October 24, 2005

Sacramento State ‘University Village’ In Works

A University Village featuring mixed-use housing, community center, shops and restaurants is planned for a 25-acre site near Sacramento State, the college's faculty and staff newsletter reports:

The concept features a “Main Street” with shopping and restaurants on the lower level, loft-style apartments above and a tree-lined esplanade down the center. ...

The Village will also be designed to limit the need for faculty and staff to drive to campus. A planned bike- and pedestrian-friendly extension of Ramona Avenue would go from campus across Folsom to the new Village development. And the University’s planned Bus Rapid Transit line route would be designed as a direct link between the campus and the village.

It's a great disappointment that there is no such bustling pedestrian-friendly village around Framingham State College. The closest to that would be Framingham Centre, which is a less-than-pleasant walk across Rte. 9 from campus. And while it's great there's a pedestrian bridge over Rte. 9, that bridge dumps you off in front of the street feeding onto Rte. 30, which is still a difficult route to cross on foot.

It's just not a well-integrated whole. And even more disappointing is that there's not a walker-friendly village center right on Union Avenue at the campus.

Framingham State isn't a rural, pastoral setting that requires being separated from the rest of the town. Not every university can spawn a Harvard Square environment, but there are plenty of examples of better synergy between campus and surrounding streets than what we have in Framingham.

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