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.