Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning
- Health, environmental, and economic benefits of walking and bicycling
- High costs of automobile congestion, physical inactivity, air pollution
- Large amount of infrastructure needed to move and store vehicles
In Cambridge, 25% of people walk to work, the highest in the nation. 10% choose to bike. Street design influences these decisions.
Bike paths protected from traffic can encourage bicycling in high-traffic areas.
Good public transit complements walking and bicycling. Transit amenities like shelters and clear signage are part of "complete streets".
Bike lanes should be highly visible at intersections
Example on-street bike lane on side street.
May 4 Open House - Bike & Ped Plan Update
6:00 to 7:30 PM, Blumer Room, Memorial Building
Members of the public were invited to come learn about the Town's plan for improving safety and convenience for bicyclists and pedestrians. Town staff provided a preview of projects under consideration and next steps going forward, and were available to answer questions.
Flyer | Station Boards | Slide Presentation
Photos from our May 4 Open House are below:
March 2016: Framingham's Complete Streets Policy was rated the 9th best of 2015 nationwide by Smart Growth America!
Complete Streets promotes "the safety and comfort of all roadway users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and public transit". In 2016, the Mass. Department of Transportation launched a grant program for local complete streets projects. Prerequisites for eligibility include an approved complete streets policy and prioritization plan prior to funding.
The Town of Framingham Complete Streets Policy requires roadway projects to prioritize pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit.
The Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan is an integral part of implementing this Policy and will allow the Town to work hand-in-hand with the state in expanding transportation options available to our residents.
Based upon the findings of the Livable Community Workshop, the Community and Economic Development Division established a clear strategy that breaks the work ahead into seven overarching categories. Recommendations in the plan will be organized according to these elements.
- Identify Assets
The Bicycle and Pedestrian Network consists of all public roadways, save the Massachusetts Turnpike, and public multiuse paths.
- Connect Assets into a Usable Bicycle and Pedestrian Network
The usefulness of these systems depends on the completeness and connectivity of the system's elements.
- Maintain the Bicycle and Pedestrian Network
Like all physical assets, these facilities will gradually deteriorate and require regular cleaning, maintenance, and periodic reconstruction.
- Design for Safety
Standards for safety are well known and should be implemented uniformly across both the Vehicular and the Bicycle & Pedestrian Networks.
- Communicate Bicycle and Pedestrian Routes Through Education and Signage
Information is an important tool for improving efficiency and safety.
- Provide Seamless Links to Transit
Transit services and terminals are integral parts of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Network.
- Include Bicycle and Pedestrian Access in Land Use Planning
Land use and related planning efforts impact the attractiveness of the Network
The Livable Community Workshop
In September of 2014, the Town began the process of developing a Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan by hosting a Livable Community Workshop. This Workshop, conducted in partnership with the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization, brought together Town officials & residents in an effort to facilitate discussion regarding the Plan and solicit comments from those who live and work in the community. Numerous residents were present, alongside staff from the Town's Community and Economic Development Division, the Town's Planning Board, and the Metropolitan Planning Organization. Drawing from this discussion, those comments that were applicable to the Town as a whole were incorporated into an overarching framework for the Plan. At the same time, insights found to be particular to specific areas or situations were set aside for later phases of the process.
To learn more about the discussion, please see the links below!
Cochituate Rail Trail
Extending from Saxonville to the intersection of Speen Street and Cochituate Road, the Cochituate Rail Trail follows a stretch of train line which had fallen into disuse. The Regional Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) supplemented an existing DPW project with $600,000 in grant money to clear and surface the route while also adding amenities. In 2015, a paved, well marked road dedicated to bicycles & pedestrians opened, stretching across Framingham.
Building upon this success, the Town of Natick is in the process of developing its own stretch of the Rail Trail. Once this addition is complete, the Trail will reach Downtown Natick & provide an alternative route to the Boston/Worcester Commuter Line.
In the spring of 2012, the Town of Framingham and the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) began work on a collaborative project that sought to develop a pedestrian trail along the Weston Aqueduct. Signs were installed at the trail's entrances and a street crossing was constructed it bisects Elm St.
Framingham was the first municipality to receive a permit from the MWRA in a program that seeks to develop over 40 miles of walking paths along the Sudbury, Weston, Wachusett, and Cochituates Aqueducts. When completed, Framingh's portion will extend five miles from east to west and serve to further integrate bicycles and pedestrians into the Town's infrastructure.
- Joint Press Release, The Town of Framingham and the MWRA Celebrate Start of Aqueduct Trails Program
- Weston Aqueduct Pilot Program
- Stretch of Weston Aqueduct Opens, Framingham Tab