|Sturbridge Town Common|
Over time, the function this common area for the towns people has shifted from agrarian, and military, the last military use of the Common was during WWII by troops stationed at the Publick House, to a central gathering place. A peaceful place for contemplation, relaxation. A spiritual place for weddings, and candlelight vigils. A social place for fairs, food festivals, and concerts.
All of these activities are not only expected, but needed. What isn't needed is the stress of such activities has on the common itself.
Recently, Tom Chamberland, the towns Tree Warden, warned that the trees on the common are being distressed to the point of their dying due to parking of vehicles on the grass. Parking on the grass compacts the soil, and the root system of the heritage, and other trees. As a result, they begin to fail, loose limbs, become weak, and eventually become a safety hazard, and must be removed.
Time to change our behavior.
It is time an ordinance is written prohibiting parking of any vehicle on the town common, and only allowing vehicle parking on the roadways that surround the common, with the exception of Main Street, Route 131. Parking for events can also be had behind the Town Hall, and, with permission, at the Publick House lots depending on the event.
This is such a simple thing to enact, and to enforce. Common sense not only validates it, but insists on it. The cost would be for signs to be erected around the commons perimeter. A fine should be imposed, and those fines would pay for the signs.
In the future, when the roads surrounding the common need to be repaved, a curbing should be part of the plan to prevent parking on the grass.
We need to act before the warm weather begins, and the use of the common goes full swing.
It's just common sense.