Monday, February 05, 2007

Drivers are funny

I saw one of the strangest things today when I went out to take pictures of the water main break. Since eastbound river drive was closed, traffic was being detoured back up 4th, and then I assume over to Marquette or Brady. But since the average Joe deems himself to know more about traffic patterns than traffic engineers, everyone was looking for ways to go around the detour. This led to literally hundreds of cars turning North on LeClaire, which took them directly into the WG Block gravel pit area. Then they all had to turn around and turn right again on 4th. Then they probably all ignored the "Detour Straight" signs and turned up Iowa, but at least that's a through street. I spent 15 minutes standing out in the cold waving people not to turn, and also calling some folks at the city. Hopefully they got it taken care of, because I left before I got frostbite. They're very lucky there were no accidents. I also saw people exhibiting other forms of bad driving, such as a car going up Oneida and one going down Bridge, and people going around Road Closed signs. After all, those signs are only directed at everyone else...And that's why you should follow detour signs.

Update at 6pm:
A quick look out the stairwell window shows me that yes, Public Works is out placing signs at this intersection to prevent this hilarity. The system works!

Update at 7am: I drove past the intersection of 4th and LeClaire this morning and saw no barricades or signs. A check out the window shows the cars are back to swarming into the cement/gravel yard, only this time in the snow. Maybe the system doesn't work...


At 2/05/2007 6:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was not funny turning onto LeClaire, which by the way was before any detour signs. The first one I was at Iowa and it directed cars to keep going down 4th St. If the City was on the ball the detour signs would have alerted cars long before from progressing all the way down River Drive past the Times building.

At 2/05/2007 6:59 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

I guess I (foolishly) thought more people knew their way around town.

At 2/05/2007 7:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

6:49 here. Thanks QCI for doing your part helping with the traffic this AM. Good job.

At 2/05/2007 7:09 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

Sadly, it wasn't this morning.

It was around 5pm tonight.

Does that mean it was like this all day and no one called the cops or public works?

At 2/05/2007 7:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

QCI as they say in court -- asked and answered.

At 2/05/2007 7:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

QCI, please ask to join the post-mortum on how the city handled this break in a basic city service. Tell Mr. Malin first hand about the preventable traffic snafus that apparently lasted all day.

At 2/05/2007 7:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

These detour signs are always wacky. When they first started working on the Mississipi Hotel, the signs on 3rd were really messed up, until Alderman Meyers got them to straighten them out. It was a mess for a week before he got them to get the signs fixed.

At 2/05/2007 7:37 PM, Blogger Dave said...

So if the first car went into the river do you think everybody would have followed him too?

5 p.m. traffic through a detour on streets you think you 'know' is like lemmings following the first over a cliff.

If you think it's bad here, try following an emergency detour in downtown Chicago! We sometimes forget how good we have here in the QCA.

At 2/05/2007 7:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who owns the water mains?

At 2/05/2007 7:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is your point Dave?

At 2/05/2007 8:06 PM, Blogger Dave said...

Point? I guess the blog post title says it. "Drivers are funny". And those of us who drive follow just about anybody who looks like they know where they are going. We're not good at following the signs, no matter where they put them.

At 2/06/2007 3:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course you know that Iowa Street dead ends QCI - that is right in your neck of the ghetto. Most people traveling through downtown use tunnelvision so they don't have to look at the trash and blighted buildings. The motorists are busy praying that they have the stop lights timed correctly so they don't have to make eye contact with street vagrants, or come to a stop, so that they walk up to the car and panhandle.

At 2/06/2007 6:19 AM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

I've spent more time downtown in the last couple years than most people in Davenport, and I've never had a panhandler approach my car.

In fact, I've only been panhandled in downtown Davenport once in my whole life.

But keep on spreading your negative misinformation.

At 2/06/2007 7:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Face it QCI, the homeless know their panhandling targets. They pick people who look like they have some means, and they leave the drivers alone whose vehicles look like they barely run.

At 2/06/2007 9:44 AM, Blogger hoganj300 said...

Traffic Jam on Locust due to River Drive being closed. Avoid the area until the snow stops falling.

At 2/06/2007 10:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

2 things for Keith Meyers. First, at the committee of the whole you asked Alan Guard for Wednesday to come back and explain the expenditures to Malin Heights. Could you please request it be given as a power point presentation, as Alan reads the items off so quick, that it's hard to get a grip on the numbers, and this is an important topic. Second, it seems like there is a long running complaint city wide about how dirty streets and alleys are in Davenport. In this budget comming up, would it be possible to either budget 2 shifts instead of 1 for running the sweepers, or if necessary, possibly another street sweeper needs to be budgeted and purchased. Thanks.

At 2/06/2007 12:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mayor Winborn came over after COW and lectured me for asking Finance Directior Alan Guard the questions at the meeting. After all it was only a $890,000. Prairie Heights expenditure that no one could answer.

At 2/06/2007 1:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keith - why does the Mayor do this? YOu have an obligation to ask questions. Expose him please. Also, why did Winbornpresent the suggsetion to eliminate teh commitee meeing in the first place and wwhy at the finance committee?

