Boaters concerned new launch plan would cause delays - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

Boaters concerned new launch plan would cause delays

Meeting on plan scheduled for Tuesday

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Posted: Monday, April 2, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 10:09 am, Fri Nov 16, 2012.

COEUR d'ALENE - The city's parks department said it doesn't have plans to expand mooring spots for boats at the Third Street marina during Phase 1 of the McEuen Field project.

Plans call for doubling the number of spots at the dock adjacent to Tubbs Hill during Phase 2 of the project, but not during the first phase.

The boat launch docks, which people use temporarily while they park the trailers after launching their boats, won't be expanded either.

That's because the current setup could handle boat traffic even if Phase 1 of the park project were to go through as presented.

"People do not all launch at the same time," said Doug Eastwood, parks director. "Launching is sporadic throughout the day."

Several Press readers commented or contacted the Press to express concerns that traffic would back up at the boat launch should Phase 1 of the project be built as presented after an online story asked them to weigh in on the proposed change to the park that kept the boat launch, but moved the trailer parking to the east side of the park, near City Hall.

Delays would be caused, several citizens said, because boaters would have to tie up their boats while they drove their cars to the parking on the east end of the park, about five blocks away, and walked back to their boats.

Currently, there are 36 mooring locations and 660 linear feet of launch docks, which Eastwood said would accommodate boat traffic even if the boat trailer parking were to move eastward.

The busiest time for McEuen Field right now, largely because of boat traffic, is between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Sundays in the summer. That window sees around 25 trips, according to Welch Comer Engineering, the company that completed a traffic study related to the park project late last year.

The study found that park could see 57 more trips in that peak hour, which street infrastructure could handle, they said.

But the traffic studies didn't specify on the boat launch because the launch was planned to be removed from the park plan when the studies were occurring, Eastwood said. But he added the current setup would be able to handle traffic.

When officials originally announced the McEuen Field project, they said Third Street marina use has dropped since 2003. Since the addition of the Higgens Point site and Bureau of Land Management's launch on Blackwell Island, the number of city launches per year dropped from 7,000 in 2003 to around 2,000 launches currently, they said.

The Coeur d'Alene City Council will discuss at 6 p.m. Tuesday whether it should ask the park plan's designers, Team McEuen, to redraw the plan to keep the trailer parking lot where it currently is right next to the launch. The meeting is at the Coeur d'Alene Public Library.

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  • JonnyQPubic posted at 10:31 am on Tue, Apr 3, 2012.

    JonnyQPubic Posts: 325

    Lets increase the launch to 6 lanes and pave all of McEuen for even more boat trailer parking. Yeah, that makes sense. Boaters are very, very important.

  • local res posted at 10:53 pm on Mon, Apr 2, 2012.

    local res Posts: 1157

    Small business suffer when the people lose the ear of elected officials. I say it is time to see how if the local chamber who represents the business community has the ear of the four who have the power. By the way isn't the queen Mayor a small business owner? How many of the remaining members are small business owners or work for a small business? There should be a price to be paid when the elected forget to listen to the people!

  • Michael Alexander posted at 7:48 pm on Mon, Apr 2, 2012.

    Michael Alexander Posts: 93

    Leave McEuen alone, it is fine the way it is! Waste of "our" money is all it is.

  • spudman1 posted at 6:12 pm on Mon, Apr 2, 2012.

    spudman1 Posts: 433

    The reason boat launch numbers have dropped in recent years has been the price of fuel and dismal economic activity. Boat traffic has dropped of since 2007. Anybody on the lake prior to that can tell you 03 etc were busy years.
    Third street boat launch was promised to the citizens in exchange for second street dock being removed to accomodate Mr. Hagadone's executive building. I'm sure Mr. Ingram remembers that deal? I'm told all the city council records relating to that "deal" are gone? Mr. Stone could probably talk about that "deal" Bill and Grant Brooks and of course Skip Murphy. There are still a few of us around that vividly remember the trade off.

  • Gary Ingram posted at 4:29 pm on Mon, Apr 2, 2012.

    Gary Ingram Posts: 88

    The city should be looking to expand the present parking eastward enough to add another lane of parking. This would allow for island landscaping similar to what is at the Blackwell Island Boat Launch. Done right, it would look very nice providing greenery near the lake and breaking the visual of asphalt surfacing.

    The cost for this might be less than surfacing the proposed replacement parking near City Hall which will require lane marking and signage and the cost of building a safe surfaced walking path back to the launch which will require taking down some trees, shrubbery and boulders.

    I timed it all today and it will take approximately 20 minutes of unattended boat tie ups both coming and going if boaters have to park at City Hall.

  • local res posted at 7:38 am on Mon, Apr 2, 2012.

    local res Posts: 1157

    The real plan is to make the launch inconvenient so that boaters will voluntarily change launches. When this change takes place it is time to no longer shop in CDA. If the CDA government will no longer respond to the will of the people then it is time for the people to force the local chamber to take a stand. Plain and simple if the business community can force the city to listen the better off the people are.

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