Upham's Corner Online

Urban Planning in Upham's Corner - Letters to the Editor

Posted: May 5, 2011     Nancy J Conrad

The following letters were received in response to the April 12, 2011 article providing an update on the  St. Kevin's Project.

Letter from Larry Fabian
April 22, 2011


Make St. Kevin's an autofree zone. And certainly no SUVs!  Get Jane Howard a grant to study state-of-the-art zoning guidance on auto-free urban zones. An early legal check for defense against AAA-type challenges would be wise.

Only tenants and owners committed to not  owning a car. Ample maintained and secured pedestrian ways are provided. Min. 2 zipcar spaces and easy membership. In-house ride-sharing assistance. Maybe a special Uphams Shuttle?

Create a carefully designed and managed drop/off siding on Columbia for vans, taxis, UPS trucks, etc. Tow for other parkers. This becomes the primary access point for auto-free Uphams Green. And yes, without the dumb apostrophe!

Consider closing Davern to Columbia. Study fire safety of whole complex and surroundings because public safety must be optimized.

Does it not make sense to plan jointly with Pilgrim Church? Why not design a good venue for a "resale" (aka flea) market that seems to happen there almost naturally and and helps many people. Shouldn't we provide public space for it and expand with a food/ farmer's market?

The developer's Traffic and Parking analysis area must to enlarged to include Columbia/Hancock prefreably to Bird and Dudley. And why not the parking behind the old bowling alley? There and UC's other hidden parking lots hardly gets used. We should ban parking on these streets and utilize the extensive lots that exist. And clearly UC needs parking and traffic management. Where is Main Street's plan of action?

Letter from Don Walsh
April 26, 2011


I encourage your readers to actively participate in the forthcoming city planning exercise for all of Uphams Corner.

I chaired a similar effort for the Columbia Point peninsula and found it extremely valuable. We (the community task force members, the city planners, businesses and institutions located on the peninsula, the professional consultants and many community residents who attended some of the meetings) focused on the entirety of the peninsula and how individual parcels fit into the "whole". That is a very different approach than the usual focus on a parcel with a cursory look to that parcel's relation to the "whole".

I cannot overstate the importance of a similar approach to Uphams Corner planning. The desired goal of a resurgence of Uphams Corner as a major business district and a cornerstone for cultural, service and residential components can be best attained by a comprehensive assessment and plan.

For Columbia Point, it was particularly helpful that the city hired a series of consultants , who had no vested interests in any parcel or use, to present concepts and options that would have been difficult for entrenched players to visualize. It was also critical that a number of resident participants actively voice their reactions to, and opinions on, every aspect of the evolving plan. It is time consuming. It is also well worth the effort.

Uphams Corner has several key parcels that should be thoughtfully integrated into a plan that maximizes benefits to all of Uphams Corner. These key parcels include

    * the Leon building,
    * the Maxwell properties,
    * the Pierce and Hart buildings,
    * the Strand and
    * the St. Kevin's property.

A plan that considers these parcels as part of a larger "whole" is the right approach. I applaud the city for initiating this exercise and, again, strongly encourage your readers to get actively involved.

Don Walsh

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