Exit 13/Golden Triangle Planning Study
On June 26, 2018, the two communities held a joint Open House to share results of the Exit 13/Golden Triangle Planning Study. Framingham will potentially be holding another neighborhood meeting once the summer is over. Meanwhile, please take a moment to read through the Draft Plan.
The City of Framingham and Town of Natick are collaborating on a joint study of the area around I-90 Exit 13, known as the Golden Triangle. This study will result in a future vision for the study area — a 900+ acre area that includes small businesses, regional retail, and corporate campuses as well as residents — in order to guide growth, inform infrastructure investment, and improve quality of life for all.
The Golden Triangle District (the “District”) is a critical economic engine for Framingham and Natick. Located strategically off Exit 13 of the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90), the District is a regional hub for businesses, shoppers, and travelers. The District is home to a dynamic mix of mature companies and emerging startups, including the TJX Companies, Meditech, IDG, Heartware, and The MathWorks. The area is also known as New England’s premier retail shopping center, home to leading retailers housed at Shoppers World, the Natick Mall, and other shopping plazas. Finally, while the District is largely automobile-oriented, the area is starting to accommodate multiple transit options. The recently-expanded MassPort Logan Express facility, the inclusion of landscaped pedestrian paths throughout the area, and a near-finalized Cochituate Rail Trail point to the future utility of transportation alternatives.
Yet successful area development to date has created significant challenges, including:
- Serious traffic delays, especially at Route 30/Speen Street and along Route 9;
- Linear and disconnected development patterns that add to traffic delays;
- Lack of realistic transportation/mobility alternatives to car-based transit;
- Underutilized land and parcels;
- Properties that straddle community lines and are split zoned; and
- Current zoning which may preclude sustainable development patterns fostering transportation and mobility options, economic growth, and resiliency.
In 2014, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) began to address traffic congestion in the area. That same year, the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) developed several alternative designs to improve traffic flow in the Route 30/Speen Street area. In order to better assess the feasibility of any option, MassDOT needs to understand potential future traffic demand.
To address MassDOT’s need to plan for the future traffic and land use demands, both communities jointly seek the creation of a separate development plan. This planning effort incorporates a robust research and public engagement effort. The effort results in the creation of an updated District land use, zoning, and transportation/mobility plan.
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Although not currently active the www.courbanize.com/golden-triangle platform was utilized throughout 2017 and 2018 to solicit input and feedback from those who use the Golden Triangle area and to post websites on the project. The website is still viewable at the link above. A lot of valuable input was collected on this website!