Sorry for the lengthy time between posts, but the demise of my home computer has put a lot of my blogging time into setting up my replacement computer! However, I would like to belatedly report on the first Planning Board public hearing on this project last month. All the audience members who spoke, said they were in favor. In fact, several urged the Board to approve the project quickly, since it's very much a benefit to the town to have that long-vacant town parcel finally developed.
I, too, am in favor, although asked for a couple of small plan modifications.
One issue raised by several people, including Planning Board Members, was to make sure the sidewalk continues into the parcel to the shops so there's an obvious walkway into the site and not just driveway for cars. Another is making sure the intersection by A Street is a safe crossing for pedestrians, considering how many area residents and high school students walk in the neighborhood.
The other issue I'm most concerned about is the driveway out of the parcel, which is three lanes wide -- one lane too wide for creating an appealing and safe-feeling walking environment. I urged there be some separation between the incoming and outgoing lanes to create a better walking environment. However, the last time I walked by the parcel, there were drawings on the pavement showing the three-lane-wide driveway. I suggest someone try walking on Rte. 30 across the cars pouring in and out between Target and Lowe's to get a sense of what a wide and busy driveway does to your walking environment.
The Framingham Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee is going to discuss the project at its meeting this Tuesday, December 9, in the Memorial Building (Town Hall) Conference Room 2 (that's on the agenda starting at 8:10, the overall meeting begins at 7:30). You can see the initial letter they sent to the Planning Board about the project here.