Although closed to vehicles, the 3-acre site remains open to the public, Meginnis stressed, and is intended as a temporary measure until city staff can decide how best to tackle and deter crime. .
She noted that there is on-street parking “a short walk from the park” along Clay Street, west of Washington Street.
“We are monitoring activity, the number of parking spaces, and there seems to be enough parking each day for people to park and walk,” Meginnis said.
Nonetheless, the decision to temporarily block vehicle access to the park annoyed a Davenport city councilor.
Meginnis’ mention of the temporary driveway closure at Wednesday’s city council meeting sparked the frustration of Davenport Alderman Ray Ambrose, Ward 4.
“When I go through there now, it’s boarded up and it looks like a crime scene,” Ambrose said. “Riverview Park is the source of the historic Washington Street district. Changing this beautiful park, I think, is unacceptable.
The town purchased the property in 1894, then known as Lookout Park, and changed the name to Riverview Terrace around the turn of the 20th century. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Ezra Sidran lives across the park on Clay Street. Every morning he walks around the park picking up trash – empty liquor bottles, beer cans, cigarette packs, “bags of crack” and dirty diapers.