Town should not ignore study

To the Editor:

With respect to a proposed amendment to Bedford’s zoning ordinance to permit gas stations along the Route 101 corridor, it would be highly unreasonable for the town of Bedford to turn its back on the significant investment of time, effort, money and public input that went into the development of the Route 101 corridor study.

Anyone who was here in the years 2000-01 remembers that the planning department submitted a grant application to the Federal Highway Administration and was awarded $230,000 for a Route 101 corridor study.

In 2001, a team of land use and transportation professionals was hired to work with citizens and businesses in the community to create a plan for the future of this highway and the land uses around it. The result was the Route 101 corridor study finalized in 2002.

In the study, the consulting team’s analysis called for further refinement and exclusion of automotive-
oriented uses from the commercial zones along the corridor. The study anticipated future development, as we see today, but also recognized that certain limitations were required in order for the corridor to maintain its character.

To disregard the investment and effort that went into the study, and to ignore the study team’s recommendations to appease one landowner at the community’s expense is unreasonable. Why did we pursue the study if we weren’t going to follow it?

I understand this will be discussed by the Planning Board at its Oct. 10 workshop at 7 p.m. at BCTV. Anyone who cares about the future of the corridor, and in preventing it from becoming another Route 101A, South River Road or Second Street, should attend.

Rebecca Gallo