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Official canal walk opening

Date: 5/26/2010

May 26, 2010

City Council President Williams Zaskey first proposed a walking and bike path to be created in the downtown area in 1979 and he noted with a laugh at the official opening of the path last week, "At age 30, I could ride a bike here. Now at age 69, I can walk it. I hope by age 99 the rest of the path will be open."

Zaskey was joined by fellow city councilors Charles Swider, Frank LaFlamme and James Tillotson at the event as well as by Mayor Michael Bissonnette and State Reps. Joseph Wagner and James Welch.

Zaskey said the first leg of the bike and walking path "creates a unifying element" in the downtown neighborhood."

With the path's extension, it will link to the library, the elderly housing on Front Street and the entrance to Szot Park, Zaskey said. The third phase of the path would bring it past the former Uniroyal site and to the Deady Bridge.

The path is marked with two signs created by the Chicopee Historical Commission. One explains the historical significance of the building where Ames Manufacturing, a famous metal works, once was located, while the other notes the two sycamores that have been a constant in downtown Chicopee for nearly 200 years.

Bissonnette said the city has made the request to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation for the release of funding for the next phase of the path.

Seen here holding the ribbon are Wagner, Swider, Zaskey, Bissonnette and Welch.