Letter to the Editor: Don’t Change Center Plan for Residents Like Me

To the editor:

I moved to Belmont two years ago when I was in my late 60s. I chose a location where I could easily walk or drive into town. Coming to town frequently, and staying for a while, is one of the things I plan to do to stay connected as I grow older.     

Thus far, spending time in town has meant either walking along the sidewalks or ducking into one of the stores. When I first walked around town, I was drawn to the green space in front of the bank.  However, I rarely saw anyone sitting there and quickly understood why. The green space beckoned, but I wasn’t inclined to cross a busy street to get to the small patch of green only to sit and watch cars whizzing by on all sides.  

That’s why I was delighted when I saw the original reconstruction plan for Belmont Center. The plan created a green space that was actually usable. I thought it would be a wonderful spot for people of all ages to gather, and a perfect focal point for special town events. I envisioned taking my young grandsons to get ice-cream cones and, instead of hanging out on the crammed sidewalk in front of the store, walking over to the green to enjoy them; or buying a sandwich and meeting a friend for lunch on the green; or just sitting there reading a book. I pictured special occasions with everyone in town, from the youngest child to the oldest elder, gathered on the green enjoying the newly created space. 

I feel compelled to write this – my first ever letter to an editor – because I’ve read that the reconstruction plan as modified by the selectmen, with its cut-through and parallel parking spaces in front of the bank, was adopted in deference to the elderly. Although I appreciate the concern expressed for seniors, I question whether the cut-through plan is what the majority of the elderly in town would actually choose. I, for one, am deeply disappointed that a safe and inviting gathering place has been abandoned in favor of a few parking spaces of questionable convenience relative to the original plan. Moreover, even if I thought those spaces would serve the purpose intended, I would not want the entire town to lose its carefully planned green to make them available to me.   

Joanne Birge

Common Street 

Share This ArticleShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on PinterestShare on LinkedInPrint this pageEmail this to someone

Leave a Review or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *