Regional planners seek feedback on Rte. 9 smart growth
Planners are offering a glimpse next week at what the future could look like for Rte. 9, if towns adopt smart growth concepts that facilitate compact, mixed-use development, make it easier for pedestrians to get around and minimize traffic.
Bruce Leish, director of the MetroWest Regional Collaborative, said planners at the Dec. 4 meeting will present conceptual designs for possible growth on Rte. 9 in the Fayville section of Southborough, Framingham Centre and the Golden Triangle area on the Natick/Framingham line.
Smart growth would “essentially allow Rte. 9 to grow but not be totally overwhelmed with automobile traffic,” Leish said.
Representatives of the collaborative and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council in May presented a study that showed the Rte. 9 corridor from Southborough to Wellesley could expand its commercial space by 88 percent under current zoning, causing traffic to increase by 40 percent.
Using smart growth principals, though, commercial space could grow by 61 percent and traffic by 16 percent, they said.
Leish said they presented examples of smart growth in other areas.
“Now we want to come back and look at three specific areas along Rte. 9 to illustrate what these developments might look like,” he said.
Smart growth projects could include better pedestrian connections along and across Rte. 9, improved public transit access and compact, walkable developments featuring a mix of office space, homes and shops, Leish said.