The creekwalk certainly offers a great pathway for strolling, but other than a few benches scattered along its length, it offers little else for users to engage with. The creekwalk could benefit from layering additional uses that would act as additional draw for other users. Lets take a quick look at the brand new EastRiver Esplanade in NYC for some great examples:
Aside from an assortment of benches and some picnic tables in Clinton Square and adjacent to the federal building, there aren’t many options for the downtown office worker to sit and eat lunch outside. The Esplanade offers high seating, along a broad railing that doubles as countertop-like surface, so one can gaze out at the river while eating. This strategy could be easily incorporated along the creekwalk, either in the same manner or perhaps in a reimagined way that is stepped into the slope down toward the creek.
The Esplanade also boasts a well-appointed dog park that brings neighborhood dog-owners together while Fido burns off some energy. The 4-or-5 car shock of parking/pavement that was oddly added just west of the MOST comes to mind as a great location for this – although its wasteful to pull out new material, the size and proximity of this spot are perfect. The addition of a dog park would of course add a bit of work for the parks department to maintain it, but the benefits to downtown residents [and their dogs] as well as the smiles of passers-by surely outweigh the maintenance.
There already are a few moments and events that draw people to the creekwalk, like the Loch West Monster and the annual creek float parade, but there could be far more. How about a playground or two for children [and adults too – you know that you like the occasional zip down a slide]? And a smattering of hot-spot nodes for laptop and gadget users to hang out? Lets invite a few vendors to establish a summer pop-up food stand creekside. Or maybe an engaging water feature? There are countless possibilities – we just need to start realizing the full potential of our very own Esplanade, the creekwalk.