By Don Nelson
Details of the proposed “Winthrop In Motion” plan for better downtown mobility and an improved streetscape can now be viewed online.
The site allows commentary on the proposals, which are intended to improve pedestrian, bicycle and motorized traffic through the town for all ages and abilities.
The potential aspects of the downtown redesign are up for review and discussion — the town has taken no action on them and is soliciting public input. The online survey offers many opportunities to comment on a wide range of possible solutions.
“Winthrop In Motion” is a “multimodal” planning effort supported by a state grant to come up with ways to make it easier for pedestrians, motorists, bicyclists and mobility-impaired people to negotiate downtown Winthrop’s streets and sidewalks. It also includes planning for a more visually appealing “streetscape” and for compliance with Americans With Disabilities Act requirements.
The proposals by Alta Planning + Design, the Seattle-based firm hired by the town to develop ideas, were gleaned from a “walking audit” of downtown by volunteer participants, and feedback from a subsequent public workshop. Major challenges identified were the inconsistent and inadequate boardwalk widths, obstacles such as boardwalk posts, varying pedestrian surfaces (board, gravel, pavement, dirt), driveway interruptions, lack of safe crossing areas, and confusing or non-existent directions for getting to various destination points.
The project’s goals are to provide for safe travel for all ages and abilities, whether walking, biking, using transit or in motorized vehicles; to improve “connectivity” between key destinations in town; to improve access to all locations; to make downtown a good experience for residents and visitors, with more “social spaces” for things like outdoor dining; and to support the town’s economic base.
The proposal includes ideas for bike lanes, pedestrian trails, sidewalks, boardwalks, crosswalks, intersections, street rights-of-way, transit stops and shelters, vehicle and bike parking, and other adjustments to facilitate better movement.
Comments from the online survey will be summarized, along with input from the town, the project team and the Washington State Department of Transportation, in mid- to late-winter as prelude to a final proposed plan.
For information, contact Town Planner Rocklynn Culp at 996-2320 or email email@example.com.