Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Pedestrian path from Langley to Hebrew College

I have been lamenting of late the lack of off-street pedestrian paths in my neighborhood. In particular, it's too bad that the City did not require Terraces project to include a public path or paths through the huge site.

So, it was a big surprise -- and disappointment -- to learn last night during a public meeting about the Herrick Road study that the special permit for the Hebrew College campus expressly forbids an improved path from Langley to Hebrew College.

I think the provision was short-sighted. The ostensible reason for the restriction was to prevent Prozdor parents from dropping their children off on Langley. This contributes to the Tuesday night and Sunday afternoon traffic jams on Herrick Road. And, it denies the neighborhood a foot path that would be usable the rest of the week.

It's time to rethink the restriction. Undoubtedly, lifting the restriction and creating a path would create a few periods of cars queuing on Langley Road. But, it might ease the queuing on Herrick.

It also might not. Parents who drop children off in Newton Centre to avoid the traffic on Herrick might change their mind as volume is siphoned off to Langley. And, easing the traffic volume on Herrick might encourage Hebrew College to expand the program.

But, whatever impact a foot path has on Langley might be more than made up by the increase in pedestrian opportunities.

1 comment:

Adam said...

Sean, we've actually got a fair number of pedestrian paths in our neighborhood -- more than average in Newton, I think, though I too would always like to see more, especially the one you mentioned to Hebrew College.

* Daniel St to Ridge Av (commons, for school kids, I figure)
* White Av to Bow Rd (used for generations, but closed off recently. Apparently it's private property, but some would question the legality of closing it off)
* Institution Hill stairs from Cypress
* the "sanitized" path from Bowen to Andover Newton, awaiting completion under Terraces Special Permit 250-01
* From the Hamlet to Carlisle
* Network of paths through the Webster and Cohen conservation areas from Langley/Elgin/Warren to Mishkan Tefila and The Mall
* Paths through the woods surrounding Bowen

I think only Newton Highlands comes close with the Aquaduct and Cold Springs.