Evan Thompson / The Record — Langley resident Clyde Platt walks up First Street on his way home on Monday afternoon. First Street is set for a redesign, and Langley residents can have a say.

Public has chance to help mold future of First Street

Langley residents can have a say in the future of First Street.

The City of Langley and Langley Main Street Association are seeking public input for a redesign of the road at a community meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 25 at the Langley United Methodist Church Community Room.

“We want as many people as possible to be part of the designing of it,” said Janet Ploof, president of the Langley Main Street Association.

The city was awarded a $250,000 Complete Streets Grant in December 2016. The funds are earmarked for improvements along First Street from Wharf Drive to Anthes Avenue, with construction slated for sometime in the spring of 2018. Among the proposals floating around are improvements to pedestrian safety, streetscape and cycling infrastructure, as well as modifications to sidewalks and crosswalks in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The meeting’s organizers say they are all ears for any other ideas that the public may have.

Replicating the success that Second Street has seen since its $2.2 million redesign in 2014 is a top priority, Ploof said. She believes First Street is just as much of a beacon for the city, but that it currently lacks walkability appeal. She said the point of the redesign will be to make First Street an attractive destination for walkers and tourists that will improve both the look and feel of the street, as well as business vitality.

“The whole thing could become more social,” Ploof said. “The whole point of this Complete Street First Street Project is that it is better to have someone walk by your shop than have somebody drive by your shop.”

Ploof added that she expects First Street will take on a personality of its own and won’t be a carbon copy of Second Street, though it will likely include a crosswalk paver leading to Boy and Dog Park similar to the crosswalk across the middle of Second Street.

Langley architect Ross Chapin is among those helping guide the development of First Street’s redesign. Chapin, who owns the firm Ross Chapin Architects on Second Street, said it’s important to figure out how to balance the needs of creating an environment friendly to both pedestrians and automobiles.

“I’m going to be sort of assisting in any way that I can,” Chapin said.

Chapin believes First Street has plenty of potential, but expects some challenge. For example, complying with ADA rules that require wider sidewalks while ensuring there’s enough room left over for parking will be tricky. The road also has a narrow right of way, he said.

“I’m hoping we can find a resolution that strikes the right balance,” Chapin said. “I think it can be done. There’s certainly room for big improvement.”

Chapin said the “center” of Langley has shifted toward Second Street and that it’s become a “people place” due to its consistent foot traffic.

“I think that First Street needs to be brought up to that level,” Chapin said.

Ploof anticipates that the meeting could also lead to future improvements in the surrounding areas, such as Seawall Park and Whale Bell Park, as both tie into the overall viability and draw for First Street.

Mayor Tim Callison hopes input given by the public will fit into the theme of integrating multiple forms of transportation, from vehicles to bicycles, and creating a pathway for pedestrians that’s inviting. He echoed Ploof’s sentiments when he added that he’d like to see a plan made that is larger than the scope of the grant dollars to create a plan that could eventually create a “harmonious circulation” from First Street down to Whale Bell Park and into Seawall Park.

“They’re not well used,” Callison said. “At the height of the summer when the town is full of tourist, they don’t know to venture down there.”

More in News

Glaiza Price, who owns and operates Cosmic Ice Cream with her husband Patrick, peeks out the van’s window. The space-themed van has started popping up at events this year to serve 24 flavors of soft serve ice cream. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times
‘Out of this world’ ice cream rolls onto island

An encounter with an ice cream van in New York, a conversation… Continue reading

County finishing Freeland zone code

Staff from Island County Planning and Community Development will hold a community… Continue reading

Left to right: Eva Wirth, Emma Callahan, Chloe Goethel, Macie Vande Werfhorst, Naomi Atwood, Gabe Gandarias, Maddox Smith-Heacox & Max Rodriguez. Not pictured: Emmett Layman, Zander Kuschnerei and coach Clyde Monma.
SW Middle School Math Teams Capture 5 Medals

South Whidbey Middle School entered five teams in the Washington State Math… Continue reading

WhidbeyHealth nurses trained to assess victims of sexual assault are left to right: Jackie Blankenship, Rebecca Pina, program manager Jackie Bassett, Jacqueline Moore and Sherry Phay. Cynde Robinson, director of Coalition against Domestic Violence, is in the back row. Team member nurses Krista Burckhardt, Gayle Wallen and Tonya DeYoung were unavailable for the photo.
Sexual assault victims can be assessed locally

WhidbeyHealth trains specialty nurse team

Aurora Coffey
South Whidbey High School student wins AAUW prize

South Whidbey High School student, Aurora Coffey, won First Place and a… Continue reading

Town talk pinpoints people and paths

Langley takes step in mapping trails

Langley Police Chief David Marks
Prosecutor declines to charge chief

The Island County prosecutor declined to charge Langley Police Chief David Marks… Continue reading

Island County looks at building air park road

Island County will apply for a grant to study the potential of… Continue reading

Photo provided 
                                Left to right: Grace Callahan, Carli Newman, Oliana Stang, Sean Miles, Magnus Nyberg, Max Rodriguez, Aidan O’Brien, Annika Hustad (Not pictured: Coach Clyde Monma)
SW High School math teams place 1st in state

Three South Whidbey High School math teams earned a trip to the… Continue reading

Most Read