Lexington Center Streetscape Project
Myths and Facts
Myth: The Board of Selectmen shut down all public discussion of the Center Streetscape Project in November of 2015 and is excluding certain parties from participating in the process.
Facts: No and no. Public discussion continues, and no one is being excluded.
Over the past five years, the Town and the Selectmen have welcomed and received public input on all aspects of the Center Streetscape Project, from traffic engineering to (non-traffic) design elements, and continue to do so.
Since the Town started specifically planning for the Center Streetscape Project in 2011, more than 50 meetings involving Town staff and citizen-staffed stakeholder committees have taken place. Most recently, broad public input and participation was welcomed at the following meetings:
- April 7, 2016 (Public Meeting in Diamond School auditorium attended by 30 or so residents - Topic: Field Test Traffic Safety Plan)
- January 12, 2016 (Public Meeting in Battin Hall, Cary Memorial Building, attended by 100-200 residents - Topic: Proposals for non-traffic design elements)
- November 30, 2015 (Selectmen’s Meeting - Topic: Woburn St intersection)
- June 10, 2015 (Public Meeting in Clarke School auditorium, attended by ~200 residents - Topic: Woburn St intersection)
- March 18, 2014 (Public Meeting in Battin Hall, Cary Memorial Building - Topic: Proposals for non-traffic design elements)
- December 5, 2013 (Public Meeting at St Brigid’s Church, very well attended civic engagement meeting, with presentations and break-out sessions - Topic: Visioning of traffic and non-traffic design elements)
- Four public hearings / workshops held in 2011 (December, October, July, May) led by Pressley Associates, an award-winning design firm specializing in historic landscapes.
Notably, the March 18, 2014, and the January 12, 2016, meetings sought public feedback on the non-traffic design elements of the Streetscape project. In addition, on November 17, 2015, the Historic District Commission and the Lexington Historical Commission received a project update and offered feedback.
The public has ongoing opportunities to comment on the Center Streetscape Project. The public is always invited to contact the Board of Selectmen and to visit individual selectmen during their office hours. And members of the public are welcome to speak at the start of every regularly scheduled Board meeting during the public comment period for items not on the Selectmen’s agenda.
The Selectmen have created a Center Streetscape Design Review ad hoc Committee, which will make recommendations to the Board on sidewalks, street lighting style, buffers, seating, bike amenities, informational signage, trash & recycling receptacles, planters, landscaping, educational & interpretive elements, and maintenance & upkeep.
The ad hoc committee includes Center business owners, as well as professional landscape architects and designers, and is made up of representatives from the Bicycle Advisory Committee, Center Committee, Commission on Disability, Design Advisory Committee, Historic District Commission, Planning Board, Tourism Committee, Tree Committee.
In a letter to the Lexington Minuteman, the Board of Selectmen unanimously debunked this myth and wrote, “We look forward to continuing this open process and for all residents to feel engaged and free to express their perspectives on a revitalized Lexington Center.”