3/03/2009

Parking Ramp Update:

Posted by MJ

(Image: Current Parking Ramp Looking Toward Main St - Lockport NY)

LUSJ has an article updating the parking ramp process: CITY OF LOCKPORT: Parking garage planning is ramped up.

...Preliminary design would better indicate the project cost, which the consultants currently estimate to be $8 million. That ballpark figure assumes $3 million to demolish the existing parking garage at Main and Pine streets and redo Fountain Park, and $5 million to construct a new garage...

...Stakeholders are whichever groups the city committee decides should have a voice in the project outcome: Lockport Business Association, Urban Park Towers residents and management, area developers, community and civic groups, the state Canal Corp., preservation interests and/or the general public, including tourists.Input desired on aesthetics, accessibility...


Park security and upkeep already are topics of debate within the committee. Tucker is pushing hard for a gated park, monitored during the day and locked at night, to keep out loiterers.“Look at what we’ve got now (in Fountain Park). You can’t use it,” he said. “The same people sit there all day, every day; there’s broken glass everywhere, and in summer it’s an ashtray.”Fourth Ward Alderman Patrick Schrader said he won’t support measures that strictly limit public access, however. The city can simply ban smoking and other behaviors that deter usage — and enforce the bans, he said. Schrader also is advocating for construction of small retail spaces, to be occupied perhaps by tourist-related ventures, to raise money for park upkeep.“I hate to be the one to say this, but we already have 26 parks in this city that we don’t take care of,” he said.

Older post here with images of the site plans: Parking Ramp Replacement (2008-11-17)


I have to agree on the parks issue. People always want more parks while a majority of parks remain underused. They are also prone to throw in things like concert spaces, etc into a lot of projects until there are way too many around and users are diluted if not non-existant. The parks are pretty to drive by but they are expensive to maintain and invite undesired users due to the initial lack of use. It creates a downward cycle.

If there is a place for a park on Main St. I guess this would be it with the views down the lower canal to the upside down bridge and the bend in the canal at Upson Park. Located along Main St. it would hopefully, in the longer term have the vibrant primary activity around it drawing users into it. The other open space nearby on Canal St. which was supposed to get a "concert gazebo" would be better suited for infill to create more connectivity long term along that street and the locks area as the economy turns around and it eventually finds tenants.

Going back to the park issues above it ties into the comments of "the same people" above. Most likely these are Urban Park Tower residents. It makes sense they are the only ones to use it since they are the only real users around there. The canyon created by the current two above ground levels and the towers doesn't help the area feel inviting either.

The small surface top deck with a majority of it park and the resulting open views down to the viewing area below should help this along with the better connectivity to Pine St and the locks. But what is really needed is a more transparent Main St. with more users mingling and coming into the park. All the resulting eyes will be self policing without the need to pay someone to "shoo" away loiterers.

This is a large exciting project and will be fun to follow and give input on.

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