Letter: Sixth Street park site
Glenwood is seeking ideas for the city-owned land where the Grand Avenue bridge landed at Sixth Street, (PI 12/14/17). Is this a case of memory loss on the part of our planners?
Hundreds of hours of public input and thousands of dollars have been spent on this site as part of the bridge project and redevelopment efforts on Sixth Street. Let’s use what we know.
It is a city-owned future public space. Perhaps a civic plaza with emphasis on open space, gathering, organized activities and leisure. It is a node and a focus to its surroundings. It is the gateway to and from the pedestrian bridge and downtown. It connects ped/bike trails throughout the area. It is an urban plaza for the use of the citizenry and the tourists seeking relief from commercialization. Even as a pile of dirt the area attracts crowds.
What isn’t this valuable site? It isn’t a commercial opportunity. It isn’t permanent vendors hocking tourist junk. It isn’t a building with a few trees and some benches. Its highest and best use is open space to complement the pool, the hotel, the Sixth Street zone, the pedestrian bridge and our small town welcoming nature.
This site is a chance to bite a bullet — toilets. We all do it, locals and visitors alike. We need public restrooms. Some of our “leaders” don’t like public facilities because they think they attract homeless people. They don’t even like parks and plazas for the same reason. Just about every downtown and Sixth Street storefront sports a sign — “No Public Toilets.” We have got to bite the bullet for clean, accessible and secure toilet facilities. While we are at it, they should be duplicated across the bridge on the newly acquired Cushman King property.
Two important public meetings are coming up — Tuesday, Jan. 9, 6 p.m., at City Hall, and the next day, Jan. 10, 6 p.m., at the Glenwood library. This is our chance to speak out for public use of our land.