May 23, 2006

Springfield Rezones to Encourage Pedestrian-Friendly Development

"The City Council has rezoned 55 properties in the Indian Orchard section that supporters hope will lead to the area becoming a shopper- and pedestrian-friendly village," according to the Springfield (Mass.)  Republican.

The idea of changing the business zone is to prevent certain operations "such as an automobile transmission workshop, while promoting less intensive uses like restaurants and shops, supporters said."

There is, of course, a need for auto repair shops in a community; the problem is that if they're located smack in the middle of a retail/commercial center, they kill off a neighborhood business district's pedestrian appeal. Nobody enjoys strolling by used car lots, poorly designed strip malls and junkyards. If you want to create a "park once, walk to multiple destinations" center, the right mix of businesses on your main streets is important.

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