April 19, 2007 FDR Minutes by chrstphr


									FDR Meeting Notes April 19, 2007 7:45 a.m., in Ablondi Room Attendance: Carla Fink, Elsa Hornfischer, Ruth Patterson, Rosemary Weich, Nancy Doherty, Rich Bryan, Bill Robinson, David Bennet, John Fossett, Roger Jeanty, Katie Murphy, Angie Sottile-Fowler, John Steacie, Mary Kiely, Bob Baril, Michelle Swartz, Sam Swisher, Deb Cleveland, Charlene Cabral, Katherine French, Ted Welte; Staff: Kathleen Bartolini, Bryan Taberner, Kimbra Wellock and Mikaele Neves. Meeting began at 8:10 a.m. Review of March 8, 2007 Meeting Notes Meeting notes were approved. Presentation of Revised 126/135 Traffic Counts - Speakers: Rick Bryant and Nancy Doherty, Rizzo Associates At the last meeting, several FDR members stated there was no transportation context being developed for downtown, and K. Bartolini realized how very wrong those statements were. She also realized that there was a communication problem between downtown Railroad crossing Task Force despite the overlap of many members on both FDR and DRC. Thus she wanted to have Rick Bryant and Nancy Doherty from Tetratech Associates present the information on traffic counts and rail counts which had been done and presented to the DRC, so this background information could be overlaid into our urban design work. R. Bryant explained the information via a power point presentation, providing information on traffic counts taken at peak hours in the morning and afternoon, and the comparison of those numbers from similar counts conducted in 1996. There was also a comparative count of pedestrian crossings. Bartolini pointed out the fact that pedestrian traffic has increased from 1996. Bryant showed how the traffic count is consistently done for the major intersections defined in Town’s contract for the study. Glen Weisbrod mentioned the variability of traffic time, and the fact that everyone plans for the worst and how easy it would be for them to go shop downtown. Kathleen commented that the lights at the intersection between Rt. 126 and Rt. 135 will be re-sequenced by DPW contractor before she leaves on August, and cited that because Southborough and Ashland now have their own train station it has helped to ease the amount of traffic downtown. Bartolini spoke about the four alternatives being scrutinized as possible solution to downtown traffic problems, and how one will be chosen as the recommended option to be submitted to Bd. of Selectmen for final approval before the end of this calendar year. Weisbrod discussed how the economic stakes of downtown, and how the traffic count would be completely different if downtown economy was to improve, he also would like an acknowledgement of the “downtown avoidance factor” resulting from potential users’ perceptions of magnitude of time delay to cross through the downtown. Bartolini brought up Mikaele Neves’s opinion that another reason why pedestrian traffic went up is due to the tightening of immigration policies and that fact that it is even harder nowadays for undocumented aliens to acquire a driver’s license and that is pushing them to walk or bike more than before. FDR Work Plan Visualization Project: Review Final Report Kimbra Wellock asked for feedback on the text of the report to see if it’s accurate and if it reflects what the committee wanted. There were a few people that had not seen the presentation and the deadline for revisions was extended to Monday, April 23rd. There was discussion of what should be included in the report and suggestion of picture replacements. It was agreed that staff would come back next month


with recommendations re where to distribute the draft plan, how to get it officially adopted, and next steps for its implementation. Katie Murphy was very happy with the document and how it looked and she congratulated Wellock for such a great job. Everyone present endorsed her sentiments. Updates Arcade Bartolini reported that the demolition of 80 Kendall Street has already started. Cultural Facilities Fund Grant Application The grant was filed for conversion of Nevins Hall into a major cultural performance venue while preserving its historic architectural character. We applied for $1m and expect construction to take 2 yr. Grant announcements for this VERY competitive first-time-ever grant round should occur by late June. $50,000 FDR Funding Plan for Action Item not discussed due to lack of time. Schedule and Plan Update for $500,000 Economic Stimulus Funds Item not discussed due to lack of time. Other Developments and Announcements • Bartolini announced that she is retiring at the end of August 2007. Bartolini also announced that Kimbra Wellock is leaving to work in Seattle, and her last day will be April 25th, 2007. Bartolini introduced Mikaele Neves – the new assistant for the Planning Department. Carla Fink reported the list of events of what is happening at START Partnership’s Spring Into Arts sixweek long Festival, for example the play “It Can’t Happen Here” is being presented at Amazing Things Art Center on 2 consecutive weekends. She mentioned that they have ads on WBZ and WBUR about the festival and the ability to win free tickets to the play and other major concerts/events. It seems that more people have heard the ad in WBZ than the WBUR. Bartolini announced that Middlesex Savings Bank will be participating in FDR activities from now on and she welcomed the 2 bank representatives aboard.



Next Agenda There was request to have 30 minutes to speak about the Cultural Triangle design project on next agenda. We will also review and finalize FDR’s 08 work plan.

Meeting adjourned at 10:00 a.m.


To top