Thursday, July 03, 2008

PHeights, Window Washing, and a big night downtown

A few assorted things today...

Here's the progress on the first house in Prairie Heights. Notice that it actually looks like a house instead of a garage! Whoever moves in will have the benefits of an attached garage, but the front yard and curb appeal of a traditional home. Why did we ever stop using alleys?

Driving downtown this morning to check out the July 4th preparations, I saw that even the Figge was getting cleaned up for the occasion. This job ranks right up there with wing-walker in the "not for me" category.


And speaking of July 4th, what a night July 3rd (tonight) is going to be for downtown Davenport. The Bix at 6, a River Bandits Game, the Blues Fest, and Red, White, and Boom. While I think the fest belongs on the riverfront, it should make for a neat urban atmosphere with River Drive and 2nd Street packed with folks tonight. Hopefully a lot of the Bix@6 crowd will hang around downtown for the rest of the evening. Also, props to the QCTimes for giving the appropriate kudos to Davenport's flood rebound. Now if we could just get CNN to stop by and take notice...

12 Comments:

At 7/03/2008 12:10 PM, Blogger Robbie C. said...

we are attending tonights bandits game. can you get a good view of the fireworks from the seats behind home plate? this is our first 4th of july up here so we have no idea.

 
At 7/03/2008 6:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to sound like an againster, QCI, because I appreciate your work here and I'm usually on board with most of your ideas, but I think there are probably some very good reason why we got away from using alleys. In about 10 years, if not sooner, the people who buy these houses in Prairie Heights are going to get a nasty reminder. The alleys are asphalt, and when they need repair, the owners will have to foot a portion of the bill, according to current city policy. Also, both the alleys and the street are too narrow to accomodate larger vehicles, so you can expect that there will be a lot of curbs being run over (due to the ridiculously tight curb radii), sidewalks being broken near intersections, and boulevards being rutted by tire tracks on corner lots. Also, I doubt plowing those alleys in winter will be near the top of the city's priority list for clearing, which means getting your car out and down the alley is going to be problematic. Do you have any idea who is going to be responsible for maintaining those roundabout medians, because they're overgrown with weeds right now. I imagine it would be a similar arrangement to what they do on Kirkwood, but how many lots will need to be developed before such care begins? It could be years before there are enough developed lots to justify it. I hope I'm wrong and that this subdivision is wildly successful, but I have serious reservations that something like this will work in this part of the country. There are simply too many rubes to appreciate the concept, and the execution of the concept has been botched here, in my opinion.

 
At 7/03/2008 8:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To answer your concerns. The neighborhood has a yearly due, so it will be self sustaining. This due pays for the plowing of the alley's and taking care of all common areas. (roundabout, median's and green areas) The city takes care of all the park area's. The developer will be putting in the initial landscaping in these areas.

 
At 7/03/2008 9:03 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

I somewhat agree that Prairie Heights is only a half attempt at new urbanism, but I don't think the alleys will be that big of a problem. The mini roundabouts don't do anything for me either, but I think larger vehicles will be able to handle them decently. The big thing that's missing for me is any of the commercial properties mixed into the neighborhood. One of the main ideas of new urbanism is walkability, and PHeights leaves out the stores to walk to. The commercial area along 53rd is quite a ways from much of the subdivision. At least they'll have the parks, bike trails, and new library within easy access. I still think Ruhl is doing a terrible job of marketing the area, also.

 
At 7/03/2008 9:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is really nice about the prairie heights house are all the trees in the background and the huge front porch.

 
At 7/04/2008 6:53 AM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

Even Oak Lane needed a few years for the trees to grow up, I imagine.

Some of the home models have bigger porches than others, just like many traditional Davenport neighborhoods.

 
At 7/05/2008 2:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Triva question for you QCI.

Which againster threw a party after the very first Blues fest for everybody connected with the event and served breakfast as the bands brought up the sun with the blues.

 
At 7/05/2008 8:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

am I getting old and have forgotten,
or did my post about the super nice new urbanism development in Ankeny get erased?
http://www.prairietrailankeny.com/

 
At 7/05/2008 11:46 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

It appears you accidentally posted it in the previous blog post, one down from this one.

They definitely are trying to do a better job of recreating a traditional neighborhood, complete with town square. One thing I wonder about PHeights, with their homeowners group, will be their stance on clotheslines. Many if not most covenants don't allow those, but if one thing screams "traditional neighborhood" to me its clothes on the line. With rising energy costs maybe hanging the wash out will become more acceptable again anyway.

I don't understand why true new urbanism couldn't work here as well as its working on the DSM metro. I don't think they're that different from us.

 
At 7/06/2008 5:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ross Hacker. He is the man!

 
At 7/07/2008 7:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post should have been titled:

"Little House on the Prairie (Heights)"

 
At 7/08/2008 5:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the zoning to the north of the neighborhood between the neighborhood and the new 65th street? That could be potential retail area.

 

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