Watertown Feasibility Study Paving the Way for Waterfront Access

April 5, 2019

Saratoga Associates, along with Behan Planning & Design, has begun the process of designing an enhanced waterfront experience for the City of Watertown. Pedestrian and bicycle connections make our communities more livable. They strengthen the economy through tourism, civic improvement, and provide recreational opportunities that improve one’s physical and mental health. Shaping Watertown’s community experience is part of what makes the work worthwhile.

The focus of the project is exploring the feasibility of improving connections for pedestrian and bicyclists from the City’s downtown Public Square to two of its riverfront parks, the Veterans’ Memorial Riverwalk and Whitewater Park. Public meetings have shaped the plan that involves easier access to the Riverwalk, a turnaround circle at Arch Street, new sidewalks, trees, brick pavers, and lights. This goals of the study include creating a sense of arrival as visitors approach the parks; improving lighting, wayfinding, and safety; and advancing the vision created in the City’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan – highlighting the trail and park system as an accessible regional attraction.

Residents feel it’s important to create a way to help with pedestrian traffic in crossing the Black River Parkway, which tends to be an area where speed is a concern. One option presented was series of brick pavers along that section which could create awareness for drivers, but the discussion is still open for finding mutual solutions.

To provide the feeling of an continuous district, the same style of lighting, brick pavers, sidewalks and other amenities will be used throughout the riverfront district. As this project continues, a final design and summary report will explore the feasibility of the various design suggestions.