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City Home > Government > City Departments > Engineering > Projects > Beach Walk > Beach Walk Design Charette February 2003

Beach Walk Design Charette February 2003

BeachWalk Design Charette

Compilation of Public Input

 

On Tuesday evening, February 25th, a public design charette was held at the Harbor View Center in downtown Clearwater to solicit public input on the proposed BeachWalk project along South Gulfview Boulevard.  The quantity and quality of comments and suggestions from the public were very helpful and insightful.  The following questions were presented to stimulate group discussion on the various design issues relevant to moving the “Beach By Design” planning experience forward and into the design development phase. All of these comments will be carefully considered as a part of the consensus building process that will shape the physical image of the Clearwater BeachWalk.  The design team has recorded all of the public input and has provided the following compiled listing of comments:   

 

 

Place Making:

1.     What makes you want to come to Clearwater Beach over other Gulf Coast beaches?

  • Close proximity, walking, small town feel, quality of the beach, swimming, attractions and lifeguards.
  • Low key, family-oriented, beautiful beach, and calm.
  • Accessibility and variety of activities.
  • Great Beach, wide beach and clean. Walkable beach
  • Generally good access, generally available parking, other services food, retail, lots of people.
  • Sunsets and green flash
  • Small scale, do not want a “Condo Canyon”
  • The Marina is a big draw to the beach
  • Play area, Pier 60 Park
  • Unimpeded visual access to beach
  • Clearwater Beach is nationally known, people come to Clearwater Beach not Clearwater
  • White sand, low surf, sunsets, marine life
  • Village atmosphere, quaint, small, everyone knows everyone
  • Take the water and sand away and nobody would come
  • Great world-class beach access (not overused)
  • This is the best beach in the region that is accessible.
  • Concentrate on low-rise buildings, no high rises

 

2.     What things do you think contribute to the character of a community?

  • Landscaping, Date palms, sand, and water.
  • Residents have a sense of belonging to Clearwater Beach.
  • Good character: causeway access experience.
  • Landscaping and lighting.
  • Bad character: poor structure, no pedestrian system, too auto-oriented, not many great public access spaces, infrastructure is worn out, architecture needs to be refurbished
  • Close S. Gulfview for specialty events and art fairs
  • Density – too dense detracts from character
  • Architectural facades- need to be updated, keep same type of retail/commercial, but freshen up architecture
  • Visual pollution detracts from community character – utilities and electric wires
  • Water feature, interactive play fountain
  • Landscape, however, city plants and then rips it out, no maintenance
  • Need native landscaping for low maintenance
  • Clearwater Beach needs to find its own image
  • Need more landscaping, plants and a lot of shade

 

3.     What makes Clearwater Beach unique and memorable?

  • Great beach gradient, wide beach, and clean water.
  • Soft sand, moderate cost, and the family atmosphere.
  • The beach and water.
  • Since 1994 Pier 60 has become a national gathering spot for culture
  • Strawberry daiquiris at Rockaways and Palm Pavilion at sunset
  • Clearwater Beach should be a destination but there is no programming as a Destination Tourist Facility

 

4.     What “waterside” places have you visited that exemplifies what Clearwater Beach should be?

  • Pier 60, marina, and North Beach beaches
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • Ft. Lauderdale, FL; South Beach, Miami; Virginia Beach, VA and Seaside, FL
  • Johns Pass
  • Downtown Dunedin, FL
  • St. Armand’s Circle, Sarasota
  • Coronado Beach, San Diego, California
  • Siesta Key, Longboat Key and Annamarie Island

 

Pedestrian Movement:

1.     What area on Clearwater Beach leaves you with a positive and memorable experience?

  • The pedestrian crosswalks are friendly.
  • Sidewalks around Pier 60 Park.
  • North Mandalay is looking good.
  • The beach is the best.

