At the June 19th Wayzata City Council meeting, the Council approved the schematic design for three major elements of the Lake Effect Project – Lake Street (between Barry and Broadway), the Lake Street Plaza (where the municipal parking lot is currently), and the Depot Park. These designs were approved after a thorough engagement process that began earlier this year through the coordination of City staff and Civitas – a world renowned landscape architecture firm based out of Denver.
For the past few months, the following design elements have been in the validation phase. The Council and Civitas continued to receive input from the residents of Wayzata and stakeholders, which Civitas incorporated into the design to reflect community needs and preferences.
The redesign of Lake Street that was approved involves the area from Broadway to Barry. One of the goals of the Lake Effect Project, is to make downtown Wayzata more pedestrian friendly, with added space for sidewalk shopping, dining, and landscaping. To do this, the center turn lane will be eliminated. However, there will be turn pockets included at Broadway and Barry Avenue to ease traffic flow and designated loading areas during the day for deliveries. There will also be a two-way bike lane added on the south side of the street. This is to more safely funnel local and regional bike traffic through downtown, connecting key points in Wayzata and beyond. The new design better maximizes on-street parking with 10 additional spaces added.
Since the completion of the Mill Street parking lot, which provides approximately 200 additional parking spaces in downtown Wayzata, there has been increased discussion about converting the municipal parking lot at Broadway and Lake Street into a more multi-use space or plaza. As a result of overwhelming support from the community, the Council approved transforming this lot into a “plaza park.” This will give this space the ability to be utilized for multiple uses, along with adding green space to this beautiful vantage point on the lake.
While the first two elements will be publicly funded, the Lake Effect Conservancy is raising private dollars to complete the other elements of the Lake Effect Project south of the railroad tracks – including the Depot Park. The design that was approved is ADA (American Disabilities Association) accessible and provides more green space, places for panoramic lake viewing, and public restrooms. The existing Depot, Garden Club flowerbeds and the model train facility will remain, with a more organized design and increased accessibility around them.