Port A plans streetfront beautification




Traffic moves along Alister Street near Avenue A on a recent day. The City of Port Aransas recently began seeking requests for qualifications from landscape architectural firms that could help beautify some of the town’s main thoroughfares. Staff photo by Dan Parker

Traffic moves along Alister Street near Avenue A on a recent day. The City of Port Aransas recently began seeking requests for qualifications from landscape architectural firms that could help beautify some of the town’s main thoroughfares. Staff photo by Dan Parker

The City of Port Aransas plans to beautify some of this town’s main thoroughfares.

The city recently put out a request for qualifications looking for “professional design services for downtown streetscape design.” The RFQ will close on Dec. 8.

The city wants a landscape architect firm to come up with designs to enhance the main streets in Port Aransas – Alister Street, Avenue G and Cotter Avenue.

“It’s: Should we change the profile of the street? Should we address on-street parking, lighting? Landscaping? Benches? Do we need restrooms downtown somewhere for tourists walking around? So basically, it’s like a facelift of what we want the street corridors to look like,” City Manager David Parsons said.

The chosen firm would come up with design ideas that the Port Aransas City Council could consider next summer “if we want to implement construction,” Parsons said.

The council is slated to award a design contract to a firm during its meeting Tuesday, Dec. 19.

The city has budgeted $100,000 in this fiscal year for the design of the project as well as the design for a citywide street lighting review and design project, Parsons said. The lighting project may be added to the streetscape project, he said.

“(The streetscape) needs a facelift. It’s kind of beat-up. It’s kind of a hodgepodge. And we want to get some uniformity to it and dress it up and make it look more appealing for citizens and tourists,” Parsons said.

During a workshop on June 27, the City Council discussed the streetscape project as one of the goals and priorities for fiscal year 2023-2024.

Mayor Wendy Moore put the project on the goals workshop agenda. The idea came from the city’s comprehensive plan, which was adopted by the council in April.

“One of those things that came out of the plan was how to create better synergy, how to create a citywide beautification project and really bring the main corridors of your town together,” Moore said.

She said all the council members were in support of the project.

“We figured we would start and focus on, again, the main corridors – as you’re coming off the ferry down Cotter, or as you’re coming into Port Aransas on Alister, and then obviously the main thoroughfare to the beach is Avenue G,” Moore said.

“We want to figure out … how do we do a citywide beautification project?” she said. “Not that we don’t have a beautiful city. But how do we do things to improve the look and the curb appeal and the overall aesthetic of our town?”

Moore said trees and landscaping along streets in Port Aransas were lost during Hurricane Harvey in 2017, and as the city is rebuilding lost facilities and developing a park in Old Town, now is a good time for the streetscape project.

“Now’s the time to go ahead and take advantage of those rebuilding projects and also figure out how we can create a streetscape or landscape around those to really beautify the city,” she said. “I am excited about it. And I think it will be great for Port Aransas, moving forward.”

The project could include other streets in addition to Alister Street, Cotter Avenue and Avenue G, Moore said.

Next summer, the council could allocate funds for construction of the project in the city’s budget for fiscal year 2024-2025.

“Part of what we’ve looked at for years is overall improving landscaping and streetscaping and sidewalks (for) accessibility. All those kinds of things, I think, will come out of this. And that’s what our goal is. How do we do things better?” Moore said.

Contact Kathryn Cargo at reporter@portasouthjetty.com.

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