September 1, 2006

Framingham Seeks $50K Grant for Pedestrian Improvements

Three cheers for that! The town will apply for a $50,000 transit-oriented development grant, which would go toward creating a better walking environment between train station parking and "several downtown destinations," according to the MetroWest Daily News.

Discussion of the grant is on the agenda at this month's Framingham Bicycle & Pedestrian Advisory Committee meeting, scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 12 in conference room 1 of the Memorial Building (the meeting starts at 7:30 pm, although the grant isn't expected to come up until 8:45 or so).

Developing a more attractive and inviting pedestrian streetscape between the train station and downtown businesses is extremely important to revitalization efforts. It's such a waste that all the commuters driving to and parking in the area have absolutely no incentive to do anything else downtown except get in their cars and drive away.

A compelling walking corridor from the train station to local businesses, combined with an enticing pedestrian environment at those businesses, could bring more life (and dollars) to downtown. Such an environment is also important to make planned downtown housing more appealing -- and to make it more likely that residents of that housing will actually bring more vitality to the downtown. As I've said before, if you don't make an appealing walking environment and streetscape, all those people downtown won't do enough to help local businesses -- they'll be too likely to get in their cars and drive elsewhere.

Thanks to Michele at This is Framingham for the link.

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