UPDATE JUNE 24, 2023
Thank you all for the questions, comments and feedback – we appreciate the engagement and are always working to get these details right. The parking situation in the parks is evolving and we’re working toward a comprehensive and sustainable plan for improving park safety and access for all.
First, the City is committed to making English Landing Park a safe and accessible space for all. In conversations, over the last several months with our Police Department, the Community Land and Recreation Board and the Board of Aldermen, the City has started to implement a formal plan to remove car traffic from Busch Dr. and McAfee St, east of White Allow Creek, to make the park safer for all visitors – especially children, walkers and bikers.
In May, the City put a barrier up at the White Alloe Creek Bridge to block all vehicle access on the weekends. We have received broad and regular support for this move, because the 1000s of visitors to our parks on the weekend now feel safer and can move more freely through the park without worrying about a car coming up behind them, or backing out into them.
To be clear, City ordinance PROHIBITS ALL VEHICLE PARKING in the park, except in designated parking areas (Municipal Code Section 140.220). Over the last two summers, illegal, dangerous, damaging and disruptive parking in the park have necessitated changes. Additionally, following the 2019 flood, the parking situation changed. First, the boat ramp was decommissioned, removing the need for boat parking along Busch Dr. Second, the roundabout was closed and integrated into the park’s walking paths, eliminating a space for cars to turn around along Busch Dr. With no designated parking and no space to turn around, there is no reason for a vehicles into the park.
In regards to ADA parking in the parks, we consulted the US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (oversee www.ada.gov) to make sure we are exceeding standards and meeting expectations for ADA-accessible parking.
The City provides ample ADA parking – 23 spaces, much more than required by federal ADA legislation – throughout the parks at:
- 3 spaces in the English Landing Park parking lot at the entrance, along McAfee Dr.
- 3 spaces between the East and West shelters.
- 6 spaces in the north city parking lot
- 4 spaces in the parking lot where the famers market used to stand
- 2 spaces next to the ballfields on Main St.
- 3 spaces at Friends Shelter in Platte Landing Park
- 2 spaces at the dog park/boat ramp area in Platte Landing Park
To summarize, the changes in the park over the last month have resulted in the following:
- Barriers blocking all car traffic into the park, east of White Alloe Creek – except for permitted event loading and unloading and associated ADA parking needs – are in place from 3 p.m. on Friday until early in the morning on Monday.
- The park east of White Alloe Creek is open to car traffic during the week when visitor volume is lower and special events are not scheduled. However, PARKING IS PROHIBITED AT ALL TIMES in the park, except in designated ADA spaces.
Going forward, you can expect to see the following:
- The City will install permanent barriers at the bridge and continue to monitor the traffic situation on Busch Dr. and McAfee St. The long-term goal is to close the park – east of the creek – to all vehicle traffic to increase safety for all park users.
- We are also considering other options for improving parking, eliminating vehicle traffic in the parks and improving safety. Those ideas and preliminary plans are in the 2016 Parks Master plan. Updates, comments and changes will be considered in the Parks Master Plan update that will be underway in the next few months. Residents can expect to see a community survey and will receive notice of upcoming public meetings related to these updates later this year and into next spring.
- The City is also undertaking a project to reallocate our current ADA parking to create more accessible spaces, upgrade some of our ADA parking to van accessible parking and restripe many of the ADA stalls that have faded or damaged pavement markings. Those upgrades will occur later this year – as budget allows – and will be budgeted for 2024 to complete the upgrades and improvements.
We’ll keep you posted, as the situation evolves, meetings occur and projects start, through our website, newsletters, social media channels and our public meeting packets. Keep the comments and feedback coming and we hope you get out to the parks this weekend and can enjoy the new car-free spaces that exist in the parks.
We are in our busy season in the parks, so we want to remind everyone that parking is not allowed in English Landing Park. Please use the designated parking lots. Thank you for helping to keep the park safe for everyone!