Vauk Lane may open as additional entrance to Whitecliff Park after bridge repair

City will survey residents for feedback about entrance

Crestwood City Hall

Photo by Gloria Lloyd

Crestwood City Hall

By Lucas Irizarry, Staff Reporter

Whitecliff Park is a staple in Crestwood and the main entrance, Whitecliff Bridge, is set to be replaced with a newer version after the city was awarded a grant last August.

The project will require an emergency entrance at Vauk Lane to serve as the main entrance to the park, located at 9245 Whitecliff Lane, and the Board of Aldermen are considering leaving it open permanently after the work is done. 

The Vauk Lane entrance is a short, one lane road that connects the park to a nearby neighborhood. The road is paved and currently has bollards to block cars from entering. Mayor Grant Mabie suggested leaving the entrance open permanently to serve as a supplemental entrance for the neighborhood it connects to. 

“Rather than driving down to Pardee and driving around and backtracking, if someone’s lugging a bunch of stuff to the pool or bringing racquetball gear … couldn’t they just duck out that way and duck in that way?” Mabie said. “Thinking ahead, it’s less wear and tear on our new bridge which as we know is wildly expensive.”

He said the public opinions he has seen are split so far, so something like a six-month test period for the entrance to measure public opinion may be a good idea. 

City Administrator Kris Simpson said a survey would be the best way to gauge public opinion, because it can be targeted to impacted residents.

“If we did (a test) for six months, your sample size is going to be a month of really busy time and five months where it’s less busy, so you might be lulled into the conclusion that it’s not much of a problem,” Simpson said. “Then next June hits and it’s going to be a big issue.”

Simpson said the city will mail the survey to a small affected area by the lane. 

Ward 4 Alderman John Sebben said he suspects the only people who would use the entrance after Whitecliff Bridge is finished are those who live in Ward 4 and part of Ward 3, as the main entrance is faster and more convenient for everyone else.

Police Chief Jonathan Williams suggested the board implement a gate regardless if it will remain open or not, because police will still have to close the Vauk entrance when it is used as the main entrance. 

The board tabled the discussion until further public feedback could be gathered and reviewed.