May 20, 2004

Speen Street Plans and the Natick Mall Expansion

"The development of the mall provides opportunities to enhance not only vehicular circulation, but also the bike and pedestrian access and neighborhood feel of the area," Scott Weiss, a traffic engineer with Vanesse Hangen Brustlin, the mall's consulting firm, told several dozen area residents at a Natick Planning Board meeting, according to the MetroWest Daily News.

Many of us sure hope so, and not only those people living on and near Speen and Hartford streets.

"Initial designs call for narrowing the driving lanes and potentially adding bike lanes and a sidewalk," according to the News article.

The project needs more than just adding a sidewalk and bicycle lanes. A sidewalk isn't much good if it's so unappealing that no one actually wants to use it.

There needs to be an attractive buffer between the sidewalk and moving traffic, and an appealing streetscape for pedestrians so they want to be there.

Otherwise, the Natick Mall expansion will just bring more traffic and sprawl.

1 comment:

  1. I presented the Board of Selectmen with a petition in 2001 requesting that the town erect somekind of natural barrier barrier or buffer (trees or hedging or nice wood fencing) between Speen and Travis Rd. due to heavy traffic congestion, noise on Speen. It was signed by more than 20 families residing on Travis Road but we never got any response to that petition. We certainly hope this project incorporates the request we have made and certainly hope the expansion plans do nothing to exacerbate the situation. Travis lies perpendicular to Speen Street between the fire department and Hartford.