I will have to leave half-way through this meeting. Steve Foskett is livetweeting.
Allen Fletcher- besides parking, a cafe like Nu Cafe, seen pictures of plaza on the plans – entrance is already a nice plaza. Make certain that that isn’t cast in shadow. bookstore, computer store, Trader Joe’s – natural affinities: exercise and wellness (the Y can take care of that); childcare and playground could also be taken care of by the Y.
Jen Niles – wants to preserve the parking, but better utilize the space.
Paul Dell’Aquila – in general, does not see future of the lot as a single-use facility. It should be a multiple use facility, providing parking but also other things that complement the library.
Karen Carrero – 2 story garage to absorb the need for parking, retail.
Mark Pelletier – skating rink should not be there, is not a good use. Parking is crucial. Landscaping with buffer zone between parking and street. Food truck vendors spot. The lot is half full tonight – during the daytime it’s more used. People didn’t park in the garage for the mall.
Keith Scott – anything should continue to be named after Francis McGrath
Chris Robarge – lot is currently city property, if we sell it (etc.) it would no longer be public property. Worries that some of the interest in redevelopment is due to WBDC’s plans for parking garage on Portland Street.
Dante Comparetto asks Kevin Dowd to explain the library board’s position on parking.
Dowd: Two key things with parking lot: parking needs to be adjacent, safe, affordable. Neighborhood revilalization would help the library, so they are also interested in hearing how
Steve Mita – adding to what Allen Fletcher and Paul Dell’Aquila said – if you compare to the average floor plate of an office building, multiple buildings could fit on this lot. This would be well-suited for mixed-use. He feels the master plan needs to be more detailed (as with shadows casting over the library, etc.).
Mita, continued – there’s a wonderful potential relationship between the library and the Y – expand on that relationship, have a park shared between the two. Look at example of the Springfield Public Library, and the park between that and the Springfield Museums.
A woman asks for a community space., farmer’s markets.
Ray Bilodeau (?) – has used the parking lot for a while, one of the things that is the problem with the lot is that it’s a vast wasteland – just pavement and meters. No enticing areas to sit down. Mixed-use for humans and also a desirable space.
Dana Remain – likes idea for city-controlled land for food trucks, senior services, park space, seating, nice treed-in area. Possibly having small outdoor amphitheater for performances related to the library. Ideally remain a municipal area.
A woman says she would like it to not be changed. The issue of the library – doesn’t want too many events near the library because predators might be looking to get kids.
Michael Spillane – Any successful library around the world – try to cultivate a place that is nurturing. Keep with that spirit. Outdoor area that would be an oasis, curtail the noise from the cars.
Kevin Ksen – likes the last few comments because they are coming from a place of how to improve the library. Not a reaction to the WBDC – not the right place to be at. Better to have comments about what would best suit the library. Likes the idea of green space. Likes amphitheater and playgrounds. Smiley face and diner – can we embrace the things we’ve given birth to?
Steve Silverman – parks here three days a week, parking lot is a little larger than needed today. When he hears about plans for buildings – not big enough for 1, 2, 3 buildings and an adequate surface parking lot. Never seen an attractive parking lot building.
[Note from the blogger – I have!]
Silverman, continued – could we collect tolls without meters? More greenery, playground in parking lot. Several suggestions of food trucks. Must end up with adequate surface parking lot.
Woman has never seen a library use green space well. [She has obviously never been to Springfield.] Thinks best thing to add is food.
Martha Assefa – less about library, but would like to see more kid-friendly zones in the downtown that we can walk to. Walkability, creative things, inexpensive activities.
Woman likes the parking lot as it is. This parking lot has been a wonderful resource for the downtown. It’s also easy to plow.
[You are not seeing me wince here; I am not a fan of surface parking]