Tuesday, May 12, 2009

City does one thing right, figures they should screw up something else instead

So, the City of Davenport resolved their problem with handicapped signs. They took the good ideas, like checking occasionally to see if the signs were still in use and needed, and dropped the bad idea of charging $40 to have them installed. It was almost like a logical compromise.

Now that one issue was solved, apparently they felt the need to fix something that's certainly not broken, which is Lindsay Park.

Changes slated for Lindsay Park -QCTimes

Basically, some of the business owners down there want to move the basketball courts, thereby paving over an area of grass near River Drive, and replace them with a larger amount of concrete, in the form of a parking lot along 11th Street. Here's an overhead image, courtesy of Live Search, of the area. Incidentally, at whatever point during the winter this was taken, there was plenty of parking available. The basketball courts are located just to the west (left) of the baseball diamond. Their new location, from what I can tell, would be just to the east (right) of the city parking lot along Mound. So they'd like to trade in some park for some parking, to save people from having to walk a block or two from a city lot, or an on street parking spot. I personally have rarely had to park more than a block from anywhere in the Village. However, unlike visitors, I know that there's parking behind some of the businesses, such as Rudys. So maybe, as Barb Ickes mentions in her take on it, all the Village needs is more signage directing people to where parking already exists.

[Edit: Colonel Davenport, making a brief appearance in the comments of the previous post, suggests somewhat of a compromise. Remove the basketball courts (entirely?) and replace them with a path leading directly from 11th street to the city parking lot along Mound.]

If you want to tell those in charge where they can stick their parking lot idea, please attend the input meeting tonight (Tuesday) at 6:30 in the Park and Rec building. This was formerly the Art Museum, and is located next to the Putnam. I'm hoping to be able to make it.


Shelley said...

OK-since no one is asking, I will. Why is it the basketball courts that need to go?

Anonymous said...

I have a alternative answer to this debate. Why not just extend the municipal parking lot along Mound & River Drive east toward the ball diamond? There sits 7-8 trees that could could be left, (or most of them) and pave around them leaving a nice visual, and have several additional parking spaces there. It is very flat space so minimal grading would need to be done as well. From there, put in a winding landscaped sidewalk from the extended parking lot directly to 11th street. Thus, saving the BB courts and other amenities already there. Plus, if you think I am going to park in a parking lot right next to a baseball field where fly balls are knocked out of FREQUENTLY......your crazy! Think about this alternative and comment.

Anonymous said...

Why would you need to tear up the basketball court to put in a path? It looks to me like there is plenty of space to the west of the basketball court to put in a path from 11th St leading to the existing parking lot.

Anonymous said...

The city again made a mistake for not charging for the handicapped signs. $40 is not too much to charge for them according to the traffic engineering report that estimates the cost at $200 for the cost of the signs, the Administration cost, and the labor by a city employee to install the sign. There is also the additional cost of each time one of these people call 911 because a neighbor has parked in their spot, and the cost to roll a squad over a parking problem runs in the neighborhood of $50.

It all comes down to that if you want a city service, you should be willing to pay for it, and not expect the rest of the population to subsidize all these programs.

QuadCityImages said...

So if the city shouldn't subsidize handicapped parking, why are you suggesting they subsidize it by $160?

The reason we SHOULD subsidize it is the same reason people pay for public schools who don't have kids. Its part of living in a community. I know that word horrifies libertarians out there, but some of us are ok with it.

Anonymous said...

Well said.

Anonymous said...

Although I usually reaso along the same lines as you do, QCI, I'm going to have to take issue with your stance on the parking signs. As someone with no kids, I don't mind paying taxes to the school district in the slightest because I realize that educating the next generation has great benefits to society as a whole, as well as the community. Subsidizing these signs, on the other hand, has no real benefit to the community, only to the users. There should be at least a nominal fee for these folks to have this privilege. By your logic, taxpayers should also subsidize such things as the cost of the city cutting weeds or clearing snow from sidewalks for the people who don't adhere to these ordinances. And in theses cases, there would be a tangible benefit to the community (e.g., safer sidewalks, a more visually appealing neighborhood). Surely you would agree that the property owners should be charged for this? By the same rationale, the users of these sign should pay the fee. The real intent of the ordinance is to eliminate those signs that are not needed for actual handicapped parking, but by people who simply don't want anyone parking in front of their house.

By the way, I agree with you on Lindsay Park.

Anonymous said...


If you are suggesting that I'm a libertarian, you are wrong. I side the majority of the time with the Republicans and firmly believe that the general population is smart enough to spend their own hard earned money, and don't need a bureaucratic government to spend it for us.

You also suggest that I think that taxpayers should subsidize the handicapped homeowners $160 for the right to have those signs on their property. Your thought process is wrong. It is only fair if they want the signs, that they pay the full installation cost of $200, then add to that the costs associated with them calling the city with complaints about someone else parking in their spot.
Whatever the costs incurred by the city should be paid for them. They are the only one to benefit from this.

Anonymous said...

You tell 'em, Mr. Republican! Handicapped people should PAY for privilege of being handicapped!

Anonymous said...

Set the fee at $500 and use the excess to pay for the parking ramps that are losing money. They are both part of the parking system.

Another issue that should be raised is how can it possibly cost $200 to install two signs? If that is the case, this should be bid out and you can bet there is someone out there who would gladly install those signs for a fraction of what it costs by having city employees do it.