Implement a small-scale, weekend-and-special-events-only ferry across the Merrimack River in order to provide better pedestrian access to the Vandenberg Esplanade and Sampas Pavillion via Pawtucket Street.
The Vandenberg Esplanade is one of Lowell's finest open access public spaces, but the stretch of green between the Sampas Pavillion and the Rourke Bridge is sectioned off by the Mighty Merrimack on one side and Pawtucket Blvd on the other. This makes it arguably the least accessible part of the city for pedestrians without motor vehicles. A pedestrian ferry would better connect Lowell's Downtown, the Acre and Highlands neighborhoods, and UML's east and south campuses to the green spaces along the Boulevard. Currently, the only way for pedestrians to access the Esplanade from the downtown side of the river is via the Rourke Bridge, or the busy and car-dominated intersection of Mammoth Road and Riverside St. A ferry would provide an additional access point, and would help to better integrate the Merrimack River into Lowell's character as a city. The summer program could serve as a trial for a possible pedestrian bridge or expanded pedestrian ferry service in the area. provide an additional access point for pedestrians