Community members share ideas for "Weed and Seed" program -QCTimes
Tuesday night I was able to attend the 2nd Weed and Seed meeting. Unfortunately there were only a 15 or 20 people there, but it was still a very worthwhile meeting. It was interesting to see the differences in ambition of attacking some of the problems of the target area. If I remember correctly, the targeted area stretches from Division to Farnam, and from Locust to the river. Some want to address the culture of disrespect and hopelessness that is at the core of these problems, while others addressed the practical, like having more city garbage cans. Some emphasized that we need to get kids into small group situations to have an impact, while others argued that at least with group activities you've got the kids off the streets. I pointed out that one-on-one interaction is great, but I'd still rather have kids playing basketball at the friendly house than breaking into garages. One thing was certain, and that was that everyone there wanted better things for SoLo, and was willing to work for them.
Davenport: 4th-worst walking city -QCTimes
I pretty much found this ranking to be a bunch of garbage. Should Davenport be in the upper half on walkability? Probably not. Everything north of Kimberly was built for cars and people who have them. We're still catching up on simply having sidewalks along major streets like Welcome Way. However, I don't think we deserve the near-bottom ranking we got. According to the article, one of the factors was parks per square mile.
Davenport (ranked 496th) has around 2200 acres of parkland, a population of 99,514, and total city area of 64.9 square miles.
Des Moines (ranked 44th) has around 3221 acres of parkland, a population of 193,886, and total city area of 77.2 square miles.
Chicago (ranked 77th) has around 7300 acres of parkland, a population of
2,833,321, and total city area of 237 square miles.
This comes out to:
1 acre of park for every 45 citizens in Davenport.
1 acre of park for every 60 citizens in Des Moines.
1 acre of park for every 388 citizens in Chicago.
33.89 acres of park per square mile in Davenport.
41.72 acres of park per square mile in Des Moines.
30.80 acres of park per square mile in Chicago.
I consider Des Moines a very walkable city. Davenport's trail system is great, but DSM's is greater. So I'm impressed that we hold our own against them in parks per square mile, and actually have more parks per capita than both them and Chicago. Obviously this is only one component of the "walkability ranking" but I would say our large amount of parkland per person should at least move us out of the bottom 20 cities by itself. As someone commented on one of the news articles, its possible every year this magazine changes their rankings around to sell a few more magazines.
Davenport City Council: Park's price tag debated -QCTimes
Its the skatepark pavilion all over again, and actually I believe that same pavilion is part of the $2.9 million that was bid. The city has already budgeted $3.81 million for this, for Pete's sake. Not only was the River Vision plan for Centennial Park created at public meetings which many of the negative people chose not to attend, but this money has already been approved in the budget by the city council. One of the problems is that to some of the people on the council, in their minds we're still living in the time of 33 cent gas and roller skates for a quarter. Finishing Centennial Park even ranked highly on their "goal setting" sessions or whatever they're called. If this is too much money, why did they budget even more for the project? Lets get moving on this, like we all said at the River Vision meetings.