I just received City Councilor Chris Mariewicz’s email newsletter and it had a link to this interesting 13 minute video that was presented last September. The video and accompanying text by Ellen Ishkanian, back when she was a freelance writer, is just as timely today as the city is diving into the larger Washington Street project..
Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller has proposed spending a $500,000 to hire consultants to work with stakeholder on creating a vision for the Washington Street corridor.
“It’s important that we take charge of Newton’s future, that we decide what the Washington Street corridor should look like going forward,” [Fuller told the Globe’s John Hilliard’ “…All of us in the city of Newton want a thriving, vibrant Washington [Street] corridor that is of the right scale for the residential neighbors who immediately abut it, and works whether you’re trying to go down the corridor on foot, on a bicycle, or in a car.”
But City Councilor Emily Norton tells Hilliard she’s opposed to a study and “pointing to work already done by city and volunteer groups to determine what kind of development residents want to see along Washington Street.”
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