November 6, 2006

Another Little Slice of Framingham Open Space To Disappear

I saw a "public notice" sign up on a tree this morning on a piece of open land on Elm Street, across the street and a bit north of the Cameron Middle School. It said that a subdivision plan will be before the Planning Board. Another little slice of non-built-up open space seems likely to disappear.

It used to be that there was more sense of place, more history, and more open space in the suburbs west of Boston than in many of the Long Island towns around where I grew up. When I moved here 20+ years ago, every little sliver of land wasn't built out to its maximum zoning-permitted suburban sprawl possibility; but instead, there were still a lot of areas left as they'd been built many years ago, or as open space. Sadly, this seems to be changing in most of the affordable and median-priced-home areas of town.

It's only the wealthier northwest part of Framingham, and nearby high-priced communities, that seem to be preserving open space. It's a pity. You may not be able to draw a one-to-one correlation line between a few more open acres gobbled up by a subdivision and your quality of life. But as this happens more and more, the character of a community subtly changes, offering fewer delightful neighborhood surprises of beauty and peacefulness. Instead, each neighborhood starts looking like every other neighborhood, as indistinguishable in their suburban sprawl as one generic strip mall from another.

1 comment:

  1. Not only does the community change slowly from suburb to sprawling tract of houses and more, but the traffic is impacted the same way. Many roads now, are a never-ending stream of cars between 4 and 6 PM daily. And the "short cuts" of old are quickly being discovered. One may say "what's a few more homes north on Edgell Rd, or Old Conn Path, as they've left up a lot of the trees", but guess what? That's another increase in the number of cars traveling to each of the already congested intersections on either end.
    I don't know how much is too much, but at some point, the traffic on some of our roads will become unacceptable. At that point, people may want to consider how to appropriate their tax dollars toward these things that are just as much a quality of life issue as a golf course or soccer field.