Topsfield Road, Ipswich

The town of Ipswich, Massachusetts has no marked cycling lanes or bicycle paths. Winding along the Ipswich River between Bradley Palmer State Park and Willowdale State Forest, Topsfield Road is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Topsfield Road becomes Ipswich Road in Topsfield, which has the Topsfield Linear common, a part of the expanding Border to Boston Trail.

When the road was re-paved about 20 years ago, some sections were given generous 3′ to 4′ paved shoulders, but it inexplicably narrows frequently to just a white line on the edge of the pavement. As the road has aged, potholes abound, many of the storm drains on the road have sunken several inches, and the pavement at the edges is crumbling. The road has been the scene of several serious cycling accidents, one of which caused a fatality.

The interactive map embedded below shows the locations of the worst dangers to cyclists. View the full size map.

After speaking with the directors of the Ipswich DPW, they asked me to mark the areas of concern and provided me with two cans of orange marking paint. Click on any photo below to begin a slide show.

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