Monday, December 14, 2020

Bush and Geer Park Updates Have New Open Houses Online

The City's got updates to three important park plans going right at the moment. One just wrapped its second Open House, and two others have Open Houses that just started.

Bush Park and Deepwood Management Areas
December 2020

The most noteworthy is the "Cultural Landscape Management Plan" for Bush Park and Deepwood.

They've got a new Open House on sections of the park, proposed uses and changes. They've also published results from the first Open House, and even among the self-selected group of survey respondents, there's not much bike transport to the park.

More than half of respondents drive a car to the park (56 percent), while 40 percent walk or ride a bicycle (34 percent and six percent respectively).

Unsurprisingly, Yew Park doesn't have an identity separate from Bush and Deepwood.

Yew Park is generally not well known and most people had no opinion but mentioned noise as a factor at that location.

As we are shifting Open Houses from in-person to online, the City and various consultants by design or by accident are testing out a number of different software/web developers. I find this one difficult and non-intuitive to navigate. Once you get in to the survey, there is a funny pop-up map and you have to click on the web page behind it, a second image of the map, not on the pop-up itself, to access the questions. It's a little awkward.

On the map, each area in Bush Park has some recommendations for you to assess. There are lots of things about plantings and activities and such, and here are three of particular interest for mobility.

Connect walks to corner of High & Mission
and restore historic carriage way at Church St entry

At the main house they propose restoring the historic carriage way, which would be better for ADA access and also for people biking. The current path up from Church Street is narrow and steep. They also propose better path connections to the corner of High and Mission.

At the Soapbox Derby track they propose more bike parking, a bike rental pod, and perhaps even routing the scenic bikeway across it. (Currently it uses Winter Street and the lower path system to Yew Street.)

More bike parking, bike rental
Soap Box Derby Track
And near Deepwood they are thinking about connections east to 12th Street along an improved bridge over the creek at Lee Street.

Potential bridge upgrade at Lee Street

But also important, and not addressed in the plan, are the formidable barriers to Bush Park posed by the Commercial/Liberty couplet, the 12th/13th/RR triplet, and Mission Street. These strongly impact biking to the park, making it only for confident riders, and even impact walking to the park, as it is very difficult to reach from east of the railroad, and from the west signalized crossings on Commercial and Liberty are not very plentiful. It should be easy to reach the park, but from some directions you kinda have to have a navigation plan. Reaching a major city park should not require that level of planning when you walk or bike.

So it's not just "noise" that's a problem at Yew Park. On the corner of Mission and 12th, it's exposed to a lot of traffic, and it's just not pleasant to walk along its edges.

The survey will be open until December 22nd.

Geer Park draft Preferred Option December 2020

The update for Geer Park also has a new Open House, and they've published a draft concept for it.

It's focused on a lot more wheeling. The proposal includes:

  • Enhancements to the existing bike park and a new single-track bike trail located near the existing bike park. A new viewing area will allow people to watch the bike riders throughout the course.
  • A new 20,000 square foot skate park is located between the playground and bike park, in close proximity to a picnic shelter. The skatepark will include features for beginners as well as more advanced users. The skatepark will be professionally designed after the master plan is approved.

In the FAQ they address Park Avenue a little. But they addresss car parking only, and not walking or biking on Park:

Park Avenue between Center Street and Geer Drive is technically a private street, although public use is allowed. As a private street, on-street parking is not managed by the City. Sidewalks outside of the park boundary cannot be constructed by the City since it is a private street.

The City's taking comments on this third Open House through December 24th.

2nd Woodmansee survey didn't yield clarity

And the second Open House for Woodmansee Park recently closed. They didn't quite get clarity on a preferred concept, with preferences nearly dividing by thirds. They'll be sharing next steps in January on the Park Plan. Apparently people are not very interested in the Aquifer Storage project, and it generated no comments.

Most recently on each:

1 comment:

MikeSlater said...

You have an excellent point about connectivity to Bush's Pasture Park. While the issue of connectivity is outside the scope of the culture landscape plan, it is something that is overdue for attention. I am an advocate of connecting the train station, Mission Street, Pringle Creek, the City Center, and Minto Island as one continuous corridor for pedestrian and bike traffic. A corridor connecting these features would bring together a string of natural and manmade spaces that a city off our size should take pride in. I think that an outcome of the CLP will be better connections between Bush's Pasture Park and Deepwood.