Sunday, September 19, 2010

Downtown Improvement Project - Survey - Update

The participation on Downtown Partnership survey has increased to 106 with No still leading by almost 2-1 margin (68-No, 38-Yes).

Sample comments: (spelling was corrected for readability)
Being a resident for over 70 years, we have had 2 way traffic here, and it worked and I believe it would cause less frustration and less chaos for the busiest times of the day and when the down town commuter train lets off people.
Franklin has a very small downtown and the only way to open up and make things flow more smoothly is getting rid of all this one way nonsense!
I vote for the 2 way!
I have looked on-line at the proposed changes to the down town area and while they do look attractive I do have some concerns about the two way traffic flow on the streets.  Many Franklin residents can not maneuver through downtown now with out breaking the "do not cross a solid line" driving law or stopping where there is no stop or yield sign.  I guess the new design would remove this factor from the equation.  My main concern is that the streets through downtown are so narrow that two way traffic flow through downtown may become hazardous.  At this point if you are trying to cross the street you at least know that traffic will only be coming at you from one direction.  I agree whole heartedly that the power lines need to be buried and the downtown could use some sprucing up but change to the traffic flow in an area with space restrictions may not be the best plan.  I would look for ways to add additional parking to the downtown area so residents can find safe parking easily to enjoy what downtown Franklin has to offer.  You can do many of the things in the proposed plan and keep the traffic flow one way.
40 years ago the town decided that the current one-way traffic pattern was necessary because of traffic tie ups that extended along route 140 from King Street to union Street.  With double the population, there is no reason to believe that it won't be the case if we switch back to two-way traffic on route 140.  We get romanced into doing unnecessary projects because it is someone else's money.  The cost will be in the future when we realize we have to change it back.  Projects like this are always justified by supposedly making it more pedestrian friendly.  It always ends up reducing parking spaces in front of businesses.  If you don't live within walking distance of the downtown, there is no way to become a downtown pedestrian unless you have a place to park your car.  You will be told that parking spaces in the downtown will actually increase.  It's not really true.  Adding spaces on Emmons Street does not replace lost parking spaces in front of Main Street businesses.  Anyone who tells you they would park on Emmons Street and walk back to shop is not being truthful.

Good feedback folks! Keep it coming.

Share the link to the survey with your friends and neighbors.

Franklin, MA

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