Intelligent Business Development & Transportation
Redevelopment of existing infrastructure is much better than “Green field development”
Š The digital economy is growing fast, and it is causing fundamental change and disruption to traditional shopping plazas and “big box” department stores of every kind.
Š For some of the same reasons that apply to residential development, it is far better for the Town if existing business developments are “re-developed,” making use of the existing parking, utility connections, and other infrastructure. Only as a “last resort” should the Town permit open spaces or woodlands to be changed into office parks, shopping centers, or multi-unit apartments, condos, or other residential uses.
Š By way of example, if a large (and soon-to-be-defunct) shopping plaza could be turned into a much smaller yet much-desired grocery store (e.g. Trader Joe’s or similar) that required only 1/3 of the entire parking lot, etc … and the remainder could be turned into affordable housing and/or a senior living or elder-care facility, that would be a very wise use of infrastructure, at minimal cost to the Town.
Š Like most other towns in our region, Dartmouth hasn’t got much yet in the way of meaningfully useful public transportation. But, with the rapid progression of approvals and near-certain eventual construction of the “South Coast Rail Lines” to both New Bedford and Fall River, we should get ahead of that curve by working with the State and neighboring towns to do the following:
o Improve and create regular, reliable bus service along all of Rte. 6, giving it priority lanes and very regular times. (Think “similar to the ever-improving Silver Line in Boston,” with modern, fuel-efficient buses that come every few minutes).
o Modify our existing parking areas for businesses along Rte. 6 to make it easy for people to use new bus routes whenever possible, connecting them to rail service around the State.
o Create & maintain bike lanes, encouraging their use, whether for recreation or transportation.
o Site our affordable housing, senior housing and similar development close to existing public transportation and local shopping and services, so as to build community rather than creating more difficult commuting. Do not permit dense housing on multiple single-building sites along busy roadways (such as those, along the east side of Tucker Road north of Russells Mills Road).