Rail after dark

Rail advocates have been wondering if the city’s prohibition of people using the Nashua River Rail Trail after dark is legal.

After a newspaper article ran about the city putting a FlashCAM in the Gilson Road parking lot of the rail trail, some readers wondered whether City Hall could impose an at-dusk closure of the common bike and walkway.

After a long series of phone calls and e-mails, an answer was illuminated.

“This section of trail is under the jurisdiction of the city of Nashua and is subject to the city’s ordinances regarding all matters, including hours of operation,” said Larry Keniston, from the New Hampshire Department of Transportation.

The reason that the rail trail falls under jurisdiction of Nashua is that no “federal funds been utilized toward the construction of any trail between Gilson Road and Groton Road,” Keniston said.

If federal funds had been used for construction, then Nashua could not regulate the usable hours.

Unfortunately for the nighttime bikers and walkers, Nashua has the right to close the rail trail pretty much whenever they want.

Nashua From the Inside was compiled by staff writers Dana Smith, Michael Brindley and Patrick Meighan.