Support for shifting people and activity away from the congested refectory area at Lake Calhoun to elsewhere on the lake seems to be gaining traction in the glacial Calhoun-Harriet master-plan deliberations.
That's the consensus emerging after the ninth meeting of the citizen committee advising the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board on short-term renovations and long-term plans for the two lakes.
The panel was scheduled to meet seven times last summer and fall to recommend how to spend $3 million on renovating parkland around the lakes in time for summer construction. Now the meeting schedule has been extended to 11 meetings ending in April. A proposal won't go to the board until late May; bidding for the first improvements will be pushed back to 2017.
The delay is happening because the panel is scrutinizing proposals offered by park planners aimed at improving the complicated weave of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists near the refectory.
The biggest proposal would shift sailing, including a sailing school, plus the launching of other rental boats. Cyclists between Calhoun and Lake of the Isles would be rerouted away from the narrow bike-pedestrian path following the lagoon beneath Lake Street. They could still walk bikes there along what would become solely a pedestrian path or they could use a proposed sidepath across Lake Street.
An interim proposal would shift boat launching to Calhoun's north beach. But long-term proposals call for shifting sailing, the boat launch and docks to the lake's northwest shore. A sailing facility that planners describe as the size of a two-car garage would be built, potentially incorporating toilets and concessions. To provide space, the parkway would make a loop away from the shore in the area.
Other key elements of the proposal for the northwest shore area include a renovation of the current ball fields to add stormwater handling and improve drainage, and a new promenade to channel foot and bike traffic from a planned rail transit station to the lake. A boardwalk would be built on piers over water nearby.
The panel resumes debating the remaining six of nine activity areas on the two lakes where planners suggest changes on March 24 at Park Board headquarters, 2117 W. River Road.