Cape Cod National Seashore Concludes Environmental Review of Outer Cape Bike and Pedestrian Master Plan on Park Lands

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Date: August 30, 2017
Contact: Lauren McKean, Park Planner, 508-957-0731

WELLFLEET, Mass. - The 2017 Outer Cape Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan (Bicycle Master Plan) has been a joint effort between the Cape Cod Commission, National Park Service, and three Outer Cape towns to consider expanding and enhancing multi-modal routes throughout the Outer Cape and Cape Cod National Seashore. When the project overview was released to the public in fall 2014, the project team gathered public input and analyzed alternatives, which included a bicycle and pedestrian network linking the towns of Wellfleet, Truro, and Provincetown with the Cape Cod Rail Trail, national seashore, and other destinations within the three communities. The Bicycle Master Plan released over the winter includes a recommended primary route from South Wellfleet to Provincetown, and recommended secondary routes within each community that connect to the primary route and to popular destinations.
 
The park service was involved with the Cape Cod Commission and towns over the three year planning period in conducting four public workshops, meetings with town staff, and about 20 Steering Committee meetings with town representatives. Following an analysis of public comments and potential modification to routes on park-managed lands within the park boundary, national seashore staff determined the Bicycle Master Plan improvements needed on park-managed lands are limited to minor shoulder widening, signage, and pavement markings in most areas. For complete details, please see documents posted at https://pepc.nps.gov/pedbike and http://www.capecodcommission.org/ocbpmp.
 

Interim Superintendent Kathy Tevyaw said, “We’re fortunate to have broad community support for bicycle safety improvements and this comprehensive master plan in place to move several projects forward immediately. It’s exciting to begin to implement the plan as soon as it’s completed. We’ve received funds from the NPS through Federal Highways transportation improvement programs to contract the design of the Head of the Meadow Bike Trail rehab and connector project, and four Share-the-Road projects to be undertaken in the coming year.”
 
Since a majority of the improvements or modifications on proposed primary and secondary routes described in the final report are within road rights of way owned and managed by the state and surrounding towns, they are not subject to federal environmental review as required by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. Improvements on NPS owned lands consist mainly of improving previously disturbed land, or proposals for widening existing trails; therefore the NPS prepared a categorical exclusion (CE) rather than an environmental assessment to fulfill our obligation under the National Environmental Policy Act. Any necessary site-specific archeological monitoring, sensitive species protections, and wetland permitting will be conducted prior to trail widening to ensure sensitive resources are avoided or impacts are mitigated. The State Historic Preservation Office concurred with this approach on July 17, 2017.

The final Bicycle Master Plan is posted on the Cape Cod Commission’s website at: http://www.capecodcommission.org/resources/initiatives/OuterCapeBikePedMasterPlan/OCBPMPFinalReport9-2016UpdateFeb2017.pdf
 

Last updated: August 30, 2017

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