July 14, 2005

Three Cheers For Lynchburg, Va.’s New Planning Report

...which "takes the focus away from cars and pays more attention to pedestrian needs," according to the Lynchburg News & Advance. Kudos to the study's author(s), who rightly observe that plans to widen roadways through a community's commercial center rarely ease congestion (instead, more cars are encouraged to use the roadway). Multi-lane, high-speed thoroughfares through a business district are more likely to impede revitalization efforts than help.

"More than any other feature, streets define a community’s character," the study notes. "Great streets are walkable, accessible to all, interesting, comfortable, safe, and memorable."

Planners are also concerned about students at Lynchburg College being isolated from the nearby Midtown business district due to an "expanding auto zone." Framingham State and Framingham Centre anyone? Framingham State and the hideously unappealing walking atmosphere to downtown Framingham anyone?

That's why I'm hoping Framingham can host a walkable community workshop, but so far I haven't heard from any town officials that they do want to express interest to the Boston Metropolitan Planning Organization, which has asked any interested area cities and towns to notify them by July 27.

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