Sturbridge Commercial Tourism District

The Town of Sturbridge and the Sturbridge Planning Board retained the PARE team to undertaken the design plans to make the Sturbridge Commercial Tourism District a safer, more usable walkable, congenial and business-supportive district.  The goal is to have a more attractive and prosperous business district serving Sturbridge residents and visitors.

The genesis for this project grew out of the Town’s Master Plan and a study undertaken by the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission for the Town.

Some of the issues that the Sturbridge Commercial Tourism District project will address are:

  • Safety and travel time along Route 20 for vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians
  • Sidewalks and walkability to make the area safer and more pedestrian- friendly
  • Gateway entrances to Sturbridge from the MassPike and the western entrance at Main Street and the Holland/Brookfield Road
  • Role of the Quinebaug River in the District
  • Enhancing the vitality of the Sturbridge Commercial Tourism District.


Project Objectives


This project will develop a conceptual corridor design plan with emphasis on achieving the goals of the Commercial Tourist District Revitalization Study and the Master Plan. The purpose is to examine what and where specific infrastructure elements can be incorporated between Route 148 and New Boston Road along the Route 20 Corridor to improve the corridor’s “livability.” The Commercial Tourist District consists of the many commercial outlets that provide and cater their goods and services to visitors and tourists.


The Commercial District has similar uses to the Commercial Tourist District however it consists of more typical commercial uses that cater to local residents. These infrastructure elements should provide improvements in walkability, traffic calming, parking control, landscaping/green spaces, outdoor furniture, signage/wayfinding, underground utilities and creating a unified design for architecture/building facades in conjunction with the Town’s Design Guidelines. Physical connections to the proposed Grand Trunk Trail and Quinebaug River should also be incorporated into the design.