Medfield Press has a good article (copy also inserted below) on the report to selectmen at our meeting Tuesday on the downtown summit held by the town’s Economic Development Committee with the assistance of the MAPC. The MAPC representative stressed that what the town will ultimately get in the end is a To Do List for our downtown.
Also, Adam Stuhlman of the Medfield Press reported to us on Tuesday that the Medfield Press now has two reporters covering the town, which is welcome news, as the town can only benefit from good newspaper coverage – and Adam is doing a good job.
Medfield study shows residents’ downtown wishlist
Posted Mar. 24, 2016 at 12:32 PM
The Economic Development Committee and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council released the results of a study from February that showed what residents felt were the strengths and weaknesses of the downtown area.
The study showed that while residents like the area, they are concerned about traffic and parking. The Board of Selectmen Tuesday agreed to a proposal to do a parking and sidewalk study. Before the study begins they want to reach out to old members of the dormant Downtown Study Committee, said Patrick Casey, chairman of the Economic Development Committee.
On Feb. 9, the committee and the council held a public forum at the Medfield Public Library to determine what residents thought of the area in terms of necessary changes and good uses. Casey said about 90 people attended, with the results showing most people enjoying what the area offers.
“People said the downtown area was walkable and visually appealing,” he said. “They like the fact that it has historic structures like the Peak House, Clark’s Tavern and the churches. They also liked the independent shops.”
At the same time, he said the results showed several needed areas of improvement, according to residents. People were worried about traffic, parking and pedestrian safety. Also mentioned was the low number of retail stores and there being “no gathering places for kids,” according to Casey.
Casey also said the committee talked to about 30 downtown area businesses last summer, with most of them saying the town has been good to work with.
“We have a good starting point and we want to make it stronger. We just need to remove negatives like traffic and parking to make a trip there easier,” he said.
Steve Winter, director of economic development for the MAPC said the study was paid for by the state and cost $15,000. He said a lot of work remains to be done on this project and that residents need to appreciate what they have in the downtown area.
“The history of Medfield is woven into the downtown area,” he said.