Poynton, England’s $4m fix could hold solutions for Medfield’s Rte. 109

From the Charles River Chamber of Commerce newsletter – a cheap $4 m. transformation –

Proakis and Speck returning to Harvard  

Finally this morning, when urban planner Jeff Speck spoke at our annual Fall Business Breakfast last November, he shared a quick sketch he made showing one way to make Watertown Square a calmer, more efficient, and inviting place.   “I took one hour, off the clock, to investigate the worst part of Watertown,” Speck said.   Speck said his idea was based on a similar design challenge in Poynton, England. (There’s an eye-opening video exploring that transformation: Don’t miss the part where all the naysayers at the beginning, later admit they were wrong.)   That sketch, is particularly interesting now as Watertown prepares to embark on a reimagining Watertown Square as part of the city’s updated Comprehensive Plan.   It’s also interesting because Speck has had a long-time collaboration with Watertown City Manager George Proakis, which dates back to when Proakis worked in Somerville and he was a featured speaker at a highly regarded two-day class Speck teaches at Harvard.   Proakis will be back in front of the classroom when Speck’s The Walkable City class returns in June.  

You can view Speck’s full presentation to the chamber here, followed by a panel discussion featuring Proakis as well as our municipal managers from Newton, Needham and Wellesley.   

And order Speck’s book here.

4 responses to “Poynton, England’s $4m fix could hold solutions for Medfield’s Rte. 109

  1. Jeanette Ruyle

    Very interesting. Where on 109 are you thinking this concept could be used? 109 and 27?


  2. Select Board member Osler "Pete" Peterson

    My initial thought was from South Street to Rte. 27. I know a crosswalk has been suggested for Upham Road and 109, but that it does not work well there – if we had Poynton’s solution, the whole downtown would be one long pedestrian zone, with crossings wherever you wanted. I think the Poynton model could be a huge improvement to our downtown.


  3. Armand P.P. Janjigian

    Great thinking (outside the box). I like it.


  4. Carroll Noel Mozer

    I’m not clear how that would improve the traffic situation coming through Medfield and if it would not require some of the real estate from South st to rt 27 to be taken by eminent domain. Perhaps a visual would be helpful.