Water Street, police nix beach launch in favor of lookout deck
The Water Street Business Improvement District has replaced their plan for a 5th Avenue Beach Launch (for tubin' and such) with a 5th Avenue River Lookout. After heeding advice from the city police and fire departments, this new development plan will exclude a pathway to the water. “The plan didn’t really mix with the typical activities of Water Street – the excessive drinking, especially,” says Lisa Aspenson, BID member. “You can still get down to the water, but the idea is that, without stairs, we’re not inviting them to.” BID is planning on raising funds to build a deck-like structure with a railing and seating attached to serve as a scenic river lookout point for bicyclists on the trail. To further improve the look of the area, BID hopes to surround the structure with some new plantings – replacing trees that are of little value with nicer (possibly native) varieties. While they have yet to get approval from the police department, Aspenson says they’re confident that law enforcement will endorse the plan as a safe alternative. The plan will come before the city’s Parks & Waterways Commission on March 26, and based on their reaction could immediately move to the city council, and start construction in early summer.
A lookout sounds like a really cool idea, but so did a beach launch. As for the safety/drunk-idiot-in-the-river factor of either structure, we'll leave it to you.