Downtown St. Petersburg's long-awaited improvements to Mirror Lake are about to get underway. With city council approval, the city's original source of fresh water will feature wide sidewalks, an even wider bike path, board walks over the water and plazas.
"Yeah, we're very excited," said Gayle Ninis, who works in a nearby office building. "We walk the lake at least twice a day for exercise."
Friday afternoon, Mirror Lake users included walkers such as Ninis, and a couple of dozen homeless people napping on the shoreline.
"I think anytime other than broad daylight, security plays an important issue with the older people around here," Randall Clarke commented. The improvements also include better lighting. The current fountain remains unchanged.
The upgrades are motivated in part by an international shuffleboard tournament in October. St. Petersburg has a sizable shuffleboard complex right across the street from Mirror Lake. In fact, the tournament, with competitors from more than a dozen nations, coincides with the 100th anniversary of the shuffleboard complex.
"The complex will also be getting some improvements," said Beth Herendeen, the city's director of marketing, "Some accessibility improvements, some bathroom renovations and some general sprucing up."
Someday Mirror Lake might be connected to the waterfront by a street-scaped corridor. The Pier and the lake are both on 2nd Avenue North. So are the courthouse, City Hall, Williams Park, The American Stage, St. Petersburg College, and The Shops of St. Petersburg (formerly BayWalk.) It is half a mile from the lake to Beach Drive, and another half mile from Beach Drive to the end of the St. Pete Pier.
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