Young people’s needs generated comments from young and old in Foxborough in the last Weekly Poll. The first question asked whether people agreed or disagreed with Foxborough has many recreational activities for young people. A strong majority of respondents, 85.4% agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that Foxborough has many recreational activities for young people. About one in three (30.9%) strongly agreed, where a small minority 15.4% disagreed or strongly disagreed.
The Weekly Poll posed the question whether needs more programs and activities for young people. Over one in six respondents (17.1%) strongly agreed that more activities and programs are needed in Foxborough. An additional 42.3% of respondents agreed, for a totally of 59.4% overall in agreement. Interestingly 39% disagreed, and only 1.6% strongly disagreed that Foxborough needs more programs and activities for young people,
The Weekly Poll asked if it is easy for young people to get to the park, school, and other activities in Foxborough by walking or bicycling. A clear majority disagreed (42.3%) and strongly disagreed (17.1%). Overall 59.4% disagreed. However, one-third of respondents (35.0%) believed it is easy for young people to walk or bike to the park, school and other activities. As one respondent commented, “Although there have been a vast increase in crosswalks and sidewalks, there are still gaping holes in the continuity of sidewalks, preventing my children and others from safely walking to local parks.” Another stated, “I am always worried about young people crossing the streets near to the center of town. There are inadequate crosswalks and signage for pedestrians, especially on Mechanic and Central Streets.” Another comment was “there needs to be safer routes for kids to actively get around town and for mother’s with strollers. Maybe a bike lane or slower speed limits near the schools.”
The comments about young people’s needs provided additional insight into residents’ responses. One noted that they are “always looking for more activities for kids under 3.” Another person pointed out that there are “lots of activities, but are cost $$$.” While a different voice pointed out that “Children need unstructured time to wonder and grow. Our local government doesn’t have to invent problems to fund. Kids, left to their own instincts, will find ways to have fun with each other.” However, another person observed, “I don’t think there are many places for high schoolers to go outside of the high school. Besides maybe the Y, Cumberland Farms, etc., I can’t think of many popular hangouts.” Someone else noted that “if a particular opportunity is lacking, those desiring it should take the initiative to organize it and lead it.”
There were various suggestions as to the types of programs needed. Several people commented on the emphasis on organized sports, and stated that their needs to be “an emphasis on non-sports activities,” and another noted that “not all kids are athletic.” Suggestions included “creative workspaces for young (and older) residents with other interests: art studios, music practice space, etc.,” “substance abuse education,” and “hiking/biking/recreational activity” for families. Several people mentioned a desire for a splash pad for younger kids. Many people suggested bike paths, trails and bike lanes.