Category Archives: Downtown

Take the parking survey

From Sarah Raposa –

parked in no parking zone with available parking nearby


The Economic Development Committee (EDC) and their consultants from Nelson\Nygaard are requesting public input in formulating strategies for a parking management plan for downtown Medfield.

Please take our survey:

The survey closes Monday, March 26, 2018 at 8 am. Thank you!



Sarah Raposa, AICP

Town Planner
459 Main Street
Medfield, MA  02052
(508) 906-3027



5G may look different in Medfield

Medfield already has one Verizon permitted antennae on a light pole, in front of Palumbo Liquors, and according to this article, we may be seeing many more.  The Board of Selectmen were told when presented with that pole antennae application, that in Massachusetts Verizon had the right to install on an existing pole.  The town gets no revenue from that antennae.  By contrast, the antennae on our two water towers pay, from memory, about $30K/year /antennae).


Why Cities Should Jump at the Chance to Add Cell Towers to Streetlights

COMMENTARY | In a contributed piece, the authors suggest compromises and efficiencies to ensure cities do not get left behind in the 5G revolution.

This is the first in two contributed articles on broadband access and local government’s role in building better connectivity for its citizens. Read the second one here.

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. —  Numerous state lawmakers are filing bills to encourage or even compel large cities to incorporate cell towers into existing municipal infrastructures. Not everyone is sold on the proposition.

Wireless carriers want to install miniature cell towers on utility poles and streetlights to keep up with fifth-generation—commonly known as 5G—cell phone technology. Carriers plan to install more than 250,000 small cell sites across the U.S. in the next few years, but they require broad access to public property in order to proceed. Legislators have introduced wireless siting bills in 25 states so far this year, with hopes to begin work on installations in 2018.

In Illinois, for instance, legislation intended to streamline this process has enjoyed a cold reception. The Small Cell Wireless Bill passed the Illinois House and Senate during the 2017 veto session, though State Senate President John Cullerton decided to hold the legislation after public outcry from area communities. Policymakers said they hoped to negotiate with local officials who have called on Gov. Bruce Rauner to veto the bill.


Meanwhile, both sides of this ongoing debate have been clashing in California Gov. Jerry Brown late last year vetoed a bill that would have made it easier for telecommunications companies to install the small transmitters on public property. Brown argued the permitting process for new technology must be weighed against the right of local governments to manage public property under their jurisdiction.

Skeptics claim these small cell sites will be more of an eyesore than an asset, but city dwellers should welcome this beneficial blend of private tech and public property.


A Rising Tide Lifts All Ships

Opponents argue that this integration of street furniture and tech will harm community aesthetics and historical preservation. Local and state representatives who oppose the legislation, however, will cause self-inflicted wounds to the long-term prosperity of their communities.

By attaching small cell antennas to streetlights and other street furniture, carriers will be able to use 5G technology to deliver wireless data much more effectively. Wireless customers in affected areas will enjoy improved coverage, fewer dropped calls, and faster download speeds.


5G technology saw an informal test in Minneapolis during Super Bowl LII, after Verizon crews installed 250 of the small cell sites throughout downtown Minneapolis to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of out-of-town visitors for the big game. The stadium itself was blanketed in wireless signals, with antennas hidden in everything from handrails to small boxes scattered among the stadium’s seats.

As 5G technology gains traction, wireless carriers hope to eventually supplant cable as the primary provider of home internet service. Speeds on 5G networks are better than traditional cable internet, and the wireless service can compete with high-end fiber networks. Homes within reach of these small cell sites would no longer require wired connections, but the infrastructure for this sort of network does not exist in many communities. As a solution, carriers want to pepper small cell antennas on existing street furniture.

Critics contend the wireless industry’s initiative will roll back public efforts to expand broadband access to underserved and rural areas. In truth, the push to install cell antennas on public furniture would actually support these efforts by forcing cable providers to bolster their infrastructure and reduce their rates in order to remain competitive.

