November 23, 2006

Should Route 30 Be More Pedestrian Friendly?

To me, the obvious answer is Yes! Of course! There are hundreds of office workers within walking distance of Rte. 30 retail, along with residences and even nearby hotels. It's insane that people need to take their cars for trips of less than half a mile because it's too unappealing or dangerous to walk. That's especially true considering all the foot traffic on nearby Leggat-McCall Way, which is an appealing pedestrian streetscape and entices lots of people working there to get out on foot.

Yet there's been a discussion on a local Framingham e-mail newsletter list, prompting comments from several people that vehicular traffic should always take precedence in such areas since that accounts for 90%+ of it. Yikes, talk about ignoring the obvious. Um, every single shopper in the area, regardless of how they get there, becomes someone on foot. Of course there's little walking around now because the entire area was designed solely for the automobile with no thought as to what would make an attractive and safe environment on foot. But a different design could have created a "park once, walk-to-many destinations" environment that would have generated a ton of pedestrian traffic between different retail destinations, in addition to people walking from nearby homes and offices.

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