Boat trailer parking lot voted out

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COEUR d'ALENE - The Coeur d'Alene City Council voted Tuesday night against keeping the boat trailer parking lot adjacent the Third Street boat launch, meaning the McEuen Field conceptual plan will stay the same.

The proposal to keep the lot where it is failed four votes to three, with Mayor Sandi Bloem splitting the deadlocked council, as she has all year on McEuen Field related votes.

"We are all walking, all of us walk," she said of other city parks and events not having parking immediately nearby, yet still drawing visitors. "This isn't any different."

City Council members Steve Adams and Ron Edinger brought the proposal to council on grounds that some people felt the boat trailer parking should stay.

Edinger called it "ridiculous" to separate the launch from trailer parking, and said the division wouldn't provide equal or better value the city pledged it would provide should it remove the boat launch from McEuen Field.

"If you have a boat launch, you should have a place" to park your trailer, he said.

Adams said he'd heard from members of the public concerned about delays that would occur should people have to park around five blocks away and walk back. He told of one person who tried the commute and it took him or her 12 minutes to make the walk, about 1,300 feet, back to the marina after parking - a figure Bloem questioned since it broke down to a 48-minute mile.

"It's going to be ugly, not comical," he said of delays at launch.

But council members Mike Kennedy, Woody McEvers, Deanna Goodlander and Bloem favored moving the boat trailer parking to the east side of the park, near City Hall, as the conceptual plan calls for. They cited as the reason the project's mission to provide green space and water access for the most amount of people year round.

"The value is people or parking," Goodlander said of what to do with the waterfront space the boat trailer parking lot now reserves. "That's what it comes down to, people or parking?"

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