According to Deloitte, the U.S. must spend more than $100 billion over the next five to seven years to support fiber infrastructure demands. Wireless providers can ease this burden by densifying their networks, increasing consumer access along the way. Carriers would partner with municipalities to design, permit, and construct saturated wireless networks, benefitting all parties involved.

Residents want improved connectivity, but they fear unsightly additions to city structures. To mitigate this aesthetic issue, cities should require companies to shroud antennas and install non-transmitting equipment below ground.

In exchange, cities should agree to give wireless carriers and cable companies a free market in which to solve the digital divide. To build seamless networks, wireless companies will need to serve all high-density areas — including impoverished districts. By simplifying the installation and permitting processes, cities will be able to facilitate better services for their citizens with minimal effort.

Leaping from Legislation to Implementation

Before this technology can change things for the better, local leaders must modify municipal policies and procedures. Steep lease rates for cell towers on private property inflate the operating expenses of wireless carriers. Low-cost access to public street furniture would remedy this issue, reducing operating expenses for carriers and freeing up capital for infrastructure improvements and denser networks.

Many municipalities lack defined fee structures and approval processes for the corporate use of public property. By creating straightforward licensing procedures, cities can help carriers plan ahead for new networks. Public works departments should interfere as little as possible, only stopping proposals that overstep the common sense of aesthetics and function. If cities keep rates fair and permitting reasonable, carriers can pass their savings on to customers.

Communities that oppose the installation of 5G technology on their assets risk falling behind other municipalities that cooperate with carriers. Technology-fueled startups and participants in the gig economy prefer areas with better technology. If one city is saturated with high-speed wireless service while another avoids upgrades, startups are more likely to flock to the city with the better technological offering.

Fast internet service is the lifeblood of the global economy. In nations with fewer regulations on wireless infrastructure, carriers provide denser networks with better service at lower costs. Without reliable, affordable access to these advanced systems, American communities will trail behind their global counterparts.

To remain globally competitive, government officials must work with the wireless industry to rethink commercial access to public assets. By cooperating with carriers on permitting and reasonable use rates, municipalities can create room for compromise on the shrouding and location of new equipment. Opening city hall for business will create new economic opportunities for wireless generations to come

20180306-EDC-Downtown Parking Public Meeting Flyer 03-06-18

Downtown Medfield Parking Strategy Public Meeting

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Public Safety Building (First Floor Training Room)

The Economic Development Committee (EDC) and their consultants from Nelson\Nygaard will discuss and request in formulating strategies for a parking management plan for downtown Medfield. This process is funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Downtown Initiative Technical Assistance (MDI) Program. The guiding principle of the MDI is to address economic and community development needs holistically and provide a framework of interrelated activities that promote positive change in a downtown to keep it healthy and prosperous. The EDC would like to hear from property owners, business owners, residents, and users of the downtown about locations and availability of spaces, walkability, safety, and signage.


Please take our survey: 


All are welcome to share concerns as well as ideas on how to improve parking management!



Sarah Raposa, AICP

Town Planner
459 Main Street
Medfield, MA  02052
(508) 906-3027


Autonomous vehicles arrive

We need to plan for the changes autonomous vehicles will make in town, and to new developments, such as at the former MSH site.  I think this will be a boon to older residents who are no longer driving themselves, and also as a way to network various parts of town to the downtown and to one another, and, also, to link us to regional transportation hubs.  This article is from Efficient Government  –

The Driverless Taxis Are Here — This Year

Driverless Uber taxi in Pittsburgh.

Image: Flickr

They are not the future, in some cities, driverless taxis are taking riders now. Auto manufacturers are also ramping up orders and requesting Federal approvals for autonomous level four vehicle production.

Driverless taxis are already on the road in Pittsburgh, and GeekWire is covering all the details of what’s happening at the facility where 200 Volvos, equipped with LIDAR cameras, drive themselves in and out. According to Uber’s website, the test drives are collecting data with real passengers excited to take their self-driving selfiies:

We’re piloting a program now where you can get matched up with a self-driving Uber when you request uberX. When you do, you get a glimpse of the future AND access to the selfie machine. Mind. Blown.

