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Proposal for parklet eliminates parking |

Proposal for parklet eliminates parking

| Friday, September 27, 2002 12:00 a.m

As plans for a park in the Washington Road business district evolve, construction for it has been pushed off until next spring.

Designers of Clearview Commons, a proposed parklet on the former trolley loop at Alfred Street and Washington Road, have modified drawings to remove all parking spaces from the central area.

The removal of parking in the court area would decrease the number of vehicle spaces to 20, instead of the originally proposed 25 to 30.

The park would feature a fountain at the corner of Washington and Alfred, followed by a series of lawn terraces sloping down to the central court. The court also would include a pavilion that can double as a stage for concerts and other events.

“The commissioners did not want to have any vehicle activity in this area,” Jack LaQuatra, principal of LaQuatra Bonci Associates, told members of the planning board Tuesday night.

Design firm LaQuatra Bonci Associates has been working with architectural firm Urban Design Associates on plans for the park. The area now is a parking lot owned by Mt. Lebanon Parking Authority.

An agreement approved last year calls for the parking authority to transfer the rights to the municipality upon request. The municipality, in turn, is required to replace any parking lost in the development of the park.

To make up for lost parking, five onstreet parking spots would be created along Alfred Street, and a lower parking area behind the central court would hold about 15 vehicles.

Commissioners included funding for the proposed $529,000 project in the 2002 bond issue. The cost would include improvements to Central Way, which runs parallel to Washington Road and into the park.

At least one business owner said she is concerned about the removal of parking from the area.

“You can’t sustain a business community without parking,” Eileen Byrum, owner of Monte’s Barber Shop, told planning-board members Tuesday.

Byrum’s barber shop is located along Alfred Street next to the site of the proposed park. Among her concerns that Byrum mentioned at the meeting is how the handicapped would be accommodated without any parking in proximity to the shops along the parklet.

“This (plan) has nothing to do with them (the handicapped) — nothing at all,” she said.

The plans still must go back before the planning board for a recommendation and then to commissioners for final approval.

Fred Bonci, principal of LaQuatra Bonci Associates, said the plans could go back before the planning board at the October or November meeting.

Once construction begins, the park is expected to be completed in about three months.

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