Deerfield’s Charette Will Brainstorm Better Design for our Town

This week, citizens of Deerfield will get together for something known as a charette. The town has received a grant that enables them to hire an outfit to help us all figure out what we want our little downtown of South Deerfield to look like.

When we met a few weeks back, it was a smaller group, and after we listened to the facilitators it was time for us to all set pens to paper on gigantic street maps they presented of downtown.  Many of us were concerned about traffic and about how hard it is to cross the street, especially at the point of where Park, Graves and Sugarloaf Streets all converge.  Other people mentioned how with all of the cars parked on Sugarloaf St. outside of the St Stanislaus Church, it’s hard to see anyone who wants to cross the street.  That’s a particular point of conversation, since the church owns a gigantic parking lot right behind their buildings. But almost none of the parishioners ever park there, they prefer the street right outside .

I made a pitch for bike lanes—it seems like there is no really defined paths for bikes and I think we should be encouraging them. The facilitators showed pictures of some great looking street painting that they did in Northampton that has helped direct cars away from pedestrian crossings, and we all agreed we could use that here.

The Charette is on Thursday and Friday of this week. Stay tuned to this blog and to the local papers and I’ll share whatever good ideas bubble up. It’s amazing how many ideas CAN crop up when a larger group takes a crack at the same problem we all mulled a few weeks back.