A Route 126 Corridor Transportation Improvement Study will soon be underway in Framingham, Ashland, Holliston, Medway and Bellingham. The goal is to improve access to commercial, retail, educational and services.
The study, under the aegis of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, will recommend design, traffic and other changes to the corridor. There will be "special emphasis on the effective and safe accommodation of pedestrians and bicyclists," according to a statement issued by state Rep. Pam Richardson. "Bus service improvement recommendations may also be developed."
Rte. 126 in Framingham is one of the roadways desperately needing a better pedestrian environment, especially when it comes to crossing intersections on foot. If you check out a map I created a couple of years ago of accidents in Framingham where pedestrians were injured (2003-2005), you'll see a huge cluster of pins along the Rte. 126 corridor. Improved walker safety in this area is clearly needed.
Aesthetic improvements are also needed, as well as better walkways: Many sidewalks are narrow with no buffer between walkers and traffic, and some almost impassable in spots due to poorly situated utility poles and other obstacles.
The project will start with "formation of an advisory task force that includes town officials, affected residents, members of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), the Massachusetts Highway Department, and the Executive Office of Transportation and Public Works, as well as local Senators and Representatives," Rep. Richardson's statement says. The task force is supposed to meet in mid-June and then again "within 12 months."