More Master Plan Workshops are set for Public to Give Input on Westfield's Future Development.

WESTFIELD, NJ — If the town could use a parking deck was one among many questions residents discussed at a workshop on Thursday — the first in a series where the municipality is gathering input as it plans for its future growth.

Sally Cohen-Alameno was among the dozens of people to give feedback at various tables set up at the Edison Intermediate School Cafeteria. Cohen-Alameno believes that the town could use a low parking structure where the commuter parking is near the train station on South Avenue.

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“It’s ridiculous that someone moves here and they stay on a waiting list for years to get a commuter parking pass. That’s what I think our problem is, not the downtown parking,” Cohen-Alameno said. “If I go to a store or a restaurant, I can walk a little further.”

Representatives for H2M architects and engineers, the planning firm that the municipality hired to help write an update to the town’s master plan, also took input on land use, transportation, historic preservation and community facilities.

Resident Elizabeth Talmont at the workshop said pedestrian and bicycle safety is a top concern for her.

“This reengineering and looking at all of these different facets is really important to us,” said Talmont, who is the vice chair of the Westfield Board of Health.

Thursday’s forum was the first among a handful of workshops at which Westfield’s government is gathering public input for its future development.

“This governing body and this administration had said ‘we’re not going to put this together in-house without public input,’” said Town Planner Don Sammet.  “We want a substantial public participation process that will let us know how the town should grow.”

The feedback will help the town write an update to its existing master plan, something the state requires to be updated every 10 years.

Mayor Shelley Brindle previously said she encourages everyone to make his or her voices heard.

Residents may fill out an online survey here.

Upcoming workshops are as follows:

  • Wednesday, April 3, 7 – 9 p.m., Town Hall community room, 425 East Broad St.
  • Wednesday, April 24, 7 – 9 p.m., Edison Intermediate School cafeteria, 800 Rahway Ave.
  • Monday, April 29, 7 – 9 p.m., Edison Intermediate School cafeteria, 800 Rahway Ave.
  • Sunday, May 5, booth at the festival on East Broad Street

Email Staff Writer Matt Kadosh at mkadosh@tapinto.net; Follow him on Twitter: @MattKadosh