Proposal for parking lot, formal entryway praised by Harbor Commission but changes are expected
A preliminary plan to create a marina district, complete with a formal entryway off Washington Street, was presented to the Port Washington Harbor Commission Monday.
Although the plan is still expected to be tweaked before it heads to the Common Council for approval, commission members gave a preliminary thumbs up to the concept.
“I think you guys did an excellent job with it,” Ald. Bill Driscoll, a member of the commission, said. “This looks nice.”
“I like it,” added member Tony Matera.
The plan, which has been in the works for about a year, is the brainchild of the Main Street Design Committee. It’s intended to not only beautify the area but make it more pedestrian friendly while retaining parking and traffic flow in the marina, Ald. Mike Ehrlich, a committee member and architect, said.
In addition to making changes to parking in the area, it would actually add a few spaces, he said.
The plan calls for a bump-out on the south side of Washington Street at Harborview Lane, where some sort of entryway would be created, perhaps using signs or a structure of some sort, Ehrlich said.
Instead of parking parallel to the curb on the south side of Washington Street east of Harborview Lane, the plan calls for parking at a right angle to the curb, which would maximize the number of spaces, he said.
There would be no parking on the north side of that block.
While the marina’s far south parking lot would remain unchanged, the area just north of that, off pier three, would have convertible parking stalls that could accommodate 21 boat trailers and, when there aren’t many trailers, 42 cars, Ehrlich said.
City Administrator Mark Grams said this would likely maximize the use since the trailers typically use the lot in the morning, not in the afternoons or evenings.
A plaza with green space and a drop-off area would be created in the parking area off pier four, separating it from the southern lots, Ehrlich said. This would not only break up the sea of asphalt in the parking lot, it would also provide an area for a fire pit that could be used by marina tenants and offer better pedestrian access to the lakefront.
A walkway would extend from Washington Street into the plaza area.
“The idea is to create a better connection to the harbor, to create amenities that people can use and create an entrance to the marina that is nicer than all asphalt,” Ehrlich said.
Design committee member Adam Brown added, “Crossing that sea of asphalt with cars in it puts people on edge. Having that pathway is beneficial to everyone.”
The plan also calls for a deck to wrap around the northern marina building that could be used by marina tenants.
Commission members suggested the committee consider making Washington Street one-way heading east. They said consideration also needs to be given to the creation of a loading zone at the current north-slip parking lot, which the city is considering selling for the Blues Factory.
Commission members suggested that the group look at creating additional trailer parking in a city-owned lot at the corner of Lake and Jackson streets, perhaps by eliminating the grassy parkway.
Ehrlich said there is no timeline for the work or any cost estimates, noting changes will still be made. The Design Committee is expected to tweak the concept before the Harbor Commission reviews it again on Feb. 8.