Selectmen to consider the fate of Main Street tonight

To move the wall or not to move the wall, that is the question. At least it’s one of the questions before selectmen tonight as they consider how to proceeded with the Main Street reconstruction project.

At issue is how (and whether) to allow parking along the stretch of Main Street that runs by the Town Common west of Route 85. There isn’t a lot of space there, with homes close to the road on one side and the historic stone wall lining the Common on the other. Creating dedicated parking spots would mean something has to give.

The DPW recently completed a detailed study of the various options. You’ve no doubt noticed the colored stakes throughout the Common and on front lawns along Main Street. The stakes show how much the roadway- and front yards and the stone wall – would shift under the various plans.

Tonight DPW officials will present the options to Selectmen. Main Street property owners are also expected to attend.

The latest scenarios come after a meeting last October at which the Selectmen endorsed a plan that did not create a dedicated parking lane, but that left room for temporary parking along that stretch of Main Street. It would have been similar to what we have today, with a bit more space for parking. Police Chief Jane Moran and Fire Chief John Mauro Jr. later asked Selectmen to reconsider, citing safety concerns.

Selectmen then authorized the DPW to do a more detailed analysis of the options, paving the way for tonight’s meeting.

You can view the scenarios on the DPW website. The letter sent to Main Street property owners about tonight’s public meeting is here.

The meeting starts at 6:30 pm at the Hearing Room on the second floor of the Town House. It is open to the public.

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13 years ago

I’ll run the risk of taking on the role of the skunk at the garden party with this response.

With all of the fiscal challenges facing Southborough, what is the justification for the taxpayers to provide additional parking for these businesses?

If the location is no longer suitable for the businesses they have created is it unreasonable to expect them to relocate to a more suitable location?

I understand that both families have a long history of participating in town government and as such some may feel an obligation to help solve their problem. Others may feel it is some taking care of their own and wonder if the town would do the same for them.

Despite that, it really is their problem as business owners, and not ours as taxpayers, and I do not support spending our limited tax dollars to accommodate their business needs.

Call me “old school”, but in my opinion they have been allowed to have their customers park on our sidewalks for far too long. It creates a very unsafe situation for those with strollers forced into the travel lane. Yes, I’m grateful the hedgerow has been trimmed back, but that seems to have only encouraged cars to park further onto the sidewalk.

The standard response from the police department has been that is allowed as it is “necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic”. That pretty much allows anyone to park in a sidewalk with the excuse that by doing so they are “avoiding conflict with other traffic.”

John Kendall
13 years ago

And if the state does not have the funds, who foots the bill?

Mary Hynes
13 years ago

the MassDOT Highway Division programs its expenditures on an annual basis and won’t commit to a project without assuring the funding. There are several steps to go through as the design progresses, but, if the process is followed as required (which the DPW, Town Engineer, and the engineering consultant will ensure), then the Town would not be liable for project funding.

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