Gerard Simonette: Implications of Main Street redesign

  • Main Street in downtown Northampton. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

Published: 5/25/2023 3:49:30 PM
Modified: 5/25/2023 3:47:01 PM

I would like to add my concerns of letter writer Carol Jolly in regard to the plan as proposed for Main Street in Northampton [“Concerned about Main Street redesign,” Gazette, May 22]. The planners have envisioned an idyllic downtown that will attract walkers and bikers to shop, dine, and be entertained at the local businesses. But as Ms. Jolly pointed out, walking and biking into town may be beyond some people’s abilities.

I walk into town on occasion from Village Hill to pick up a prescription, but for every time I do that, I probably drive there or through town 10 times. I also will bike on occasion, but stick only to the rail trail so as to not be a target for road traffic. Besides, just think what it would be like walking or biking to and from town to pick up a takeout pizza.

As far as traffic is concerned, there are already tie-ups at the intersection where Routes 9, 10, and 66 get funneled into Main Street; just imagine the back-ups when there would be only one lane to enter. My guess is that it will lead people to either seek out back streets to avoid the mess or just take their business elsewhere. I have been to cities where the downtown layout is conducive for walking and biking, but in those cases vehicles were able to be routed to streets that could handle the volume of traffic. Would that be the case for Northampton?

Gerard Simonette


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