State officials have released a final environmental impact report on the Natick Mall expansion, reports Dick Miller, chair of the Natick Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, ruling that developers "should be diligently working with [Cochituate Rail Trail proponents] to find a mutually agreeable alternative to its proposed at-grade, activated, signal-protected crossing of Speen Street" to connect the trail and the mall.
That's good news, Dick says. "MEPA's attention to our various comments is much appreciated, and I've already told them so." You can see the full 7-page report on his Web site.
Unfortunately, there's not much we can about the disappointing layout of the mall expansion itself, which appears to favor cars over pedestrians at every turn, and completely ignores new trends in planning that favor outdoor, pedestrian friendly centers that try to give the feel of a town square instead of a strip mall.