Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Lindsay Park Meeting
Lindsay Park patrons wary of changes -QCTimes
We were wary alright. Most even more wary than I was. Despite lots of people taking a turn at the microphone, no one said they were in favor of more surface parking being added to Lindsay Park. Only one business owner spoke, and he said his business does fine with the current parking situation. Several Aldermen were there, including Alderman Frink, Boom, Justin, Lynn, and Meeker. Alderman Justin went up to the mic to tell everyone that the elected officials were hearing us loud and clear.
Most of the meeting was actually about other issues than the rumored parking changes. With the large turnout relative to how little the city seemed to be pushing for the parking change, I almost wondered if it was a trick to get dozens of people to the meeting. Leak the idea that the city wants to get rid of the basketball courts, get 50 or 60 people to show up, and then try to get them to help design a new master plan for Lindsay Park. I don't think that's what happened, but it wouldn't have been the worst idea. There were several new processes for neighborhoods around the city that were discussed, but I'd suggest watching the meeting online or on the city channel rather than me trying to paraphrase it all.
After the meeting, I was talking to someone who hadn't been involved in this kind of thing in Davenport for very long. He seemed surprised that people would think the city would spring something like this on them. I told him the story of the River Vision meetings, which drew hundreds of people with hundreds of great ideas for Davenport's riverfront. Then at the final meeting, a little red box labeled "casino hotel" appeared on the map, which hadn't been talked about at any of the previous meetings. Davenport has actually been doing much better than that since, but the problem is that the city has a long way to go to regain people's trust.
I believe Lindsay Park is safe from parking lot expansion, but try getting some folks to believe that.