Avon: No beach parking on West Beaver Creek Boulevard this summer
The town is making the move ahead of a packed summer of events at Nottingham Park due to public safety concerns
The Avon Town Council unanimously decided to eliminate parking along West Beaver Creek Boulevard ahead of the town’s full summer of events at Nottingham Park. The decision came after a public hearing on Monday night where residents expressed a multitude of concerns regarding parking along the road.
Those concerns, which were also expressed during Tuesday’s Town Council meeting, included complaints about rude trespassers going from West Beaver Creek to the park’s beach, safety concerns about on-street parking, and growing congestion on the north end of the park.
Initially, the council was meeting to evaluate plans to start construction for approximately 70 angled spaces on either side of the existing Lot 16 crosswalk on West Beaver Creek Boulevard. However, due to the overwhelming public comment and concern, council members ultimately decided to eliminate the parking altogether.
Instead, this summer, park-goers will be encouraged to park at Old Town Hall, Avon Elementary School or on Lake Street. All of which, according to some last minute calculations during the meeting from Avon Planning Director Matt Pielsticker, are located approximately 1,400 feet from the park, a mere 300 feet further than the parking would be along West Beaver Creek Boulevard.
While the town will have signs out by Memorial Day announcing this change, it is also seeking to possibly re-design Lot 16, making it drop-off only and more efficient.
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Some members of the Town Council recognized that this might be a decision that would anger some of its constituents (as well as those who visit the park from neighboring communities), but ultimately decided the scrutiny was worth it.
“Being new to the council, I’ve haven’t taken the heat like you guys have, but I would do it for this and I would love to look at people and say, ‘Look we’re doing it for safety,’” said RJ Andrade, who was elected to the council in November.
Ultimately, all agreed that the town could save money by not creating parking along the roadway, money that could go toward more pressing problems in the park and in the town.
“Money well spent, never spent,” said Council member Tamra Underwood. “That’s what good government is about.”
An ‘attractive nuisance’
The public comments also brought a number of additional concerns regarding the park and its growing popularity in recent summers.
From public urination to overcrowding, many constituents relayed concerns about the sustainability of the park and the maintenance of its biodiversity, should some of these problems not be addressed.
“It is so nice to see people now using this park. We bought our condo 28 years ago and you weren’t even supposed to cross the walking path or go down to the lake with your dog at all or do anything. It’s lovely to see the park being utilized and I appreciate that,” said Avon resident Deb McBride at the Town Council meeting. “I do know it’s a public park, we bought there, but it’s become this attractive nuisance now.”
No solutions to some of these issues were officially agreed upon, but the council discussed a number of ideas. The talks included the addition of new infrastructure such as restrooms, trimming trees to discourage public urination and nudity, additional resource officers or parking attendants to monitor park guests, relocating the paddle board vendor across the lake, as well as redistributing programs to different areas of the park to alleviate the number of visitors on the beach. Plus, it was noted by multiple council members and residents that removing parking along West Beaver Creek could help address some of the beach’s capacity issues.