Date: 2017-05-25 04:37 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] skyyy
There's enough space for 2 or 3 accessible parking spots at each end, and potentially access via Chester St from the south. (Still figuring that one out). The space will remain drivable for deliveries, so it may be possible to drive through to accessible parking in the middle. Assuming close enough parking is possible, I think that having a place removed from traffic will make it much safer and easier for disabled people to use the space.

There would be a decrease in parking, but spaces for pedestrians are more important than spaces for cars, and increased foot+bus traffic to the area would balance that out.

Basically all the traffic that goes down Elm now would be moved to Highland, not neighborhood streets. Orchard St is too far out of the way and Winslow Ave is inaccessible from this direction. It's 2 lanes -> 1 in both directions, plus a bus lane, plus a lot more pedestrian traffic. A smaller simpler intersection will probably mean a quicker light cycle, too, so less delay. And it's important to look at people moving through the square, not vehicles, so with the bus+ped improvements, I think it will be close. Certainly worth doing real traffic studies on.

And even if car traffic does get more congested, it would still be worth it. Increased safety and a better environment for pedestrians should have higher priority than cars.

These are all really good concerns (especially accessibility) and it's important they get addressed, but they don't make this unsolvable.

As for the "need for this type of thing": I want Elm St to be a place I feel comfortable and safe as a pedestrian. I'd love to sip a coffee from Diesel on a bench outside, or wander slowly down the street choosing a place to get dinner. These are things that can't happen on a street with heavy traffic and 8 foot sidewalks.
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