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Hi there! 👋 Newbie (concerned citizen)

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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
 
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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.
 

NHPlanner

A shadow of my former self
Staff member
Moderator
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welcome from the state to your north! :b:
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
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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.
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
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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. ;-)
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
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Welcome from the land of famous edible tubers (but not for long?) :b:
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
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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!
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
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Seabishop said:
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.
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
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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?
 

ludes98

Cyburbian
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Welcome from the vast sprawl known as the Valley of the Sun, or Phoenix.
 
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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!
 

Bil

Member
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Hi Sharon!

Got to do it:

Loooooooouuuuuuuuu!

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

Mud Princess

Cyburbian
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Sharon said:
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
 

SGB

Cyburbian
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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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