Quincy Center Promenade...

Introduction Quincy, Massachusetts. A long time blue-collar city just outside of Boston which was long known for its shipbuilders, Granite and in the very old days.. an airport and flight firsts. (Yes, Quincy used to have an airfield.) Today, Quincy Center and Quincy as a whole is on the fringe of undergoing very large – some may even say controversial changes to its traffic patterns and infrastructure for future use. That is the subject of this article today. I recently read a book called ‘Walkable City‘ by Jeff Speck, a Massachusetts native. In this book and several other books like it, he waxes poetic about multi-modal transportation and the modern renaissance movement consisting of cities taking back their public spaces and making them more accessible to pedestrians and to other modes of transportation other than cars. And in other books, there seems to be a common theme among those who have spent the better part of their lives studying transportation, public spaces and general livability standards around the world, that cities should take back their public spaces and make them great spaces that attract all kinds and can be used by the public for things other than traffic. Quincy, like many cities in the late 1800s to the early 1900s experienced a modest lifestyle and social scene led by its working class. Word War I to World War II brought with it modest prosperity with heavy industry, namely shipbuilding and other military-based factories. Before WWI, main transportation methods were horse-drawn carriage and good ol’ fashioned walking. Just before WWII trolleys became the main public transport method through Quincy’s main thoroughfares along with the introduction of the automobile. Between the 1950s to 1960s the automobile became affordable to the average American and a status symbol...