Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?
These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.
Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...
...seems to be working so far
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Utility Lines May Be Riding Off Into The Sunset
This week, in the Tantasqua Town Common newspaper, I read a short article about burying the utility lines along Main Street from Route 131 to Route 148. Let's bury those puppies. This would be the first step of many to beautify the area along Main Street along with widening the sidewalks and placing a parking area on Route 20.
I have to admit I got all a-twitter when read those goals of Town Administrator James Malloy. I know, I know, words are cheap. Action is what counts. "We've been down this burying the utility line road before."
But, here is the difference today compared to then: Not only are those in favor of such changes watching very closely, offering to assist, but are also voicing their opinions with greater ease thanks to online forums, blogs, and emailing letters to the editor. Back in the day if you felt strongly about an issue the most you could do was get out your stationary, and pencil and scrawl a letter to the News. Maybe whine a bit at the breakfast counter with some friends, or at the most, offer your opinion at a town meeting.
No more. Today we can voice ourselves immediately online, and it does carry weight. No, the crazy, off the wall stuff will always be ignored for the most part, but real opinion from regular folks will be read, and heard.
One can't go about making promises or setting goals nowadays without the almost instantaneous feedback we have come to expect in this new information age.
That being said, I am still excited that the Town Administrator reiterated some of his goals for the record. Updating the towns Master Plan, ensuring improvements at the recently acquired Robinson Crusoe property, and exploring taking on a part, or full time Economic Development Director for the town. All are admirable ideas, and worthy goals.
One goal that was mentioned in the article was a no brainer. The Planning Board has asked the selectmen to improve the lighting and signage at the towns Park & Ride lot at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church.
What? We have a Park & Ride lot in town? I had no idea we had one. Really. Well, without a sign, or lighting it must have been hiding there in the dark all along.