Wednesday, September 26, 2018
   
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Lake parking safety concerns

I apparently did not make myself clear regarding our suggestion request stated at the March 3 council meeting about Lake Helen. I did not mean to say that there should be “little bits of parking around the lake”. That would be impractical financially and would not necessarily be more attractive. What I did suggest is that the parking area not be next to Lake Avenue where the construction trailer and equipment are now. It is tempting for planners to take an existing bare area and just pave it.

Our suggestion is creating only one entrance, where the Blue Star Memorial is, and taking the road past the restrooms and on around to the back (west) part of the newly filled-in area and putting the pier and ramp further to the back of the park and the (probably one) parking lot closer to them. Some may think our concern is premature, but funds and bidding for that parking lot are being discussed now.

Having a parking lot and entrance together right off the highway creates a traffic snarl and a danger to the many children and families who use the walking path and cross the street to get to it. (Having a 45 mph speed limit in that area of Lake Avenue is absurd, but is a subject for the State Patrol at another time.) Safety of the many children running and playing near the lake should be more important than whether the fish won’t bite if cars are parked too near the lake. Whatever eventually goes into the space where the north lobe of the lake was, the goal should be: 1) Less congestion entering the area; 2) A serene experience of the lake and park; and 3) Lake-related activities such as rowboats and the fishing pier in a more tranquil atmosphere, but still accessible; and 4) plenty of green space and trees.

I know all citizens of Gothenburg are interested in what happens at Lake Helen and hope you all will be vocal when public hearings are held about the lake and the new park land.

Nancy Fisher