Although far more relevant in parts of the country that are either actually growing or are under the false belief that they are this is still powerfully true here. Our built environment is what it is for better or for worse. The notion that Massachuesetts as a state or any of its municipalities are going to build new stuff is folly. We need to fix what we have and keep it fixed.
Although Mansfield has not added to the dramatically increasing official tally of pedestrian/bicyclists deaths it is far from immune given its design flaws. Denial of the problem in the face of the reality is not correct. When it comes to the occurrence of a tragic incident it really is all about when not if. We should be proactive.
If we’re serious about generating a quality Master Plan Update it is imperative we ask the hard questions and keep an open mind. Transportation is a big tent concept,there are no single items that deserve Holy Grail status or dismissal. When it comes to connecting people to jobs and services this doesn’t require big money and big projects. We can physically go out and see with our own eyes where people struggle, pick a simple solution,do it and build on that model. Examples include an extra bike rack, a repaired sidewalk or better crosswalk markings. These things don’t cost big but deliver big. They also don’t lose much if shifts of any kind dictate folks are using different options for making connections. Compare that to a pedestrian bridge to nowhere or other grand scheme and I think you get the picture.