Issues with Gladstone renovation
Gladstone Delta Avenue renovation will begin on April 29 from 14th Street to just before city hall – new 7-foot sidewalks, new 7-foot boulevards, a parallel parking lane and one driving lane each way.
A Grant will not totally cover the cost. The DDA and city are contributing. Excess costs will be assessed to affected property owners based on footage (minimum $800 each payable over five years).
Snow will no longer be removed. The city will plow all snow on boulevards and leave it, cutting down corners if snow gets too high.
Grass and trees will be planted but watering and maintenance will be the property owner’s responsibility as on any other city street.
Existing sidewalks or driveways from a house to the road will be extended across the boulevard.
I have issues with this project:
1. There is significant increased hazard entering Gladstone or parking on the narrowed street. The city argues this is like on any street, but apparently did not consider the high traffic volume on Delta. The high boulevard snowbanks will cause visibility problems for children and pedestrians crossing the road, cars pulling out of side streets and driveways, and access to sidewalks difficult except at the corners. This is especially dangerous and difficult for the handicapped. This is different than other streets as Delta Avenue will have both the parking and street lanes of snow plowed on the boulevard.
3. According to the city, leaving the snow on the boulevard will not cause more sewer drainage, saying snow will melt into the boulevard, saving the city sewage and removal costs.
5. If landowners do not water the boulevard, there will be dead grass and weeds, not lush lawn as the city plans, thereby negating a cozy, pretty entrance into town.
6. According to a real estate appraiser property values will decrease due to loss in easy access to our office, and the additional maintenance, not increase as the city believes.
7. We have parking in the back of our building, but the majority of our clients use the convenience of parking on the street. Narrowed lanes will make getting out of vehicles hazardous.
8. A center boulevard was considered, but city crews have maintenance issues with the 10th Street boulevard. There are prohibitive additional costs, i.e. sewer and curb involved with constructing a center boulevard.
9. The city was wrong in not notifying the involved property owners until this was a done deal. In a recent Daily Press article recently published not all the facts were disclosed.
It appears the city was excited to get grant money to partially cover the cost of the project, but didn’t fully explore the consequences.
The city hall will not be affected, as the boulevards will stop mid-block. The engineers indicate a prior paving project left a “stopping” point right before city hall.
Grant funds do not allow angle parking which the city would lose.