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Tooker: Parker Harding Plans Are On Hold

The public has spoken.

The politicians have listened.

The result: Plans for the Parker Harding Plaza parking lot are on hold.

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker said today that “in coordination with the Downtown Plan Implementation Committee, discussion and reviews scheduled for town boards, committees and commissions in the upcoming weeks regarding the current proposal for the reconfiguration of the Parker Harding Plaza Parking Lot will be postponed.”

Discussion on eliminating the Parker Harding Plaza cut-through lane — shown in the Downtown Plan Implementation Committee screenshot above — will be postponed. 

She noted, “The process for this project has been public since its inception. However, recent feedback on the current upgrade and design option for Parker Harding Plaza has demonstrated that proposing another design option for the town-owned parking lot is supported and warrants further consideration.”

The DPIC and consultants will propose another option that “incorporates and considers additional community comments.”

Another evening public “charrette” will be scheduled. “Continued public participation is encouraged during each of the public meetings where any proposal will be presented,” Tooker said.

 DPIC Chair Randy Herbertson added, “After several years of monthly public meetings and thorough documentation on the DPIC website, multiple online surveys, and 2 public charettes, the DPIC continues to maintain an open dialogue and take into account feedback on the multi-year, multi-project Downtown Plan.

“It is the desire and intention of DPIC to have the support of and prioritize input from downtown businesses, merchants, and residents, as well as the entire Westport community. The Downtown Master Plan is a strategy for addressing the many issues residents and experts have identified as needing to be improved while maintaining and enhancing Westport’s unique and beautiful waterfront. Upgraded infrastructure projects such as this will ultimately prove beneficial for all.”

Parker Harding Plaza (Drone photo/John Videler for Videler Photography)

Tooker concluded, “Any proposal that addresses pedestrian and vehicular safety, provides resiliency for the future, and upgrades infrastructure to town property is the ultimate goal for any town-sponsored project of this magnitude.

“I am confident that going forward, any proposed reconfiguration will prove to be in keeping with the spirit and mission of the town and the DPIC as we strive to make Westport a premiere destination for residents, businesses and visitors.”

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