 

2.     Where is the pedestrian experience the most uncomfortable?

  • Gulf Boulevard, Gulfview, and Coronado.
  • Wherever there are narrow sidewalks adjacent to roadways.
  • Poor sidewalks.
  • Very auto-oriented.
  • Lots of signs.
  • Lots of dumpsters on Coronado
  • Shell sidewalks are hard on bare feet and rollerblades

 

3.     Where is the pedestrian experience the most dangerous?

  • South Gulfview and Coronado.
  • Crossing the entrance to the beach from marina to east shore.
  • Narrow, broken sidewalks.
  • New Mandalay is great – all else is poor and dangerous.
  • Crosswalks near roundabout are very dangerous

 

4.     What design elements would make the experience better or more enhanced?

  • Pedestrian overpass, elevator, ADA accessible, and wider sidewalks away from the street and closer to the beach.
  • Move bus stops away from pedestrian crosswalks.
  • Wide separation from vehicles, lush landscaping, date palms, shade, water fountains, benches, and doggie water fountains.
  • People place, people watching, more food and more nightlife.
  • Need safe pedestrian access to East side, Cross access to Hamden
  • Need more walkways on east side, not west side
  • Improve sidewalks
  • Wide walks on business side, do not like walks close to vehicles
  • Like meandering walks on beach side
  • Level of pedestrian service should not be less than ‘A’
  • Need adequate crosswalks and lighting of crosswalks
  • Need pedestrian access to N. Mandalay from Gulfview
  • Wider sidewalks because they are inadequate for rollerblading, bikes and walkers
  • Benches are always good if there is wide walkways but not too close to the street, that can be dangerous

 

Retail and Economic Development:

1.     Based on your present knowledge of this area, does the existing retail and commercial development support the continued growth of tourism? Of the local residential market?

  • No.  Present use of available land is highly inefficient.
  • Old, outdated, and worn out.
  • Poor beach image.
  • Not a merchandizing area with any theme.
  • Need more things to do “out of the sun” and more things for kids
  • Private sector will take care of economy
  • Redevelopment should be at same scale and character
  • Clearwater Beach is a blue collar beach
  • Storefront appeal is lacking, needs to be more inviting
  • Need more activities for children
  • Tourists need shopping on the beach to keep them and their money at the beach
  • Right now the beach is not attractive for development

 

2.     What types of retail and commercial development, would you like to see more/or less of?

  • Less T-shirt shops, no cheap tourist shops, more family oriented restaurants
  • More: restaurants, nightlife, themed and fun retail, and more entertainment.
  • More outdoor cafes and restaurants like Baywalk
  • More arts and entertainment activities
  • Need quality retail, restaurants, hotels and convention space
  • Do not want upscale development like St. Armand’s Circle
  • Small scale development, small building height
  • Tourist fishing boats from marina
  • Specialty shops, more variety, outdoor market
  • Need good mix of high end and affordable shops
  • Ron Jon Surf Shop, a martini bar

 

Traffic Flow:

1.     What kind of driving experience would you expect, given the functionality of each street? Gulfview Boulevard as a driving experience and Coronado Drive as a major arterial.

  • One way traffic (2 lanes) on Gulf Boulevard going south and Coronado going north
  • Each roadway should be one way.
  • Coronado should be 4 lanes, but low speed.
  • Widen Coronado
  • Poor driving, poor function.
  • Make Gulfview scenic – proposal to make Coronado an arterial is great.
  • Which street is the thru street? All other streets need to be calm
  • Beach is not an expressway/thru way to Sand Key

 

2.     Given the increases in pedestrian, rollerbladers, cyclists, trolleys and buses and the downplay of automobile dominance, how would you make the experience for all of the users be equally pleasurable?

  • What downplay of automobile dominance?
  • Reduce vehicle speed.  Need to slow down traffic
  • Create designated zones for each user.
  • Like the serpentine road alignment

 

3.     Would you personally use other modes of transportation to access this area?

  • Yes -- have monorail and a ferry.
  • No – I live here.
  • Yes, I do at times.  Would use more if Jolley Trolley ran more hours, more frequently, especially during Coachman Park events.
  • Long range transit access from Downtown.
  • More Trolley movement north-south.
  • Add carts and bikes.
  • Transit disadvantageous when carrying a lot of beach gear
  • Public transportation needs to be more frequent and reliable
  • Public transportation should be an integral part of the process
  • Monorail can not facilitate equipment from downtown parking

