I visited the Jones Library Special Collections for the first time on Wednesday, where the librarians helped me find Amherst's last Comprehensive (aka "Master") Plan.
It was published in 1969, and then promptly ignored. I'm told that it was considered 'dead on arrival.' I'm not sure why it didn't fly-- I was two years old and living in Melbourne, Australia at the time-- was it too "consultant-driven"? Too radical? Too many pages? (If you know, please leave a comment!)
Reading the old Plan makes me wonder what Amherst would be like today if it hadn't been ignored. It would certainly be easier to get around; University Drive would extend all the way from the North side of UMass to join up with Route 9 out by Amherst Woods. Imagine that, being able to get to UMass from Belchertown or the Notch WITHOUT going through downtown!
If I read the newspaper article correctly, Town Meeting rejected that idea by three votes back in 1970...
This piece of advice was ignored, also:
Because of the expanded research facilities at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst has the potential to attract research-oriented industries. These would have a definite need of being close to the academic environment where both college and industry would be of mutual benefit to each other. Such development would add a new dimension to the Town's economy.
The old Plan wasn't all about traffic and business development; it talked about the need for Open Space and historic preservation, too:
a large segment of the Town, approximately 4,863 acres, has been proposed for open space use.Amherst currently has about 4,000 acres of protected open space (we only had 500 in 1970), so we're well on our way to meeting that goal.