I just got back from a healthy walk about town with one of my signs….on a stick and it was great. Let’s talk about it…
My journey started at the homestead on Copeland Drive. I paused for twenty minutes of waving and such at the corner of Copeland & Chauncey (106).
I proceeded down Chauncey towards the T station. This is a walk both my wife and I did on a regular basis in the past. It is a walk many of our neighbors still do daily.
At the station I used the steps and overpass to hit Old Colony & North Main St. While walking down the street I met some folks and chatted. I also was double checking my previous audit of shops and vacancies along the way.
I then used Park Street to get over to Hope. I followed this all the way to Shield & Oakland. A little more walking and I was back at the T station and heading back home via the high-end of Central St.
This circuit illustrates a very important concept the town has going for it. By and large the “core” is very walkable. Walkable communities are fantastic ways to improve the quality of life of any municipality and its inhabitants. Mansfield is no exception and in fact has many high scoring points working in its favor. My journey mimicked a trip to the T station,the shops & restaurants on N. Main, the Bike Path, Memorial Park & arguably the school district, the library and any number of residential addresses.
I believe the Board of Selectmen have a leading role to play in bringing these points to fruition. Better signage,maintaining the sidewalks, a program of encouraging pedestrians and most importantly improving parking within the core with a renewed focus on the businesses and attractions as opposed to a singular view towards commuters.
I sincerely believe we are right at the tipping point where we can connect the dots of walkability within Mansfield’s core district. Among a list of readily available options I personally believe the town could and should target the primary resident T lot for this purpose.
I envision that with signage alone we could:
Reaffirm the resident only T parking between select hours
Establish post commuter hours parking for people to easily access the establishments on N. Main St. both north and south of 106.
I recognize this doesn’t address the parking concerns for the morning & midday hours but I have an answer for that as well and that post will be coming very soon.