Jim Reis: Review of Main Street redesign needed

  • Janson A via Pexels Janson A via Pexels

Published: 10/1/2023 6:01:22 PM
Modified: 10/1/2023 6:00:24 PM

The plans for Northampton’s Main Street redesign are clearly generating many, many divergent opinions. I understand that there were multiple public forums in 2020 and 2021, community focus groups, community surveys, engagement with city and community boards, traffic studies, and the involvement of experienced consultants. However, as evidenced by the opinion page and letters to the editor in the Gazette, there are many residents who have serious concerns about these plans. Most of the planning and public forums were completed during the pandemic and many people, including me, did not pay much attention, nor participate in these opportunities.

There is a need to address many of the safety and other issues in this redesign, but in my opinion, a number of people have raised some legitimate problems and suggested reasonable alternatives. Since this redesign is so important to the future of downtown, I urge Mayor Gina-Louise Sciarra and the City Council to hold more public forms and conduct another on-line survey before the redesign plans are finalized. Undoubtedly, more residents will now participate and pay attention to the pros and cons of the design. This will allow the mayor and the planners to address the concerns that have been expressed and to consider suggested alternatives. While I have concerns about some of the plans, I am open to hearing more about the rationale for these proposed changes, and could change my mind as I suspect others could, too.

Jim Reis



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