This is where we will be exploring and reporting on efforts to improve Copeland Drive. The page will be set up in a rolling journal fashion with dated entries. The reason for this page is simply that Copeland Drive is an important stretch of road here in Mansfield for a number of reasons:
1. Copeland Drive serves as a gateway.
2. Copeland Drive is a bridge¹ right of way.
3. Copeland Drive is part of our town that exists in a state of mixed blight.
4. Copeland Drive has an identity crisis.
¹ Copeland connects multiple residential zones with a commercial street thus bridging what would be considered neighborhoods.
² Full disclosure the author is a resident of Copeland Drive but this issue is truly town wide.
Copeland Drive is currently in a state of stagnation. This has very little to do with the ongoing pandemic and the response to it and more to do with what ails Mansfield as whole. The two “newest” developments previously discussed here are still the only developments. Blighted parcels,litter,speeding and no real vision for the importance of this stretch of road are still in full force. It is my hope to offer up some ideas/suggestions this week as I join my fellow citizens in looking for a better future and a better Mansfield.
August 18 2019
The Primrose is open and MADOT is working on the rotary. Speeding and littering are still very much an issue. Another aspect of the Gateway status of Copeland is also in clear view. “Green Litter” Overgrowth of foliage is easily described as achieving unsightly status. The growth imo adds to the perception that litter and speeding is somehow warranted, as if this stretch of asphalt were an abandoned badlands.
January 28 2019
Two entries to start.
#1 is that the Dollar General store is open at the former Benny’s location. Dollar General is one of the fastest growing retail outlets in the nation. They are on a tear to expand and make their location choices with due diligence. Dollar Generals are as a rule both an indicator species as well as an invasive species. What I mean by this is they intentionally choose markets to locate in. Contrary to some of their detractors this doesn’t mean they only go to poor areas. The truth is somewhat more nuanced. There is a saying that “Dollar General goes where Walmart won’t”. There is a lot built into that statement. Perhaps most important is that they recognize markets that offer opportunity. I’m going to let the reader ponder that. As for the invasive nature DG has an extensive history (not unlike Walmart) of crushing competition and preventing growth. This isn’t unbridled capitalism,this is a stew of both intended and unintended consequences tied to consumer behavior and community stagnation/decline.
Obviously not a fan of Dollar General I’m not to be confused with those who call for a boycott or some other form of intervention. I am however one who wants to call attention to what the arrival of the DG means overall and specifically to Copeland Drive.
I’m going to let the earlier statements stand for what it means for the town,especially here on a page dedicated to Copeland Drive. What it means for Copeland Drive is that the roadway will be further pushed into the realm of a stroad. More autocentric yet potentially increasing pedestrian/cyclist traffic. This is not a good mix. Copeland Drive was already cursed in this aspect. more to come
#2 The continuing development of the Primrose School/Daycare Center at the town line end of Copeland. This comes under two of the crucial headings above and flirts with a third. This clearly falls under the Gateway heading. I think it will (and sincerely hope) it will help blend the entry into town. I appreciate it will be pretty blurry given the development Foxborough enjoys via Forbes Crossing but as they say….fingers crossed. I do hope this will expedite the previously planned and funded rotary by MADOT at the location. I think this development also supports point #4 of Copeland having an identity crisis. Is it a road, a right of way designed to efficiently and speedily move vehicles. Is it a street, a right of way designed to support productive activity. The side of Copeland heading towards Foxborough is posted at 30 MPH. This thoroughly abused posting will surely need to be better enforced with a childcare center on it?! One can hope, and work to make it so.