Baldwin Lot Renovations Ahead?

Among the items on the June 17 Planning & Zoning Commission agenda: the redesign and reconstruction of the Baldwin Parking Lot.

The town-owned lot on Elm Street — behind Serena & Lily, between Brooks Corner and Christ & Holy Trinity Church — has been developed piecemeal over the years. According to the Department of Public Works, it needs renovation.

The DPW cites “an outdated parking and circulation pattern, storm drainage, an electrical service, retaining walls, asphalt pavement and curbing, sidewalks, lighting, etc.” as at the end of their useful lives.

In addition, there is no storm water management; the area is prone to flooding, and the storm drainage system is partially non-functional.

Back part of the Baldwin parking lot

Renovation plans include redesigned parking and traffic patterns, lighting, drainage, landscaping, storm water management and increased public safety access.

The lot will be raised, to minimize flooding. Electric vehicle charging stations, a “blue light” personal safety system and closed circuit video monitoring will be included.

A possible connection with the Avery Place lot next door may be included too, if the town and adjacent owner wish to provide access and parking through both lots.

The number of parking spaces in the Baldwin lot will be reduced from 203 to 173, due to non-conforming conditions.

The work would be accomplished by a competitively bid contract, designed and overseen by the DPW.

Another view. The mess has since been cleaned up.

The June 17 meeting will also include a referral from the city of Norwalk, for comments on a permit to develop property at 40 Fullin Road for 40 units of elderly housing.

Fullin Road is off Lois Street, which is off Westport Avenue (Route 1) just over the border. It’s adjacent to Westport’s Hills Lane, behind the Terra Nova and 597 Westport Avenue apartments.

Click here for the full agenda.

3 responses to “Baldwin Lot Renovations Ahead?

  1. Double decker it and make Harder Parking Plaza all pedestrian with Greenspace and outdoor dining

  2. Bill Strittmatter

    30 fewer parking spaces in downtown Westport doesn’t seem terribly helpful other than to discourage folks from coming downtown. Maybe double decking Baldwin should be considered though, I suppose, there could be traffic issues.

    I appreciate that there is almost always available parking in the Imperial Avenue lot even when Baldwin and Parker Harding are full but it seems that folks either don’t know about it or, more likely, don’t want to walk that far.

  3. Agree on making this parking lot a double-decker garage and getting rid of all or most Parker-Harding parking. It’s a total waste of beautiful riverfront space that would be better used (and probably make downtown more flood-resilient, by reducing impermeable surfaces) as a public park or more outside dining. This is relatively inconspicuous and conveniently-located.

    I don’t really get the complaints about parking downtown – I have never had trouble finding a space. Nothing like, say, Greenwich. It may not be exactly where I want it, but it’s downtown, not a big-box store – huge expanses of blacktop parking lots are not desired. I do think increased pedestrian friendliness between the two sides of Post Road would help encourage people to use the parking on that side (where there’s ordinarily plenty of spaces) – maybe a beautiful pedestrian bridge in the manner of the High Line, linked to a redone Parker-Harding.

    In any event, seems clear that this parking project should be coordinated with larger changes envisions for downtown.