Ah, sadly, that's not the Natick Mall or Shoppers World that are taking great pains to make a walker-appealing entry. Instead, it's the Fashion Square mall in Scottsdale, Ariz., that's thinking about making sure people walking into the center feel as welcome as when they drive into the parking lot.
"Before, the entrance catered to vehicles and was inconvenient for walk-ups, said Bob Gutierrez, an architect with Scottsdale-based Sixty First Place Architects," the East Valley Tribune reports. "Changes will include raised and widened walkways, better lighting, narrower roads to discourage traffic, automatic doors and a grand staircase leading to the doors."
Please note the part about narrower roads to discourage traffic. It's a concept that those designing, developing and overseeing the Framingham-Natick Golden Triangle has never seemed to grasp: Sometimes less is more. When roadways are too wide, and there's too much unbroken pavement, you end up with pedestrian-hostile traffic sewers (I forget who coined that term, but it's a great description of the Rte. 9 ambiance). It's so important to design for walkers and cyclists as well as cars, not simply for motorized traffic. When you design solely for maximum traffic movement, you tend to suck all the soul out of a place.