Monday, April 20, 2009

Week in Review: The good and the bad

I've been busy this last week, and didn't get much time to post. Here are a few of the high and low points of the week for me in QC news.

The Good

Blackhawk Hotel restoration begins!
Forrest Block building ready to go!
Naysayers abound! But who cares, as in less than 2 years there will be dozens of new market-rate apartments downtown. They'll fill up fast, and hopefully some of our timid developers around here will take note that downtown is different than it was 20 years ago. Or even 6 years ago. Local developers or not, I hope Restoration St. Louis picks another building to bring back to life next.

Centennial Park Active Recreation Corridor finished!
See the previous post for pictures. The park was jammed Saturday, and the great thing is, it would have been jammed with or without the ribbon cutting ceremony. Every time I drive past the skatepark, day or night, if its over 40 degrees or so there are people there skating and biking. I bet its the most populated park per square foot in town.

Police pursuits
No, its not a good thing that we have people who run from the police. However, at least twice last week when they took off the police actually followed! This is how to fight crime. Chase them when they run, tow their cars when they bail out, catch the passengers they left in the back seat, make criminals' lives difficult. These things were happening last week, and its progress.

Improvements at Modern Woodmen Park
These owners are actually making improvements to the stadium, rather than sending people in money costumes to pay their bills late. What a difference. Check out the new ribbon board in right field. I don't think too many single-A minor league teams have one of these.

The Bad

"Friends" of Credit Island?
Its amazing to me that people can justify opposing something on the basis that it might get vandalized. Lets just not building anything, in that case! We can all hide in our basements and hope we don't get vandalized. Its a good thing that there are people with the vision to accomplish things in this world, rather than people who just fear any unknown possibilities. This bridge, which is already budgeted and ready to go, is part of linking the riverfront trail to the Duck Creek trail to make a huge recreational loop. While a few naysayers calling themselves friends of Credit Island may not think its a good idea, I can find a lot of people who think its a great idea. Bikes on credit island not a good idea? Maybe some of these "friends" should have noticed that there's been a bike lane going onto the island for years.

Handicapped Fees
Credit this one to Professor Lynn. He's against people paying a fee for using the storm sewer system, but he's ok with charging one for being handicapped and getting a parking space? If people are taking advantage of the system, check into it. According to the article there are 900 of these residential street handicapped spots in the city. One of the worries is that people have moved away but their spots remain. Solution: Have an intern or volunteer go through and check the Scott County property records once a year to see if people have moved. At a minute each, that would take one person less than 2 workdays. Or keep the idea of having people renew their spot every year, but drop the $40 installation fee. If 10% of the spots turn over per year, you're looking at a big $3600 income per year for "new sign fees." It would probably cost that much just to come up with a new billing form to do it. Don't say I never saw a tax or fee I didn't like.


Anonymous said...

Anybody who disagrees with Images is a naysayer. What a prune head.

Anonymous said...

Just a few corrections. On your point of 900 parking spaces for handicapped, the actual estimate is 450 of them, and 900 is the amount of signs. Each handicapped space gets at least 2 marking signs.

What record at Scott County can you go to to verify if a handicapped person is living at a particular address? If you use the Assessors or Treasurer's website, you will find the Property owners name and address. Most of the handicapped signs are SOLO, which just happens to be rental property territory.

Maybe you can explain what record you were thinking of that shows a list of those tenants that comes from Scott County.

Anonymous said...

This was a huge week for downtown, indeed. Beginning work on the Blackhawk, Forest Block, and completing a chunk of Centennial all in one week. Despite national economic suffering, downtown Davenport is plowing ahead.

THAT is progress.

Matt said...

i, too, drive by the park twice a day. i've even noticed roller-hockey people practicing their game. nice.

Anonymous said...

All you would have to do with the handicap parking is start ticketing those who park there. The homeowners will start complaining about getting ticketed in front of their own homes.

And the naysayers are the boomers who think we have to do everything like in the 60's.


Anonymous said...

To 9:02 a.m.:

When you call QCI a "PRUNE HEAD," he justifies it in his mind that readers think he is doing something right. He wears "PRUNE HEAD" labels like a badge of honor.

Don't ask me for an explanation, as it doesn't make much sense.

Anonymous said...

Hey dorks, why don't you just stop reading QCI if all you can do is offer insults. Better yet, start your own Blog. Because I bet your the ones that bitch and moan when QCI doesn't have time to write/post.
Anti-"what ever" is great when its thought provocking... Your stuff is just Niki Bowles crule...

QuadCityImages said...

I do take it as a good thing when people who can only offer insults disagree with me.

11:01 is an example of someone using actual arguments, which is a good thing. My suggestion of the property records would only weed out some of the problems, but it would make a difference. If a property owner got a handicapped spot back in 2006, and the property records show they sold the house in 2008, it at least bears looking into whether the space is still being used. Can renters even get these spaces? I believe that part of the new landlord requirements was to have a list of their tenants, so that could be step 2 in checking into handicapped space usage. Also, as Nitrous55 said, tow cars if they don't have the appropriate plate or tag.

Anonymous said...

One of the problems with these signs is that many people don't really want to park there, they just don't want anyone else parking there, either. So ticketing them will do no good, since they don't park there...they just want control of that spot. The fees should remain, as it takes time and money to make and install these signs. It's a simple user fee that I really don't think everyone else should subsidize. Besides, the fees are supposed to be waived for low income residents, which is fine. The big problem here is that aldermen won't listen to city staff about who should rightfully get these spots. Their only interest is in appeasing their constituents, thus securing another vote for the next election. Without the user fee, we're all essentially buying votes for these aldermen. You may be OK with that, QCI, but I'm not.

Anonymous said...

I think the whole argument about the handicapped parking signs is really about people abusing the system. Example: I have a neighbor who has handicapped parking signs in front of their home. They were placed because the wife had cancer and needed the access. Since the signs have been placed she passed away. The husband still has the signs out there and isn't handicapped and actually parked in the garage. I made a complaint to the city who did come out and look into the matter and now he has taken his car out of the garage and parked in front in between the signs. The handicapped tags were given due to the wife's handicap not his. I believe he is continuing to use it to control who parks in front of his home and I feel it is very wrong. It is an abuse of the system.