OPINION: Imagine Canal Park Up Project is Over, Thank Goodness
The temporary pop-up project Buchanan Plaza part of Imagine Canal Park was torn down on Friday, September 28, as city employees removed tables, chairs, yard games, and traffic safety cones to resume normal vehicle use of Buchanan Street.
This marked the end of the month long pilot aimed at measuring and monitoring transit, pedestrian mobility and public interaction and responses to creative community spaces. All that I know is why would you even think that taking up any street space in Canal Park would be a good idea?
I understand this concept in bigger cities where it is an Urban Jungle, but Canal Park is surrounded by nature and the biggest fresh water Lake in the world, who wants to sit in a plastic chair in the street? There are awesome outdoor dining areas and plenty of places to sit off the lakewalk.
My other issue is all the parking spots that were pulled on Lake Avenue. Hello? Do you not realize that lack of parking is why many locals shy away from Canal Park to begin with? And for tourists unless they are lucky enough to be staying at a hotel in Canal Park where are they going to park to walk around and shop or dine?
I am not trying to say that the city should not continually re-evaluate these types of ideas, but look at the bigger picture. Canal Park is tourist goldmine as it is, why fix it if it isn't broken?
During the month-long trial of temporary changes to Lake Avenue South, Buchanan Plaza, and Lighthouse Park, feedback was provided to the City by pop-up participants and an online survey. Over 600 individuals responded, and many more sent direct emails to the City that will also be incorporated into the results.
The City plans to share the results in November once all input has been analyzed by the 8 80 consultants. It will be interesting to see these results, but from what I heard people say and saw comments on Social Media, I am pretty sure that most people in the area are happy that it was just temporary.