Fall Fest needs volunteers!

Fall Fest needs volunteers!

 

Riverdale Fall Fest needs volunteer support for the September 15th event.

According to Council Member Kelly Krell, the committee may need as many as twenty volunteers to help with everything from set-up to on-site activities to tear-down and clean-up.

“Even if you can only help for part of the day because you plan on enjoying the event, that’s okay,” explained Council Member Krell. “Right now, the only volunteers we know we have on board are the ones who helped plan the event. It would be great to get some more help.”

If you’re interested in helping with Fall Fest, please let us know!

Rules of the road – or, at least, the bike path.

Rules of the road – or, at least, the bike path.

Riverdale is a small city. But the bike path is a big deal.

And we’ve had more than a few residents express their concern and point out the safety hazards of how the MRT (Mississippi River Trail) crosses Manor Drive and, to a lesser extent, the Scott Community College Entrance on State Street.

I’ve also had a few “close calls” with bikers on the trail as they crossed my driveway – hidden by shrubs and scrub trees until the last possible moment. I’ll try to get that vegetation removed (it’s not mine), but the fact I’ve almost hit a biker or two makes the concerns raised by our citizens emphasizes the problem.

I also walk the bike path through Riverdale and Bettendorf several times a week and I’ve noticed a disturbing trend that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later …

… nobody seems to know what they’re doing when it comes to riding or walking on the bike path.

I remember learning in elementary school (and Cub Scouts) that you were supposed to walk against traffic. That was true whether it was a city street or a private drive. By walking on the left-hand side of the street, you could see the on-coming traffic and avoid it if you had to. You also didn’t have to worry about having people come up behind you on bikes and startle you with a friendly “passing on your left” or, as I’ve more recently experienced, a not-so-friendly “hey, move over.”

The problem is, most people don’t seem to follow this rule when they walk or jog on the bike path. I suppose it’s possible they’ve never been taught the rule in the first place. But every time I walk my 5.4 mile route, I play a slow motion game of chicken with other walkers and joggers two or three times an outing.

Sometimes I get a friendly smile and nod, but usually people look put out that I’m on their side of the bike path.

It’s a little ridiculous.

Why is this a subject worth debating? I don’t think you have to look any further than the incident on the MRT in Davenport last June, when 76 year-old Ruth Morris was ridden down and killed by a bicyclist from behind.

So, what can we do about it?

I’d say the first line of defense (or offense, depending on your perspective, I suppose) is to re-evaluate the signage we have along the MRT. We have other issues with regard to directional signage, too, and I think all those can be addressed with some deliberation and creativity.

We can then take our ideas and put them into action with new signage along the MRT and other bike paths and by taking our work to Bettendorf to see if they would be interested in doing something along the same lines. Let’s face it, by working together, Bettendorf and Riverdale can make the entire community safer and more “citizen-friendly” whether you’re on a bike, walking or jogging along the trails.

But I suspect I’m only touching on a few of the possibilities. Let me know what YOU think we could do to make the bike trails safer for everyone who uses them by commenting below.

 

Are bike riders on the MRT a traffic hazard?

Are bike riders on the MRT a traffic hazard?

Over the past few weeks, we’ve received comments and requests from citizens asking the City to do something about riders on the Mississippi River Trailthe bike path that runs through Riverdale from Bellingham to just past Valley Drive.

The concern is that these bike riders rarely stop at cross streets (like Manor Drive) and could cause or be involved in a traffic accident.

Adding to the concern are the facts that Manor Drive doesn’t intersect the bike trail at a 90-degree angle, making it difficult for cars and bikers to see oncoming traffic and the hill to the east of the intersection with the Scott Community College entrance limits sight lines for motorists.

To the casual observer, both situations seem dangerous.

The City of Riverdale has already posted “Yield” signs at these intersections, but bikers don’t seem to pay attention. The question asked at a recent Council Meeting raised the question of changing those signs to “Stop” signs, but similar signs on the bike trail in Bettendorf (along Devils Glen Road) seem to have no effect.

Would changing the “Yield” signs to “Stop” signs make a difference with regard to legal liability should there be an accident? The City is currently investigating that issue, but the initial research seems to indicate it won’t make a difference.

So, what to do?

What kind of signage would make a difference? Should the City be more aggressive in notifying, educating and possibly citing bike riders who don’t follow the traffic controls?

We’d like to know what you think. Contribute to the conversation on our discussion board by clicking here.

Invasive Plant Task Force meeting set for August 3 at 11 am

Invasive Plant Task Force meeting set for August 3 at 11 am

UPDATED: 08/02/2018

A helpful fact sheet on garlic mustard has been added to the Invasive Plant Task Force page on the website. You can view that fact sheet by clicking here.

UPDATED: 07/30/2018

The agenda for the Invasive Plant Task Force meeting has been updated to include a presentation by Brian Ritter, the Executive Director of the Nahant Marsh Nature Center. You can download an updated copy by clicking here.

ORIGINAL POST

An initial meeting of the City’s Invasive Plant Task Force has been called for Friday, August 3rd at 11am. The meeting will be in Council Chambers at City Hall.

Those present will discuss the on-going problem posed by invasive plant species in Riverdale’s parks, yards, gardens and wilderness areas and the economic costs of allowing these species continue to grow and choke out ground cover on the City’s hillsides and other green spaces.

