Proposal that calls for entryway, Washington St. redesign, parking lot walkway will be unveiled at Feb. 17 forum
A preliminary design for Port Washington’s proposed marina district, intended to beautify the lakefront while enhancing access for boaters, motorists and pedestrians, will be unveiled at a public forum from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17, at City Hall.
The plan, which was created by the Main Street Design Committee at the behest of the city’s Community Development Authority, is a way for the city to help draw traffic from the downtown to the lakefront, officials said.
It is designed to maintain parking in the area while making the area easier to traverse and, in the process, eliminate the expanse of asphalt that currently greets visitors, they added.
An outgrowth of the CDA’s downtown redevelopment planning, the marina gateway concept plan has been endorsed by the CDA and was well received by the Harbor Commission recently.
But the plan is far from final, City Planner Randy Tetzlaff said.
“This is just a concept plan,” Tetzlaff said. “We’re just trying to do the groundwork. This plan will be tweaked and reviewed and tweaked again before it’s finalized. We’re so early in the process, really still in the infancy.”
Despite the timing, the plan has been largely embraced.
Amy Otis-Wilborn, who lives on Pier Street, told the CDA that she likes the plan but wished neighbors had more opportunities to comment as it was being created.
“It looks pretty good to me,” she said. “But there’s no reason for us to find out about this so late in the process. It’s our neighborhood.”
CDA member Rory Palubiski said the neighbors will have an opportunity to comment on the plan just as other residents will at the Feb. 17 meeting.
“We’re going to present the plan and let people chew on it,” he said.
The plan involves creating an entryway on Washington Street at Harborview Lane that would give people a feeling of place as they approach the lakefront, Palubiski said.
It’s recommended that a piece of artwork or signage denote the entry, he added, noting an archway won’t work because boats need to travel under it.
Washington Street would also be narrowed and parking, possibly perpendicular or angle parking, will be limited to one side of the street.
The intersection with Lake Street would be revised to incorporate a wider turning radius for boats and trailers heading into the marina.
Parking along Lake Street would also be altered, particularly between Washington and Pier streets, to allow more vehicles to use the area.
While the far south end of the marina parking lot would remain unchanged, the the area just north of that, off pier three, would have convertible parking stalls that could be used by boat trailers or cars, depending on the time of day. This would allow flexibility and maximize use of the lot, Palubiski said.
A pedestrian walkway would extend across Lake Street on the south and north ends of this parking area, allowing safer passage across the parking lot than currently exists.
On the north end, this sidewalk would connect to an oasis of sorts, with greenery and a fire pit. This would extend to the north to the marina building off pier four, where a deck would be added.
The plan calls for the harborwalk to connect to the breakwater gateway area.
It also calls for the marina to eliminate the stairs leading from the parking lots to the boardwalk around the slips, providing a more accessible pathway for parents with drollers and people with disabilities.
The plan provides for roughly the same number of parking stalls in the area, Tetzlaff said — something that was important to officials.
The city hasn’t developed cost estimates for the project or a timeline, Tetzlaff said, adding the earliest possible implementation would be next year--if the city finds funding for it.