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Future of Route 9 Could Be Friendlier

Planners seeking feedback on future of Route 9, but already have some visions of green space and pedestrian access.

A foot-friendly, public transport-compatible Route 9 could be in the cards -- and your feedback could shape the future for the thoroughfare.

The road could see a rise in traffic of about 40 percent, as commercial areas along 9 are set to expand by around 88 percent in the coming years, according to representatives from the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC). In order to get ahead of that, the MAPC and MetroWest Regional Collaborative kicked off a series of meetings in May focused on how to develop Route 9 to deal with what is in store for Route 9. 

MAPC is hosting another public forum on Route 9's development on Tuesday, Dec. 4, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Framingham's Raymond Callahan Senior Center entitled "The Future of Route 9: What Might Smart Growth Look Like?." You can register online ahead of time.

Bruce Leish, director of the MetroWest Regional Collaborative said in a Boston.com report that, “what we’re trying to do is get people to think about developing in a different way."

Planners foresee replacing large parking lots with more compact parking garages, and using the leftover land to add greenspace to the "golden triangle" that stretches between Natick's Speen Street and Framingham's Route 30 intersection. 

However, these are long-term plans according to Leish. 

See the full story on Boston.com.

Here in Newton, there have been plenty of changes to the thoroughfare in recent months with the development of Chestnut Hill Square and The Street. Soon, the Atrium Mall will become a medial center and the Mall at Chestnut Hill has some expansion plans in the works as well. 

The highway has changed considerably over time, as Boston.com gave us A Look at the History of Route 9, meaning these upgrades could be another chapter in its story.

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