But it’s not just Uber, and it’s not just Pittsburgh. Driverless taxis are operating in Phoenix, Arizona, and coming to Greenville County, South Carolina, and at least to the seven states that have already authorized autonomous vehicle operation.

According to the Greenville News, the Federal Highway Administration awarded the county $4 million to develop a public automated taxi system that would be the first of its kind in the nation.

These funds will help Greenville County lead the nation into a future with more driverless vehicles, which will improve mobility for some and reduce traffic congestion for all,” Acting Federal Highway Administrator Brandye L. Hendrickson said.

According to ArsTechnica, Waymo, the company conducting the first U.S. public trial of self-driving cars in Phoenix, just placed an order for an overwhelming number of Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans. The Google-spawned company suggested it is moving beyond self-driving tests in Phoenix, Michigan and Atlanta and scaling up for wider autonomous vehicle operations.

With the world’s first fleet of fully self-driving vehicles on the road, we’ve moved from research and development, to operations and deployment,” said John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo.

According to NBC News, General Motors (GM) plans is asking to sweep seven states with driverless taxis by 2019.

GM asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for waivers covering 16 regulations, said Kyle Vogt, the CEO of Cruise Automation, an autonomous technology company owned by GM. With Federal and state approvals, the company said it would produce 2,500 driverless Chevrolet Bolt electric vehicles per year.

In addition to driverless taxis, cities like Las Vegas are testing driverless shuttles.

London’s Driverless Shuttle ‘Harry’ Begins Taking Riders

The GATEway driverless shuttle began taking riders around the Greenwich Peninsula in the U.K.’s first public trial of autonomous electric vehicles.


Holiday Stroll this Friday, 4-9 PM


CAM Holiday Stroll Postcard-2017


Medfield’s Third Annual Holiday Art and Craft Stroll: Friday, December 1, 2017

(Medfield, MA): The Cultural Alliance of Medfield (CAM) announces its third annual Holiday Stroll on Dec. 1, 2017 from 4:00–9:00 pm. This is a festive family event that takes place at 14 venues along Main Street (Route 109) and the Dwight Derby House on Frairy Street. The Holiday Stroll includes cookie decorating, an outdoor ice sculpture, 40 juried artisans, carolers and M.E.M.O.’s outdoor tree lighting ceremony. All events are within walking distance, free parking nearby and FREE admission. For complete details and a list of artisans, visit


United Church of Christ: 496 Main Street

  • 4:00–9:00 pm. Artisan’s work for sale
  • 7:30 pm. Community carol sing
  • 4:00–9:00. Kids craft station

Medfield Library: 468 Main Street

  • 4:00–9:00 pm. Artisan’s work for sale
  • 4:30 pm, Children’s performer Sarah Gardner; Warm Winter Sing-a-longs
  • 4:00–9:00 pm. Kids craft station hosted by MAP (Medfield Afterschool Program)
  • Visit the new Friends Bookstore for books, CDs, DVDs and audiobooks


Zullo Gallery: 456 Main Street

  • 4:00–9:00 pm. Artisan’s work for sale



The Hot Dog Wagon: 478 Main Street (Bank of America Lot)

  • 5:00–9:00 pm. Nathan’s All Beef Hot Dogs with condiments; chips and drinks also available

Blazing Hearth Pizza: 503 Main Street. (Just Ervin’s Barber Salon Lot)

  • 5:00–9:00 pm fresh gourmet pizza from their wood-fired oven



Baxter Park: Corner of Main and Spring Street

  • 6:30–8:00 pm. MEMO Holiday Tree Lighting and Joy to the World Singing

Dwight Derby House: 7 Frairy Street

  • 6:30–9:30 pm. FREE PHOTOSwith Santa by photographers Theresa Knapp
  • 6:30–9:30 pm.  Hand-crafted items and paintings available for purchase.

