Creating Connections in Plainfield

Creating Connections in Plainfield

Walk Audit Participants walk towards the intersection of Main Street and Central Street

On Tuesday, July 5th, WalkBoston led a walk audit in the town of Plainfield, MA and were joined by 11 community members, including members of the local walking group, the planning board, the highway department, the police department, and other town organizations. The walk audit took place along the stretch of Route 116 between Plainfield’s Union St and Central St, including the bounding intersections. Prior to the walk audit, WalkBoston led a virtual Ped101 session that offered introductory knowledge on rural walkability, its importance, and various examples of interventions used to improve the pedestrian experience in rural communities.

Plainfield residents hope to improve pedestrian safety in the town center. As is the case with many rural towns, Plainfield’s Main St happens to be a highway used by large freight trucks. Additionally, limited sight lines due to the geography of the area make it difficult for pedestrians to look out for oncoming traffic. To mitigate these concerns, residents are interested in traffic calming measures, a sidewalk, and some crosswalks. These interventions will complement an upcoming village green project–transforming a redundant section of road next to Town Hall and the Congregational Church into a new open space for community gatherings. WalkBoston will soon publish a summary report of the walk audit, offering recommendations to the town for infrastructure improvements and funding opportunities. Plainfield can use these recommendations to make adjustments that support and encourage walking for those of all ages and abilities. 

The Hilltown CDC, together with Healthy Hampshire and WalkBoston, are leading a 5-year grant project to promote Age-Friendly Walkability in the Hilltowns Village Centers, funded by the Dept. of Public Health’s Healthy Aging Fund. In partnership with community residents and leaders, the team will be conducting a series of walk audits in partnering Hilltowns villages. The goal of these walk audits is to identify infrastructure improvements and policy changes to make village center walking safe and enjoyable for people of all ages in the Hilltowns. The Town of Plainfield is one of the partnering communities in this grant project.


Comments are closed.