 

Parking:

1.     Where should the city provide additional parking for South Beach?

  • Parking issue is insurmountable
  • Need a compromise. Parking should be first consideration
  • Marina
  • New development should provide parking
  • The lot near the Adam’s Mark hotel
  • Right where the ground-level parking is now.  Double the number of spaces by making a second level with no roof.
  • On land already owned by the City.
  • Needed at very south area.
  • Needed mid-beach to replace the beach lot.
  • Needed north at Pelican Walk area.
  • Parking on Coronado and Hamden
  • Taking away parking on the beach is not a good idea. Like close proximity to beach. Other places require a cab or bus to get there
  • Parking next to beach is a plus and an attraction
  • Do not want to lose beach side parking
  • Parking garage one block from beach
  • Visual impact of parking garage at beach
  • Need to establish a limit of saturation
  • Feel removal of beach side parking is appeasing the developers, not the beach patron
  • Move parking off beach, but still convenient
  • Parking must be maintained and centrally located
  • Need drop-off area/valet
  • No parking on the beach
  • Drop-off are not good for families
  • Don’t take parking off South Beach
  • Parking should be close to the beach
  • Parking has to be on Gulfview.

 

2.     Who should pay for the replacement parking?

  • Public and City Infrastructure.
  • Tourists.
  • The people who park there – raise the rates during peak periods.  Do it now to test the market. Raise the rates to build more parking
  • All of the users of the parking lots.
  • Parking should be built by City
  • City should fund additional parking construction
  • Parking fees are too cheap’
  • City should build additional parking.

 

Additional Issues or Comments:

Have next charette at Recreation Center at Beach

  • Beach by Design is a wonderful concept.  We need to keep the uniqueness of the beach.  Bring more specialty shops, restaurants and motels.  Keep your Mom & Pop businesses as well as high-end shops and hotels.
  • Make new parking prior to eliminating any parking.  Keep parking close to beach to facilitate the ability to take coolers and equipment to the beach.  Look at change in traffic flow to reduce bottleneck going south.  Wide sidewalks.  Please change from shell walkway.  It is very hard on bare feet as well as not rollerblade friendly.
  • This was a great exercise n sharing of ideas and a good mix of people from many areas: residents, developers, City employees and City officials.
  • Clean out the Poinsettia/ East Shore grease pits and rat holes.  I live on North Beach and am embarrassed to have visitors turn at east shore to come to my house in 900 block of Mandalay.
  • Tonight’s meeting was not advertised as a charette, nor was the length of the meeting stated.  Ensure public involvement by: 1) Publishing the meeting schedule and agenda well in advance; 2) Publish meeting materials on the City web site well in advance of the meeting; and 3) publish meeting results on the City web site.
  • Having lived in South Beach, Fort Lauderdale, also Cocoa Beach, what brought me back to Clearwater beach was the village atmosphere and not a canyon of high rises.  We need specialty shops, parking and flat streets.  Something needs to be done about the danger at the roundabout to both auto and pedestrians.  The biggest problem I have is the notification of the public when having “charettes”.
  • Please don’t repeat on South Beach: what was done on North Mandalay Roads should be flat – no excuses.  Money should do it right the first time.  Keep a village atmosphere.  No more condos.  Motels—rebuilt or new, but no condos.  Mass transit rather than build numerous garages.  St. John’s pass has a desirable shopping experience – shade from heat and easy access from North beach -- that’s pedestrian friendly, reduce building footprint, so sidewalks can be wider, buildings can overhang.  Parking should not be on the “beach”.  Clearwater Beach needs to be pedestrian friendly – Europeans who visit want transportation – families want good atmosphere.  Poorly advertised to the community.
  • Restrooms are a public necessity and should accommodate mothers with small children (i.e. changing tables) and should be more private.
  • The city should focus first on infrastructure and traffic patterns.
  • The traffic circle moves traffic then slows down and is choked after the bridge.
  • We must provide a reason for people to want to go to the beach.
  • Increase mobility-traffic, pedestrian and parking.
  • Focus on infrastructure and mobility first.