PETER FORBES, Quincy: City must take big steps to improve its walkability – Opinion – Rockland Standard

TO THE EDITOR:

One of Quincy’s most pressing problems is failure to improve on its strength as a city of walkable neighborhoods, each with a neighborhood commercial district.
Each new development favoring drivers and parking lots over pedestrians makes walking less safe, less useful and less interesting. Traffic congestion and dangerous conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists are the inevitable result.

The more we allow the automobile and parking to determine what can be built, where it can be built, and how it can be built, the lower the quality of life for Quincy residents and the more pressing our problems of automobile congestion, affordable housing and city finance.

Many options are available to help reverse these declines: Establish development zones around MBTA stations; encourage active street frontage by requiring that new commercial buildings meet the sidewalk, with parking in the rear; reduce parking minimums for construction near MBTA stations; improve crosswalks; establish bike lanes; explore metered street parking, including dynamic pricing; establish a land-value-based tax to encourage development in neighborhood commercial districts.

Preserving and improving the walkable character of Quincy’s neighborhoods and commercial centers is key to maintaining Quincy’s quality of life and desirability as a place to live.

PETER FORBES

Quincy

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