From a family and children’s play area to a Ferris wheel to a skybridge that leads to a revolving restaurant, Quad-City residents presented their ideas Wednesday of what they would like Moline’s riverfront to look like seven years from now during the first meeting of RiverVision 2020.
Held at the Western Illinois University Quad-Cities riverfront campus, the meeting allowed participants to imagine what the riverfront could look like from the East Moline border west to the Floreciente neighborhood at the Rock Island city limits.
RiverVision 2020 is a partnership between public television station WQPT, Western Illinois and The Moline Foundation. Its purpose is to generate ideas for Renew Moline’s public planning.
Frank and Linda Sykes, who live along Moline’s River Drive, had several ideas for improving the eastern stretch of the riverfront.
“I’d like to see the WIU campus go all the way to the river,” Frank Sykes said. “I’d like to see River Drive stop there and go someplace else.”
Linda Sykes said there are too many semitrailers rolling along the stretch of River Drive.
“There are places where the bike path is maybe three feet from the street,” she said. She is worried about a child dashing into the street and into the path of one of the big rigs.
Ellen Milliron, whose home is right on the border East Moline-Moline border, said it would be nice to have some type of amusement park setting along the portion of the riverfront east of the downtown area.
“It could have some things for the kids, but it would be a place where people could go and spend all day,” she said.
Debra Roche, of Barker Roche Real Estate, lives in Davenport, but spends a great deal of time riding the Illinois Quad-City bike trails.
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“I’d like to see a skybridge across the river but one that has a destination,” Roche said. A nice restaurant, one that revolved and offered a great view of the Mississippi River and the surrounding area, would be something to consider, she added.
Others among the 20 participants recommended more retail development near the downtown area from gift shops selling local wares to high-end stores to go along with the new Amtrak station and the new Interstate 74 bridge.
Lora Adams, WQPT marketing director, said five Western Illinois students and five young Q-C professionals are preparing short films on their ideas for Moline.Selected films will be aired on WQPT and online to generate even more community feedback, she said.
Additional planning sessions are scheduled for Feb. 28 and March 14, both beginning at 5:30 p.m. at Western Illinois-Quad-Cities.