congested and, in a change refreshing to many here, more focused on improving the lives of residents rather than just projecting a glittering New South image to the rest of the world.

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