1. Streetscape Design
Which is more important to have downtown, bike lanes or wider sidewalks?

More restaurants with outdoor seating along the streetscape make for great nighttime strolling during the summer months.

Railroad crossing needs to be redone--find a solution that doesn't turn bumpy after a year or two.

Coffee shop and bakery

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Agree. The Coffee Trike's success from the Corner Spot (from my eyes) or a similar coffee/bakery shop would be a welcome addition!

Thanks Tessa and Luke! On average, how often do you think you would visit a coffee shop/bakery in downtown? Is it something that you would make a regular stop of during commute times or would it be occasionally... Read more

Just this past weekend I went to Starbucks in Southborough Sat, Sun and Mon. Those stops could be better directed toward the downtown area. For me, it would be frequent weekend trips because I don't head... Read more

I would definitely visit an independently-owned coffee shop reliably on the weekends. I don't commute in this direction but I'm desperate for good espresso without having to leave Ashland.

My husband and I moved to Ashland 4 years ago and have been saying how great it would be to have a coffee shop in the downtown area. I would go out of the way of my commute once in a while to support a... Read more

Totally agree with this idea! There aren't any good donut places around here either. Not that we eat donuts frequently but a coffee place would be very popular for my husband and I on the weekends, bonus... Read more

A great crepe and fresh, unique baked goods. In a nice clean and pleasant atmosphere with a couple outdoor tables/benches for the summer. All of that with a nice latte and I would make it a part of my... Read more

http://www.lunabakerycafe.com/ This is my old neighborhood bakery and lunch spot that I am desperately missing since moving to Ashland.

I LOVE this bakery/cafe in Millis and think something like it would be perfect in downtown Ashland.


There was a bakery/cafe soon after I moved to town in the plaza where Hanto is now, but honestly, I don't think it was in the right space, and it left too soon. I'm not going to go buy a fancy coffee and... Read more

A cafe that also had a beer/wine license (especially popular in Southern Europe) might be able to generate enough customers to operate throughout the week. People could have a casual after work drink during... Read more


Many of the businesses in the core downtown area could use a cosmetic lift. Things like fresh paint and new signs would go a long way.

Great to have this old Dairy Queen location become something. A company to clean up the space like a Starbucks.

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A coffee shop or place to grab a quick bite would be great. Walking distance from the office park and surrounding neighborhoods.

Totally agree. It used to be used as extra parking but now with the chians and over growth its ugly

Starbucks rarely has a standalone building, and the new 'Shell' station will sell coffee and gas, so maybe turning it back into an ice-cream stand is the better choice (or something like it). Tough spot.... Read more

The space I hope is addressed going forward. It is becoming (or is now) a blight for those driving by our town on 135...Starbucks was just a topical thought, nothing more...

Actually I have seen many Starbucks as stand alones, just not up here in MA. In Texas and Florida. There was one on Rt9 in Natick for a while across from McDonalds/next to Wendy's. But I agree something... Read more

Actually, the one on Rt 9 is still there. But I agree that DQ building is a blight. The flower guy isn't even there anymore!

Zelus Brewery is looking for a location along the marathon course to build a permanent location, this would be a great spot for them...

Dosa Temple is pretty good. There used to be an Indian Grocery too. All for more restaurants in town.


Really enjoy Stone's Public House. A must for the area. Better signage and sidewalk frontage could be better.

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Also, wouldn't it be lovely if the patio were open to the street instead of fenced off? Maybe it's just a European concept, but a sidewalk cafe is lovely!

I do love the patio there, but since there is little current foot traffic downtown, I like the fence to keep from feeling like I'm right next to the cars and the train as it zooms through. In general... Read more


Relocate Lunker's - replace with an old fashioned general store.

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We need more density of boutique type retail to make that kind of retail work. Also the angle parking that used to be there helped. We succumbed to the demand for high-throughput traffic and lost our downtown... Read more

Professional planners at the regional and local levels have a lot of concern with whether or not retail will work in town without a significant increase in commercial (i.e. office) space and residential... Read more

I manage a commercial property in downtown Ashland. I have two spaces under 250 sq ft. Both have been advertised as office or retail space. There was very little interest in office space downtown, and... Read more

Thanks Julie. That is really interesting. What type of retail establishments are they, and have you seen much turnover in them over the years? This is great information for us to have.

Both currently serve as beauty boutiques. One for hair removal and one for a wash and blow-dry. There was a good deal of turnover, but I believe the current businesses are here to stay.

I would love to see this too. In fact, I did some serious research this year on starting a mom-and-pop ice cream place downtown. The cost to buy or rent equipment, pay rent and keep a staff versus the... Read more

Small scale retail shopping is not a great investment long term (see online shopping) better to support experiences (restaurants, farmers market, music, activities), as well as downtown housing

I keep seeing responses about small scale retailers and yet it is Sears and Toys R Us, etc that are failing big time while small general stores are destination spots in places like the Wayside Inn or Vermont... Read more

Some variety in businesses would be welcomed. Please no more convenience stores. I placed a comment on the map that Ashland could use a workbar for professionals. Also a farm to table restaurant would... Read more

I love the idea of a workbar/ community workspace. I think this goes hand in hand with having a coffee or sandwich shop downtown. Great idea, Michelle!


Improve the sidewalks on both sides of this street and have they go all the way around the park

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