A vision for the Washington Street corridor

Jeff Speck recently presented his vision for the Washington Street corridor to the Newton-Needham Chamber, building upon the recent plan for West Newton Square, extending through Newtonville towards Newton Corner.  The main theme is a road diet.  By eliminating underutilized roadway, Newton could create a far more attractive streetscape, open up new opportunities for recreation, transportation safety improvements, public transit, and yes, development.

A road diet might even improve traffic conditions, channelling traffic and eliminating conflicts that come with vehicles changing lanes.  A two-way cycle track along the pike could provide top-notch bicycle facilities  The idea of a road diet and cycle track along the pike is not new; it has been the subject of previous studies and TAG has been pitching it for several years now.  With

How bad is the housing crisis in Massachusetts?

How bad is the housing crisis in Massachusetts?

In light of all the recent conversation, both at the local and the state level, about development, I wanted to share for discussion this recent presentation by the non-profit Massachusetts Housing Partnership.

Some of the highlights:

  • Housing production has sharply declined in Massachusetts despite increases in population and employment
  • Massachusetts now has one of the lowest rates of housing production in the U.S.
  • Without adding any new people or new jobs, the state’s housing supply is already about 44,000 units short of demand. Most of that shortfall is in metro Boston.
  • Most of the regions with which we compete for skilled workers are building more housing and have lower housing costs

I pose this question to my neighbors: At what point does this become our problem?

Surrounding communities that welcome development such as