POLL: Do you Support the Main Street Redesign?
After months of discussion town leaders say they are still not ready to submit a plan to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.
At the first of two public forums to discuss the Downtown Initiative Steering Committee’s plan to redo Main Street, people with varying opinions of the idea asked questions of town leaders.
The beginning of the discussion revolved around the loss of parking that the proposed plan would have on Main Street.
Specifically a representative from Phipps Insurance Agency was worried about the loss of the five parking spots in front of the business.
Director of the Hopkinton DPW John Westerling fielded many of these concerns. Westerling said nothing in the plan is finalized yet and the town is working with the BETA Group consultants to solve this specific issue.
“Rest assured that we share the community’s concerns with keeping parking on Main Street,” John Westerling said.
One of the ideas that was initially presented with the plan was to work on increasing off street parking in lots behind Main Street businesses and in front of the Police Station.
Dale Danahy is the general manager of Colella’s Supermarket and was originally on DISC when it was formed but she resigned several months ago after she felt the town wasn’t giving proper credence to the businesses located in the area.
“The last thing that people want to see is their property redesigned without their knowledge and input,” Danahy said.
Apart from parking, the second major concern was that town leaders including Town Manager Norman Khumalo and Town Engineer Dave Daltorio had not taken the time to experience the problems faced by many people first hand. Wood Street resident Jackie Potenzone asked that they hold a public walk-through of the entire project area. Potenzone suggested the walk-through start at her house, which would be affected by any changes to the Wood Street / West Main Street intersection so that they can see the effect it would have on her house and her business.
Khumalo agreed to Potenzone’s request and said that they would have a walking meeting after the plan is polished up a little but before a plan is submitted to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation for comment and approval.
Selectmen Brian Herr was in attendance at the meeting; toward the end Herr gave input and told the other residents in attendance that no plan would go forward without a feeling of community approval.
“I can assure you that nothing is going to be done until we have the majority support of the town,” Herr said. “I don’t think we have that now.”
We want to know, What do you think of the plan? Is there one part that you think creates the biggest problem? What aspects of the plan would you like to see changed? Take our poll and tell us in the comments.
A PDF version of the plan is attached to this article, but it can also be viewed at http://www.hopkinton.org/disc/DraftConceptPlan-PublicForum.pdf