Lexington Center Streetscape Project
What will be done to increase the vitality of Lexington Center?
As the Center Streetscape Project moves into the 50% and 100% design phases, the Board of Selectmen has appointed a Center Streetscape ad hoc Design Committee. The committee consists of one representative of each of the following nine boards / committees and includes Center business owners and landscape architects:
- Bicycle Advisory Committee
- Center Committee
- Commission on Disability
- Design Advisory Committee
- Historic Districts Commission
- Planning Board
- Tourism Committee
- Tree Committee
The committee will work with the Town’s engineers and with consultants to make recommendations to the Board of Selectmen on the following design elements:
- Sidewalks (materials & width)
- Street lighting (style)
- Buffers (stone walls, thin planters, etc.)
- Seating (benches, tables, chairs)
- Bicycle amenities (racks, loops)
- Informational signage
- Trash/Recycle receptacles
- Planters (type, location)
- Landscaping (trees, shrubs, soil used)
- Educational and interpretive elements (wayfinding, historical interpretive signage, markers, bollards, fencing, etc.)
- Maintenance & upkeep
What will happen to the trees?
Trees are an essential part of a healthy and welcoming downtown. For just this reason, trees have always been part of the concept plans for the Center Streetscape Project.
The littleleaf lindens, ornamental pears, and other trees that line Lexington Center are in very poor health. Planted in tiny pits that are too small for their air and water needs, the trees suffer from stunted growth. Many are dying. Some are already dead.
The Center’s trees sit in tree beds like this one:
It is much too small. And it is surrounded by sidewalk that does not allow water to reach the roots.
In contrast, the London plane trees along Depot Sq are doing nicely. That is because they are growing within a planting strip that allows water and air to reach their roots.
The Center Streetscape Project is a fine opportunity to prepare tree beds that are properly engineered for a downtown setting and that will properly support and nurture our Center’s trees for years to come. It is also a great opportunity to plant trees and other foliage that don’t attract English sparrows to befoul our benches, and that will allow the signs of our local businesses to be visible to potential customers.
What may be done at Waltham Street?
- Aesthetically and functionally, this will be treated as a gateway to Lexington Center.
- Visual cues will guide pedestrians to the crosswalk.
- Furniture and landscaping will foster community gathering.
Rendering of Waltham Street Gateway improvements. Click to enlarge.
What may be done at the Salter Building (the area around Il Casale restaurant)?
This area will feature low shrubs, parking, public tables and chairs, box planters, and seasonal flowers.
Rendering of Salter Building improvements. Click to enlarge.