City Council member Kelly Krell will lead the discussion and chair the meeting.

The meeting is open to the public.

An agenda for the meeting can be viewed by clicking here.

QC Astronomical Society’s throwing a party – and you, your family and about 1,000,000 meteors are invited!

QC Astronomical Society’s throwing a party – and you, your family and about 1,000,000 meteors are invited!

Riverdale resident, Jeff Struve, serves as the president of the Quad Cities Astronomical Society and has invited all of his friends and neighbors to attend the QCAS’s Meteor Shower Party at PV Junior High on Saturday, August 11th (weather permitting, of course).

Struve, who has served as the QCAS’s president for the past two years, encourages folks who come to bring lawn chairs and munchies to the event and watch the Perseid Meteor Shower (and a few satellites) fly through the night sky. Club members will have telescopes handy for a closer look.

For more details about the Perseid Meteor Shower, click here.

The event starts after sunset and is free. Donations are welcome, but not solicited.

City moves forward with bike path solutions.

City moves forward with bike path solutions.

In a report to the City Council on July 24, City Administrator Tim Long reviewed a discussion he had with members of the Bi-State Regional Bike Trails Committee with specific regard to problems experienced with bikers riding through Riverdale’s Havens Acres neighborhood in order to get from the Crow Creek bike path to the riverfront bike path.

The committee is a working group of the Bi-State Regional Planning Authority, a multi-governmental body with representatives from large and small communities on both sides of the river. Thanks to Bi-State, the Quad Cities is able to coordinate major, municipal projects ranging from the I-74 bridge replacement to the Mississippi River Trail which runs through Riverdale.

Three key points were made in Mr. Long’s report to Council:

1. Bi-State is willing to provide trail counters to help establish rates of usage on the trail and at the various entry and exit points to the MRT. The City will coordinate setting those counters up and managing the process in late-July/early-August.

2. Mr. Long will look into the use of “elephant grass” as a screening device to help restrict bikers from riding through residential properties to get to the bike trail. Other communities in the region are using it and Bi-State can help put Riverdale representatives in touch with them.

3. The Scott County Health Department can provide a consulting service to the City to assist with blending in bike and pedestrian trails with the community – which will help balance the “public health” concern with existing neighborhood streets and walkways. Mr. Long will help get the consultant on-board and working with the community.

Once the City has traffic count information and has explored the other items listed above, the Mayor and members of Council will meet with residents of the Havens Acres neighborhood to talk about options available to address their concerns.

Fall Fest Planning Meeting set for Thursday, July 26 at 5pm

Fall Fest Planning Meeting set for Thursday, July 26 at 5pm

Following discussions concerning budget and planning Tuesday evening, the Fall Fest organizing committee has agreed to meet again on Thursday evening (5pm at City Hall) to finish their planning process and discuss next steps.

A full agenda can be found by clicking here. For a copy of the agenda and minutes from the last meeting (held on 07/24), click here.

The meeting will take place in City Council Chambers.

Free Tickets to GO All In at the Ballpark available at City Hall

Free Tickets to GO All In at the Ballpark available at City Hall

Are you a Quad Cities River Bandits fan?

Whether your answer is “yes” or “no” – we’ve got a great deal for you!

We have a limited supply of tickets to the game at Modern Woodman Park on August 1st (Wednesday night at 6pm – gate opens at 5:35 pm). The game is sponsored by the Waste Commission of Scott County in recognition of its second successful year of community recycling.

If you’d like a ticket – or tickets for the whole family – please let us know via our online contact form and tickets will be put aside for you at City Hall. You can stop by during regular business hours (Tue/Wed/Thur from 10am to 5pm) to pick them up. If those times aren’t convenient, let us know and we can make alternative arrangements.

So, come on down to the ballpark on Wednesday night, August 1st, and enjoy the game, the food, the carnival rides and more as we celebrate with the Waste Commission of Scott County and GO All In at the Ballpark!

Kelly Krell sworn in as new Council Member

Kelly Krell sworn in as new Council Member

UPDATE from 05/22 CITY COUNCIL MEETING
Kelly Krell, a long-time resident of Haven’s Acres, was sworn in as Riverdale’s newest City Council Member at the Council’s May 22nd meeting. She takes the seat formerly occupied by Dean Halsey who resigned earlier in the year, citing work obligations.

Kelly will be working on a variety of issues – primarily focused around Riverdale’s network of parks and the City’s events and other recreational activities. She will also be chairing a community task force to study and recommend a strategy for dealing with invasive plant species in Riverdale.

If you’re interested in helping Kelly with events, activities or improving the greenspace in which we all live, let us know!

Fall Fest ’18 needs your help!

Fall Fest ’18 needs your help!

New to Riverdale this year is an event called the Riverdale Fall Festival. This event is intended to be an end-of-summer celebration that brings the community together and recognizes all the great things we’ve been able to accomplish in the past year.

Current events planned include water sports with the RVFD, games for kids, a pot luck luncheon, music and plenty of ice cream!

Chairperson Mark Griswold is hard at work with a small committee to square away all the details, but he could always use some help. If you’re interested, Mark can be contacted for more information.