Last November, Windsor’s Town Board committed to prioritizing the identification and improvement of downtown public parking options. That direction set in motion a commitment of town resources—namely effort, time and money—to ensure that downtown parking remains ample and businesses and amenities remain vibrant and accessible.
One of those efforts has been to look at land stewardship to see if there’s a more effective way to use existing public land that improves how visitors access Boardwalk Park events and amenities. Specifically, the town is focusing on the land adjacent to the lake and the property where the Windsor-Severance Fire Museum is located.
The Town of Windsor owns the property where the fire museum is located. It plans to extend the existing fire museum parking lot from 6th Street east toward the Windsor History Museum.
The new parking space preserves the concept of a cultural hub and provides more visibility to the fire museum. Plus, creating useable parking to the north side of the tracks and in that specific location, turns a previously isolated space into a useable and safe space.
According to Town Manager Shane Hale, “We tend to have problems with vandalism and other incidents in that space because there’s not much foot traffic.” Hale continued, “Additionally, this area has high maintenance costs, is unattractive, and really no benefit to the public as it currently exists.”
Windsor town staff are also redesigning elements of Boardwalk Park’s existing Birch Street parking lot. The lot is expanding to fit more vehicles without encroaching on recreational space. Spaces will be added on the south and east side. Landscape within the lot will change to make space for added parking.
One of the most impactful improvements to Boardwalk Park parking is the plan to convert existing spaces in the roundabout at 5th Street by the Farmer’s Market Pavilion to make sure there’s adequate, closer, and safer parking for persons with disabilities.
At the moment, staff are still working to finalize the site plans for each of these improvements. All three modifications provide additional parking adjacent to Windsor’s largest and busiest outdoor public event space. At the same time, staff continue to examine various aspects of downtown to see how parking can improve elsewhere.
Last week, the Town of Windsor announced that it is contracted to purchase land located in downtown, north of Main Street and close to Windsor Lake.
For more information and to stay informed about Windsor’s downtown parking efforts, visit windsorprojectconnect.com. For more information about Windsor’s annual budget, visit windsorgov.com/finance. To receive text and email notifications regarding Town Board meetings and agendas, visit windsorgov.com/townboard.