Fall Fest 2018 wrap-up meeting today at 6pm

Fall Fest 2018 wrap-up meeting today at 6pm

UPDATE (10/02/18):
The final 2018 Fall Festival meeting was held last night at City Hall and there were a number of suggestions as to how the event can be even better next year. You’ll find them in the minutes of the meeting, posted here.

A survey of feedback from attendees was also reviewed at that meeting. The findings of the survey are summarized in this slide show (for more details, we suggest joining the 2019 Fall Fest Committee for next year’s event (you can do that by sending us an email).

The final meeting of the volunteers and organizers for the 2018 Fall Festival will be held today in the Community Room at City Hall, starting at 6pm. The meeting is intended to be an opportunity to say “thanks” to everyone involved and to review the results of the satisfaction survey conducted following the event.

There’s even the “rumor” going around that Council Member Kelly Krell will be trying to line up volunteers to work on Fall Fest ’19 for next year.

Come down to City Hall, have fun and join in the celebration!

What did you think of Fall Fest? Let us know.

What did you think of Fall Fest? Let us know.

2018 Fall Fest Chairman Mark Griswold and Council Member Kelly Krell have closed the final chapter on this year’s event and are now asking residents of Riverdale to participate in an online survey to provide feedback that will be considered for next year.

You can complete the survey below:

Create your own user feedback survey

Invasive Plant Task Force schedules its next meeting

Invasive Plant Task Force schedules its next meeting

The Invasive Plant Task Force will hold its next meeting at City Hall on Monday, October 24, 2018 at 5pm. An agenda can be viewed by clicking here.

The meeting will include a presentation and Q&A session with an invasive plants expert from the US Fish & Wildlife Service to talk about the challenges facing the City. This discussion will include the expert’s own evaluation of Riverdale’s wild landscape and recommendations for possible action by the City, local businesses and its residents.

The meeting will also include a field trip into the community to gauge the scope of the issue first-hand.

Just a few more volunteers needed for upcoming Fall Fest!

Just a few more volunteers needed for upcoming Fall Fest!

 

According to Council Member Kelly Krell and event chairman Mark Griswold, just a few more volunteers are needed to make sure the 2018 Fall Fest goes off without a hitch on September 15th at 1pm. If you’re willing to volunteer, please click here.

(click to enlarge)

Even though the event doesn’t kick off until 1:00 pm, the day promises to be loaded with fun and entertainment. A parade will kick things off at 1pm, followed by free food, games, bounce houses, face painting, music and more!

 

MRT biker and walker count is underway

MRT biker and walker count is underway

 

At the request of the City, the Bi-State Regional Commission has installed counters on the Mississippi River Trail (MRT) to count bike and foot traffic along the trail for a four-week period. The counters will be able to discern between the two which will and provide counts by the hour which will help to identify the kind of traffic on different parts of the trail and peak traffic periods.

This is all part of a larger effort to improve the way traffic is managed on the MRT in order to make it safer (for those on the trail) and less intrusive (for those whose homes are located near the trail).

Among the issues the City Council is currently facing with regard to MRT traffic:

1. How can the City reduce the risks faced by bikers who fail to stop at major traffic crossings, most notably at Manor Drive and at the State Street entrance to Scott Community College?

2. How can the City reduce the number of bikers who ride through the Haven’s Acres neighborhood to get from the bike path that terminates in Peggy’s Park to the MRT’s riverfront trail?

3. How much MRT traffic entering Riverdale on the riverfront trail continue on through the rest of the City, exiting near the trailer park on State Street?

4. What sort of signage improvements need to be made along the MRT to create a safer experience for walkers, joggers and bike traffic?

5. What visual barriers can be removed to improve visibility for MRT traffic as they turn corners or approach blind hillsides?

6. What other landscape issues need to be addressed to restrict MRT traffic from leaving the path and driving through people’s yards or driveways in order to “cut through” to another destination?

If there are other bike path-related issues that you think the Council needs to consider/address, please leave them in the comments section below.

The state of Riverdale’s Parks

The state of Riverdale’s Parks

 

Have you been to Riverdale’s parks lately?

Chances are you haven’t.

I grew up near Riverdale, went to the elementary school down the hill and spent hours in our parks and nearby woods. But like our neighborhoods, nothing remains as we remember them from our childhood.

Riverdale’s parks have evolved over time – and not always in the best way possible.

I took a walk through Bicentennial Park and Volunteer Park with long-time residents Pat and Don Fisher last month and they commented to me how much things had changed. And how it looks like our neighborhood parks could use a little TLC.

I’d say I have to agree.

But the good news is we have a tremendously engaged City Council and one member in particular, Kelly Krell, is focused on our parks and recreational programs in the City. She is currently leading our Invasive Plants Task Force, working with chairman Mark Griswold on our Fall Fest (scheduled for September 15) and conducting an audit of our parks equipment with the City’s insurance carrier.

At some point, I intend to ask Kelly to start working on a long-range plan for our City’s parks. I’m sure she’ll need some help.

If you’re interested, please let us know.

In the meantime, take a look at some of the photos I snapped when I was out walking with Don and Pat and let me know what improvements you’d like to see made to Riverdale’s parks.

Riverdale Fall Festival announces sponsors

Riverdale Fall Festival announces sponsors

 

2018 Fall Fest Chairman Mark Griswold and Council Member Kelly Krell have announced corporate sponsors for this year’s 2018 Riverdale Fall Fest (scheduled for Saturday, September 15th at 1:00 pm). This year’s sponsors include:

  • MSA Professional Services
  • BLPR

The City offers a sincere thanks to those companies who are supporting our community-building efforts – by supporting this upcoming event as well as other events and activities throughout the year.

Additional corporate sponsors will be announced before festivities kick off on September 15th.

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.