Pete has done with this project and will be visiting the pier regularly. Nice, but less than expected: So we have been waiting patiently for the Pier to be finished and were disappointed that the opening had to be delayed due to the pandemic. You can only imagine our delight when we signed up for the sneak peek preview on July 6.
So here are our observations: It is nice. Good for walkers and water lovers for the view. But I think we were disappointed tremendously. I think it had to do with expectations. We expected to walk into a new, mini-city with lots of things to do and see. There is a nice beach, a few nice places to eat and drink, but that is about it. While we waited in a very long line to get in, no one was safe distancing and the people behind us were coughing excessively.
Tweaks needed: I love, love, love the new Pier. I was at the Pier at sunset on opening night and it could not have been more gorgeous. What a view spot. I plan to change my bicycle habits this summer to wear a swimsuit and stop off at the Pier splash park and beach to cool down. Suggestions for improvement: Get rid of the gates on the stairs of the Pier head building, or move the gates higher. We want a view even when the restaurants are closed. Add a large shade covering to the big blank concrete expanse beside the splash park.
Please add breakfast service. Many of the nicer shaded areas have no seating. Please add more shady benches and chairs. But I absolutely love the new Pier. It was worth the wait. Once you move on from the open air market, shade is tough to come by unless you go into a business or restaurant. Sun and rain protection needed: I have been to the Pier twice, at night. The downfall to the Pier is not enough shade from the sun and covering, for protection when it rains. I think there should have been more restaurants, small stores and street performers.
Not senior friendly: Wow, so disappointed. Waste of money. Not senior friendly. The walk too long from the overpriced restaurants. Money could have been better spent on community affordable housing, or removing all the homeless that is out of control. Trolley path: I think the trolley path needs to be painted a solid color and labeled better. Benches needed: I visited the Pier for opening week. Beautiful, but should not allow bicycles or skateboards.
It will get way too crowded as more people visit the Pier. Also, should put up more benches next to the eating venues. Shade needed: The long walk on the concrete surface to the end of Pier has to have some type of cover to protect us from the sun. Explain why half of the panels in the initial shade structure are missing. No rain shield: I visited the Pier and was not impressed.
I am hoping there will be more going on once we are out of this virus. The splash pad and playground are great if you have kids. I do not. There are very little shaded areas. In the heat wave we are having that would be helpful. The biggest surprise was the roof over the top floor of the pier.
The roof does not protect visitors when it rains. We got to the top floor, stopped at the bar and ordered a drink. After paying for it our bartender warned us we would get soaked in a few seconds. A rain cloud opened up right over top of us and the rain comes right through the roof! Why would you put this type of roof in a region where rain clouds pop up all the time?
Looks unfinished: Underwhelming, too much concrete, not enough shade, and it looks unfinished. I had a long, hot walk getting to the main Pier building, noticing along the way that the concrete is already cracked and filled in many spots. Then, a minute wait to get to the top of the Teaki bar. That is not local friendly. More bike racks: We like what we see, we know we will like it even more as time passes. But there is one flaw that we noticed immediately: Not enough shade!
Another small personal problem flaw: Not enough bike racks. Embarrassing: The Pier is objectively beautiful, no doubt. Petersburg, it becomes embarrassing. One could argue that the Pier brings jobs and boosts tourism, which will fuel the economy and provide new opportunities for low-income earners. Racist ostracization will inevitably dissuade many families who would otherwise be interested in spending time there, or take away from their full enjoyment of this park space. Until we appropriately fund the south side and lift up our most vulnerable residents, the Pier is nothing but a poor investment to me.
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