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Thread: Newbie (concerned citizen)

  1. #1
         
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    Newbie (concerned citizen)

    Just wanted to say hi. I'm a concerned citizen very interested in pedestrian friendly, human-scale, New Urbanism community planning. I'm also a Web enthusiast, so I decided to merge the two interests and am trying to create a site as a resource for officials and others that focuses on Planning Livable Communities (you can see it at http://www.gartenberg.com/planblog ). We'll see if I can get anyone in the area to actually come :-}

    I spent a couple of years on a town planning committee, but now I'm currently in the role of active citizen and voter.

    Sharon

  2. #2
    Welcome to the forums. Your insights and opinions are very welcome.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Trail Nazi's avatar
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    Welcome from NoVA. We hope you like it here.

  4. #4
         
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    thanks!

    Thanks!

    I look around my community and see so many things that could make it so much better -- a walking path along the river instead of a chain link fence that's a barrier between residents and nature, wider sidewalks and a buffer between sidewalk and traffic to make the commercial districts more appealing to shoppers, and so on. But I'm not sure how to go about getting these things to happen. I guess step one is to make myself heard at some public meetings.

  5. #5
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    welcome from the state to your north!
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Welcome from Florida!

    Get to know your local planners, they'll be a great resource to guide you thru that government web.

  7. #7
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Welcome from Chicago!

    I'll take a look at your website in more depth soon. It's good to know there is a non-planner that is concerned and wishing for a change in the MO of the built environment - just like Jane Jacobs.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

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  8. #8
    Cyburbian Plus PlannerGirl's avatar
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    Welcome from the DC area and feel free to jump in the madness
    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin

    Remember this motto to live by: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO- HOO what a ride!'"

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
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    Welcome
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  10. #10
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Welcome from the land of famous edible tubers (but not for long?)

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Welcome to state to your south. Framingham is an interesting place. A surprisingly urban downtown, some gritty areas but enough strip commercial stuff packed onto Rt 9 to blow your mind. Rt. 9 is weird, its such a hyper-developed suburban highway, but its so ingrained in the community - and you literally can't cross it. I think most people in the region don't even know there is a downtown. Good luck with your efforts!

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Seabishop
    Framingham is an interesting place.
    Sharon, welcome to the boards.

    I've visited Framingham a couple of times while visiting family in Weston. The mother of my children was born in Newton. Framingham is a beautiful town and displays many attributes one would associate with a true village. It would be nice if the train went out that far.

  13. #13
    Greetings from the Hoosier State. T minus 62 hours until we illegally change our clocks and 6.5 weeks to the arrival of "Brood X".

    Isn't there a UMASS branch in Framingham? Do they have an urban design program you can get in touch with?
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
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    Warren Spahn

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    Cyburbian ludes98's avatar
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    Welcome from the vast sprawl known as the Valley of the Sun, or Phoenix.

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    Cyburbian Big Easy King's avatar
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    Welcome and greetings from New Orleans.
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  16. #16
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Welcome from Peoria, IL
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  17. #17
         
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    Thanks everyone! I do think Framingham is quite the interesting community. For a "suburb," it's extremely diverse in incomes, housing stock, ethnic groups and neighborhoods. (And yes, we do have a state college here, I'll have to check to see if they have a planning dept, good idea!)

    Rte. 9 is an aesthetic nightmare, with its jumble of malls and strip malls. Most of the planning discussion you hear about it talks of things like better signage and building architecture -- which would certainly be welcome; but the real issue to me is making things human-scale and pedestrian friendly. Adding some landscaping to a sea of asphalt doesn't help the core problem. It's outrageous that you literally can't walk from one place to another less than half a mile away because it's so dangerous or unappealing. It's not just Rte. 9 -- all the other major roadways in that shopping area are pedestrian hostile. I wanted to walk with my parents from a hotel to a restaurant ACROSS THE STREET and it was so intimidating that we had to take the car. Sigh.

    There is a downtown, apart from Rte. 9, and I went to a community planning meeting a few months ago that was talking about some revitalization issues. It was discouraging to hear everyone talk about getting the traffic moving better, and almost nobody talking about making an appealing streetscape and pedestrian environment. Who do they think is going to want to stop and get out of their cars if it's not an attractive destination?

    OK, rant off now Thanks for the warm welcome!

  18. #18

    Registered
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    Hi Sharon!

    Got to do it:

    Loooooooouuuuuuuuu!

    Ah Mr. Merloni, we'll miss you again this year.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian sisterceleste's avatar
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    Welcome from hurricane and gator land
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  20. #20
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Sharon
    It's outrageous that you literally can't walk from one place to another less than half a mile away because it's so dangerous or unappealing. It's not just Rte. 9 -- all the other major roadways in that shopping area are pedestrian hostile. I wanted to walk with my parents from a hotel to a restaurant ACROSS THE STREET and it was so intimidating that we had to take the car.
    I stayed at a Red Roof Inn in Framingham on my way to the APA conference in Boston in 2000 (I think). I must have spent an hour driving around in circles trying to find a decent restaurant on the right side of the road, since it's next to impossible to cross to the other side! Bizarre. Of course, I would have liked to walk there, it wasn't that far, but it was just too scary. :-0

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Doitnow!!'s avatar
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    Welcome
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  22. #22
    Cyburbian
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    Welcome to cyburbia, Sharon!
    I hope you're having a great time here

  23. #23
    Cyburbian tsc's avatar
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    Welcome from NY. Love Massachusetts...wonderful place!
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  24. #24
    Cyburbian Rem's avatar
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    Hello and welcome.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
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    Welcome from central NY state.

    I love active and concerned citizen! Let us know how we can help.
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