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Date of Issue: May 21, 2008

Grant committee eyes paving pier parking lot

Anna Maria’s transportation enhancement grant committee discussed a “wish list” for possible enhancements to the city pier parking lot at its May 12 meeting, including paving at least the north half of the parking lot to accommodate a trolley shelter and stop.

Board member Cindi Mansour even suggested the city could “make a road” through the north part of the parking lot to allow the Island trolley easy access to the shelter. Tim Eiseler, however, suggested a shell road might better compliment the shelter design.

City Commissioner JoAnn Mattick, who chairs the committee, indicated that along with a paved lot, all parking could be moved to the south parking area to allow the trolley easier access to the shelter. “We could get the trolley to pull up right next to the shelter,” she said.

But not everyone agreed with the suggestion to pave the lot. Board member Mike Coleman said he believed it would be a bad idea.

In any event, the committee indicated that the parking design would likely have to be “rearranged” to accommodate the trolley shelter it plans to construct at the pier, which will be different from other shelters the committee plans to construct along the trolley route in the city.

Committee consensus was to proceed with committee member Steve Kring’s design and “enlarge it if necessary,” Mattick said. The committee previously looked at a design by architect Gene Aubry for the pier shelter, but settled on the Kring effort.

Other possible enhancements for the city pier discussed by the committee included the addition of pavers, moving or hiding the Dumpster, trimming the sea grape trees at the pier entrance, adding palm trees and a sign indicating more parking is available north on Bay Boulevard at Bayfront Park.

Cost estimates for both the pier shelter and the other shelters throughout the city will be discussed at the committee’s June meeting.

Currently, the committee plans to have shelters constructed at all 14 trolley stop locations in the city.

The committee has been meeting monthly to discuss priority projects for the $358,000 federal transportation enhancement grant the city will receive the Florida Department of Transportation's 2010-11 budget. The DOT will provide design and engineering services for the committee’s selected projects.