January 25, 2005

A California Community Seeks To Narrow Main Road, Widen Sidewalks

Yes, even in car-centric California, communities are beginning to understand that narrower roads, wider sidewalks and attractive landscaping are important to create a pedestrian-friendly streetscape -- and that today's commercial centers need to be appealing to walkers.

Livermore's City Council voted to impose a $5,000 fee on every new housing unit built in its downtown; a redevelopment agency will add additional money to beef up the area. "Some money will be used to narrow a stretch of First Street to two lanes, widen its sidewalks, install trees and trellises and put in a 'new landmark' fountain and community-gathering place at the southwest corner of First Street and South Livermore Avenue," according to the Contra Costa Times.

"A report from city consultants JR Structural Engineering said an improved downtown streetscape will provide the area's new residents with a better quality of life with close proximity to restaurants, shops, theaters, trails and a pedestrian-friendly and active downtown."

I'd say the same would apply to planned new housing in downtown Framingham, yes?

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