Six months after the opening of the Green Line Extension, the adjacent Community Path will open Saturday, the MBTA said Friday.
The path, which runs parallel to the Medford Branch of the Green Line, offers cyclists and pedestrians direct access to Magoun Square, Gilman Square, East Somerville, and Lechmere stations. It also connects to 26 miles of bike paths along the Charles River, according to the MBTA.
“The Green Line Extension Community Path offers a critical connection point between public transportation and the many wonderful pathways, bikeways, and other community spaces in Somerville and beyond,” Governor Maura Healey said in a statement. “We are excited to open the Community Path this weekend and grateful to the City of Somerville and the MBTA team for their collaboration to make this project a reality.”
After the project was repeatedly delayed, some people began using already the newly paved path, though it had not officially opened.
“I have heard directly from so many constituents how important this path is,” MBTA General Manager and CEO Phillip Eng said in the statement. “I’m proud that we are now able to open this accessible path to better serve our GLX riders and the neighboring community.”
The preexisting Somerville Community Path was built in 1985, running about 1.3 miles from Massachusetts Avenue to Lowell Street. In 1991, it was connected to the Minuteman Trail, which stretches 10 miles from Bedford Depot to Alewife station. The Green Line Extension Community Path connects with the Somerville path to create a 13.2-mile network of multi-use walkways, according to the MBTA.
“The Community Path is of course a critical part of the region’s transportation system, but in Somerville, it’s also a unique part of our social fabric and the open space network we envisioned for all to enjoy and use,” Somerville Mayor Katjana Ballantyne said in the statement. “I am grateful to the many incredible, determined Somerville residents, activists, elected officials, and staff who labored to make this dream a reality.”