In the Gazebo next to the library: 468 Main Street

  • 7:15 pm. Ice sculpture carving demonstration outside the Town Hall by Eyes4Ice

Brothers Marketplace: 446 Main Street

  • 4:00–5:30 pm. Caroling by Middle and High School chorus members
    4:00–9:00 Holiday cookie decorating


Be Charmed: 70 North Street

  • 4:00–9:00 pm. Locally-made jewelry, custom-sewn “ditty bags” using specialty fabrics.

Butterfly Tree  Boutique: 505 Main Street

  • 4:00–9:00 pm. FREE holiday-themed temporary tattoos.

Capsule Lifestyles, Inc: 70 North Street

  • 4:00–9:00 pm. Pearl jewelry and designer purses, organizers and accessories.

 Juice on Main: 479 Main Street

  • 4:00–9:00 pm. FREE tastings of organic, raw, cold-pressed juices and special holiday drink.

Larkin’s Wine & Spirits:  20 North Street

  • 6:00–8:00 pm. Sample beer from Medfield’s own 7th Wave Brewing and sip award-winning concoctions from Medfield’s AstraLuna Brands


FREE PARKING behind the Medfield Town Hall at 459 Main Street and at the Montrose School lot at 29 North Street (enter on Brook Street).



This program is supported in part by a grant from the MEDFIELD CULTURAL COUNCIL, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. Thank you to our sponsors: 7TH WAVE BREWING; A & D APPLIANCE; ACMEWARE INC.; ASTRALUNA BRANDS; ALISON BROWN/COLDWELL BANKER; DOHERTY, CIECHANOWSKI, DUGAN & CANNON; LARKIN’S WINE & SPIRITS; MASS CULTURAL COUNCIL; MEDFIELD ORTHOPEDIC & SPORTS THERAPY, LLC; NEEDHAM BANK; NOSH & GROG PROVISIONS; MAP (Medfield Afterschool Program); M.E.M.O. (Medfield Employers & Merchants Organization); PARK STREET BOOKS; and STIRLING TECHNOLOGIES.


The Cultural Alliance of Medfield is a 501-c-3 organization established in 2015 to nurture, support and promote culture in Medfield.




Office hours issues

office hours sign

Issues that came up this AM at my selectman office hours:

First, a Castle Avenue resident told me that there is a telephone pole that was in the middle of the cul-de-sac that broke off and needs replacement, and he is hoping it can be replaced 15-16′ to the West, out of the asphalt. It is a pole that hosts a guy wire to another pole, now leaning. Also, he abuts the rear of 93-95 North Street and he said that property floods after heavy rains and it takes 3-4 days to dry out at times.

Second, I had discussions with a resident about the town buying their land, how a price might get determined, timing, and their capital gain tax issues.

Third a resident wants to create a dog park in town where dogs can run off leash. I encouraged her to get in touch with the Animal Control Study Committee, and I put her in touch with them. She also had concerns over trucks parked on North Street in front of Nosh N Grog to make deliveries.  She also suggested parking meters – I told her how happy I was that we had a parking problem, because it means things are going on, and I mentioned that a parking study is coming soon, so we will have data from which to make decisions.  I also recounted how Wellesley was always tight on parking when I would commute home at night, until Blue Ginger closed, and now they have plenty of parking.  We now have a similar restaurant effect at night downtown.

Lastly, I discussed senior housing with another resident who hopes for sale price point of $350-500K (with deeded owner profit limitations), preferences for Medfield residents, and town staff assistance in writing a warrant article for the annual town meeting.


Disappearing crosswalk


Main St. crosswalk at RR tracks will return

Observant resident of the month, Marge Vasaturo, asked me at the Veterans Day Luminary event on Saturday whether the crosswalk on Main Street by the railroad crossing would return.  I had to ask Mike Sullivan if there had in fact been one there, and Mike recalled that there was one there, and in turn asked Maurice Goulet, Director of DPW if it was coming back – and yes it will be returning.

By an interesting quirk of town budgeting history, the Medfield Police Department actually paints the lines on the streets the DPW repair, and Moe reported to Mike that there were a few items that the Police Chief is arranging to get painted that were left out when Rte. 109 was repaved last summer.

And as your award Marge, here is a photo of the Vasaturo family luminaries –

vasaturo luminary