Autumn in the North Cemetery.

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

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Moving So Slow, They're Almost Parked. Well, Almost.

I received the following email this morning. The parking lot for Sturbridge was included in the now ancient Master Plan from 1987. It's a great idea, and I am glad they are pursuing it 21 years later.

Things just amble a bit slower here in Central Mass.

"The Town of Sturbridge is seeking proposals from property owners to lease to the Town land to be used as a parking lot. The land must be located in the Commercial Tourist Zoning District (Route 20 from the intersection with Route 131 to Route 148) and provide a minimum of 50 parking spaces that comply with zoning. Details of the RFP can be obtained from the Office of the Town Administrator. Sealed proposals must be submitted to the Office of the Town Administrator, 308 Main Street, Sturbridge, MA 01566 no later than December 1, 2008 at 12:00 p.m."

Finding a good place will be hard. There isn't too many large, open parcels in that area. One, that I've mentioned before, is the land adjacent to the former Le Petite Bakery on Route 20 across from Cedar Street. It's open and flat, and large enough for 50 cars. The only other spot I can come up with is on the south side of Route 20 at the intersection of Holland Road. It's an out of the way place, but if the land was leased maybe it could be leveled off, repaved, and access stairs / ramp be made to go from the lot to Route 20.

Ideally, the lot across from Cedar Street is the best, and if the vacant old house can be worked into the lease as well, it could augment the Information Center on the westbound side of Route 20, and possibly offer more for the tourists as well.

Just a thought.

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