At 2/06/2007 1:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

While there are not many panhandlers downtown, there is a lot of homeless people wndering around. Some are scary and filthy. QCI, do you know where the come from? Why are there so many in Davenport? In RI or in other cities, there doesn't seem to be as many. Why do we have so many here?

I agree about the negative stuff, I live here too and am not afraid. Although, it is dirty in solo in comparison and it is obvious that the city does not enforce our housing codes real well here.

At 2/06/2007 1:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

FROM: Alan Guard, Finance Director

RE: Alderman Meyer’s Request Regarding Prairie Heights Expense

Alderman Meyer requested information regarding the budget amendment related to Prairie Heights. The original project at 53rd and Eastern has expenditures totaling $4,837,231.

These expenditures include:

Purchase of land $4,234,423

Consulting fees –
JJR, Inc. 212,878
Golf Resource Group 93,042
Planning & Design 84,873
S.B. Friedman & Co. 52,926
Economics Research Assoc. 19,250
Missman/Stanley 28,256
Property Taxes 23,229
Pollmiller Bros. 17,750
Supplies/Equipment /Misc. 70,604
Total Expenditures $4,837,231

Revenues collected to cover these expenditures include:

GO Bonds $3,066,600
Gaming Revenue 200,000
Local Option Sales Tax 115,000
Farm Leases 161,346
Land sale to the church 89,961
Total Revenue $3,632,907

The difference between expenditures and revenues is $1,204,324.

It is my understanding that it was always the intention to use the revenue from the sale of land to cover this difference. On June 23, 2006 the City received a wire transfer for the sale of land to Regency in the amount of $1,643,284. Of this amount I instructed that $899,424 be recorded against the overage leaving a difference of $305,000. It is planned that a portion of the future sale of the commercial land be used to cover this remaining gap.

I further instructed that the remaining $743,960 be recorded in the debt service fund. Again, part of the land sales proceeds have been programmed as part of the revenue stream used to repay the bonds for this project.

Let me know if I can provide any additional information.

At 2/06/2007 2:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank goodness for these blogs. There are so many things that you won't see in the paper or discussed at the meeting. These are our tax dollars. I just wish that Keith was not the only one asking questions. God help us if the new meeting agenda works.

At 2/06/2007 3:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 2/06/2007 4:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just think QCI of all the police officers we could have had fro that and how safe we could be. We don't need this development - this is nuts. I don't want to leave Davenport, but it appears that this council is more interested in developing land then keeping us safe.

At 2/06/2007 5:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Keith, how are you going to spend your time when you're not re-elected? I haer Niky is looking for a house boy.

At 2/06/2007 5:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To 1:31, The city doesn't do a great job enforcing housing codes because the fire department is much busier saving lives than making inspections. This is an old subject that seems to reaccure every week. A bad decission by six of the current councilmen, right Keith?

At 2/06/2007 5:44 PM, Blogger pioneer98 said...

If Davenport doesn't build something like this, then people looking for new construction will just move to cities like Bettendorf and Eldridge. I really wish these guys would be more up front about costs, too. It hurts their cause. If they were more up front, then we might actually be able to have a discussion about the merit of projects, instead of arguing about conspiracies and secrecy. Hey, I said "might".

At 2/06/2007 6:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Keith for posting those expenses here. Seems like every project we do contains a little fuzzy math. That goes for the skatepark too. Origionally, a cap was set at one million as I recall, now a year later, we are spending a bundle on compliments to the skatepark, and it appears we have forgotton all about the cap placed on spending by council.

At 2/06/2007 8:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keith, can you ask Alan Guard for additional information about the $899,424 in Regency revenue? We understand the revenue is being attributed to the Prairie Heights project, but what fund was it recorded in? Also, how much is owed on the project’s bonds – principal and interest? If the project bond debt exceeds the $743,960 just put into the debt fund why isn’t more of the $899,424 being put into the debt fund now? Thanks Keith. Keep up the great job of looking out for us taxpayers.

At 2/07/2007 8:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what - let them move to bettendorf. We need to take care of us, those that exsit now before it is too late. Developers won't be attracted to bett because they don't give it away like we do. We are desparate for ANYTHING to be developed here. That is a bad position to be in. We keep developing without adding any resources to our public services, bad mix.

At 2/07/2007 3:35 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

Simple math is too much for you folks I guess.

A city has to grow, because nearly all city expenses are growing. Insurance, gas, inflation all cause city expenses to rise, even if they maintain the status quo. Therefore if we "take care of ourselves" as you suggested, we'll be dividing the increasing cost by the same or fewer people every year, resulting in constantly increasing taxes.

Cities have to grow or die.

At 2/07/2007 6:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Alderman Meyer for keeping the sunshine at City Hall. If the mayor had his way, all the blinds would be shut and the curtains pulled.

At 2/08/2007 8:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you take care of what you have, then the areas that need attention will become more valuable and thus taxed higher naturally. People will like their surroundings. I really don't think people mind paying taxes as long as they feel they are getting thier share of city services. Now, many people feel (justified) that they are being taxed and not getting what they need.


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