Project that aims to create ‘second side’ to downtown Port is focus of meeting
The Main Street Design Committee on Monday, April 8, will unveil its plan to reconfigure the parking lot behind the 100 block of Franklin Street to make it a safe,
inviting area for motorists and pedestrians heading to and from the marina .
“This is an inclusive design that will have benefits for everyone using the area,” Main Street Director Sara Grover said, noting that one of the goals is to create a link
between Franklin Street and the lakefront. “This will give a second side to downtown Port Washington, opening the lake side to businesses there.
“A lot of people use that lot, including visitors and charter fishermen, and this creates a parking lot that’s very conducive for use by all of them.”
The lot is a busy one, particularly in the summer, when tourists, fishermen and shoppers park there, but it remains an uninviting space dominated by concrete and
“The asphalt is breaking up, the landscaping is bad and the (traffic) flow is terrible,” Design Committee Chairman Randy Tetzlaff said. “Despite that, people come there
anyway because the lakefront is where they want to be.”
Renovations to the lot have been considered for years and funding is included in the city’s downtown tax incremental district plans.
Much of the work will dovetail with plans to create a pedestrian way in the alley just north of Schooner Pub, Tetzlaff said.
The plan that will be unveiled during the 6:30 p.m. informational meeting at Blue Heron Artisan Gallery, 102 E. Pier St., provides roughly the same amount of parking
as currently exists — 62 spots — and landscaping around the edges and on the interior to camouflage such items as dumpster corrals and transformers, he said.
The landscaping will be relatively short to ensure views of the lakefront continue unimpeded, Tetzlaff said.
Traffic flow through the lot will be changed, Grover said, adding that it will be much easier for drivers to navigate.
A sidewalk will run on the west side of the lot behind Duluth Trading Co. and Schooner Pub from Grand Avenue to Main Street, and a walkway to the lakefront created.
This walkway will be set off from the rest of the pavement, perhaps through the use of pavers or stamped concrete, Tetzlaff said.
There will be a parking meter system, Grover said, although individual meters will not be at each spot.
The project will also require shortening the cul-de-sac at the east end of Main Street and adding an area with amenities that could include a fountain and seating area,
There is no cost estimate for the work, Tetzlaff said, adding the goal is for construction to begin in fall and be completed by the end of the year.
People who have seen the design have been pleased with it, Grover said.
“It has even spurred the owners of adjacent lots to look at their parking areas and what they can do to improve them,” she said.
After the meeting, the plans will go to the city for engineering review. They will also be reviewed by the Board of Public Works and Plan Commission before heading to
the Common Council for approval.
“There may still be some tweaking of the plan,” Tetzlaff said.
Image Information: A PLAN TO transform the expanse of broken pavement that makes up the current parking lot behind Duluth Trading Co. into a more inviting area that would help link Franklin Street and Port Washington’s lakefront will be unveiled by the Main Street Design Committee during a 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 8, meeting at Blue Heron Artisans Gallery. Photo by Bill Schanen IV