Saturday, March 31, 2007

All Wards Meeting Follow Up

I wanted to take a moment to follow up on a few items from the recent All-Wards Meeting at the Roosevelt Center. Thanks to staff for the responses.

The area between River Dr. & the Railroad Bridge was reviewed on Blackhawk Creek and the opinion is; that it will not do any good to clean this area because the harbor side is silted to the same level. Sewer Division does clean the concrete channel regularly.

The pillars belong to the property owners (Kidney Center) and are not in the actual alleyway.

The area of Rockingham and S. Concord has been tasked as an enforcement area and our personnel have been doing traffic enforcement in the area and will continue to keep it in our Traffic Bureau’s enforcement rotation schedule. Also, just for the record, we have written 39 loud noise tickets to date this year, though the system doesn’t allow us to sort out the cars from the motorcycles.

We have secured federal funds for certain of the prior specific parcels in that area. With each of those, we are obligated to own them and keep them open space.

RISK MGMT. FUND (Legal Review)
The balance and use of this fund has been requested - I will post as soon as I learn more, Ian.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Upcoming Meetings: More LeClaire Park, Garden Growers Community Garden Plan

I thought I would pass along a few more dates/times for upcoming meetings:

Sat., Mar. 30th @ Noon, or, Tues., Apr. 3rd @ 6:30 pm - click here to take an on-line survey pertaining to this topic


Mon. Apr. 2nd @ 6:30 pm - info and flyer, click here

Saturday, March 24, 2007

LeClaire Park Meeting Set for Monday

The city's Design Center will host a meeting to discuss LeClaire Park at 6:30 pm, Monday, at the River Music Experience (2nd & Main - downtown). The city will be re-claiming the surface parking lots (above photo/at right) from the casino and has an opportunity to expand 5-acres of greenspace in the park. To learn more or to take a survey on the project - click here.

(photo, Absolute DSM)

Monday, March 19, 2007

All-Wards Mtg. Reminder

I will host an all-wards meeting from 6:30-8:30 pm, Thur. Mar. 22, at the Roosevelt Center (1220 Minnie) in the first ward. Info/map - click here.

Friday, March 16, 2007

D.C. Review

I participated in the D.C. lobbying trip Thursday and Friday with the QC Development Group. The trip included 75 or so folks from the Quad Cities and surrounding communities. Meetings were set with staff and our local representatives and senators. The meetings were an opportunity for QCA folks to make our partners at the federal level aware of funding needs for a number of projects. Senators Harkin, Grassley, Durbin, and Obama participated; as did Representatives Braley and Hare. The Davenport group numbered around 10 and we lobbied on six key projects for the city. The projects were ranked in order of importance for the city. A quick review of our top-six, for FY-08, follows:

#1 - WESTSIDE DIVERSION TUNNEL: The city is seeking $5.528-M of federal funding to bid the first phase. The tunnel is required to allow for development across more than 20-sq. miles of the city.
#3 - TRANSIT GARAGE - request $5.1-M.
#4 - FARMERS MARKET - request $250,000.
#6 - AIRPORT TERMINAL - request $1.1-M.

Of these six, I thought the most important (as of right now) for our city was the Diversion Tunnel and Transit Garage. The reason being both of these need the most immediate attention. The city has a very limited amount of space available for any sort of development right now. The sewer tunnel would open a huge opportunity for us in NW Davenport and would take pressure off of our older lines, namely the Jersey Ridge line. The transit garage is also important. Our contract with Metrolink expires in 2010. We should move our garage to our side of the river (it currently sits in RI) - we could save $200,000 per year by bringing this operation "in house." Plus this will give us greater control of expanding our CitiBus services throughout the city. I was glad to see the diversion tunnel ranked first. We need it and we need help due the overall price tag of $45-M.

I thought the meetings went well, but a number of our representatives stated they were somewhat handcuffed do to the fact we are spending $8-B a month in Iraq. Pretty amazing.

The Arsenal was another focal point for the region. We were dealt a blow with the losses from BRAC, but the silver lining is the 1st Army's proposed move to the island. With that will come 300 more uniformed personnel, many of which are officers in our military. I was told the impact of the 1st Army is similar to having a Fortune-100 company in our community. I'll be happy when this comes to fruition, but until then I do have some concerns due to the fact that our government seems to change course with its' military assignments pretty regularly.

Overall a good exercise - all of the elected officials stated that it is important to have the lobbying efforts and as "one Quad City." It was my first trip with the development group and it seemed to go well.

Let me know of any questions, thanks.

- Ian

Related article, click here

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Connecting Bike Paths, Duck Creek and Riverfront

Our bike paths are true assets for our community. The Duck Creek Path runs from Emeis Park to Duck Creek Park (and on to Bettendorf's Devils Glen Park). Our riverfront path now runs from Credit Island through East Davenport (and on to Bettendorf's Isle/Casino). To better utilize these assets it would be great to see a connection.

I had a preliminary meeting today at the Design Center with staff to look at alternatives. The QC Greenway Plan (by Bi-State a few years back) showed a number of potential connections: through Nahant Marsh, up to the new Sunderbruch Park, and along roads to Emeis; along Main through Vander Veer and through the neighborhood N of V.V.; along the RR line out of the Village; and in two other Bettendorf locations. The one I thought that might hold the most promise, in the short term, is the link on Main through Vander Veer.

This potential route would provide riders a link to our city's "central park", our "education corridor", downtown, and the riverfront. The most economical step might be to incorporate routes along the street and utilize "sharrows" (photo above) painted on the roadway. Rock Island has incorporated similar markings on 17th St. and 7th Ave. recently. We would also need to introduce some "high visibility" crossings at Central Park, Lombard, Locust, and downtown to the Dillon Fountain. Signage would need to be incorporated as well, to make drivers aware of the bike traffic. Signage could also be added on Duck Creek and on the Riverfront to alert riders of the connection.

In Iowa, bike friendly laws are on the books that recognize bikers as equals on the roadway. It certainly wouldn't be as safe to do this along Brady and Harrison, but Main (with much lower traffic counts) might be plausible - although I still have some safety concerns. The link would connect Duck Creek to a multitude of trails on both sides of the river (the IL trails go from Rock Island to Cordova).

The costs shouldn't be all that high and could be a worthwhile investment. I listed this on a question in my Jan. survey and a majority seemed to support although safety was a concern (results, click here, go to pg. 8).

A good riverfront trail map and other trails of interest are available on Bi-State's site, click here.

Let me know your thoughts, thanks - Ian.

*** Update, 3/10, click here to learn about Bike Blvds. - similar to sharrows, sent by the IA Bike Coalition.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Next All-Wards Meeting Mar. 22nd

I will be hosting an All-Wards meeting from 6:30-8:30 pm, Thur. Mar. 22nd, at the Roosevelt Center (1220 Minnie Av.) in the 1st Ward. The meeting is open to individuals from throughout the city. Items for discussion may be submitted through this blog, via email (, or by phone at 508-2842. Directions: from W. River, go N on Concord for five blocks, to Minnie. The center is located at Minnie & Concord.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Final Budget Summary On-Line

The city's recommended FY-08, $161-million, budget presentation and overview has been placed on-line, to review click here. Please let me know of any questions/concerns. Thanks - Ian