Improved pedestrian circulation within the park is proposed, including a walkway from the top of the band shell towards the north as well as stronger connections to the Lion’s Den, playground, shelter and Japanese Garden entrances. Terracing and relocation of existing power poles would allow construction of a sidewalk on the north side of West Fourth Street. In general, existing stone walkways are not accessible to those using wheelchairs or strollers and are growing more difficult to maintain as they continue to age. New walkways would be constructed of concrete with salvaged quartzite cobblestones used as a decorative edge along select walks bordering the proposed Flowering Tree Garden.
Condition of existing aging stone stairs on the terraces is worsening, resulting in safety concerns. The proposed plan includes reconstruction of two new ‘historic’ quartzite stairways; one set between the new and improved picnic shelter and the band shell stage and a second set between the Lion’s Den and the Japanese Garden east entrance. These stairways would be constructed with salvaged stone treads and have handrails for improved accessibility while maintaining historical character. New access will be provided via concrete stairs between West Second Street and the north entrance to the Japanese Garden.
All walkways would be lit with historical style light poles, similar to those used throughout the downtown and McKennan Park areas.
Finally, concerns have been raised with pedestrian safety on Grange Avenue between West Third Street and West Second Street. No sidewalk occurs along this stretch of Grange Avenue and many pedestrians walk down the center of the street; including children walking or biking to the pool. The preliminary plan proposes narrowing Grange Avenue from 28 foot wide to 24 foot wide between West Third Street and West Second Street to help lower traffic speeds and accommodate construction of a six foot wide sidewalk on the west side of the road. In this case, all on-street parking would need to be removed from this section of Grange Avenue. Existing quartzite stone curbing would be reinstalled on the west side of the sidewalk.