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Comments

Jim

If a couple of peaceful valley naysayers who'd rather live with beer drinking, public nudity and otherwise trash of various kinds can block this project, then any vision for the gorge is in effect doomed.
This is a great opportunity to clean up a blighted area while providing recreation and economic opportunity. Staying in a downtown hotel as a visitor and having the abiltiy to be in the water in 10 minutes is a huge attraction. These users are kind to the environment too..unlike the folks who have blighted this area for years, railroad and deadbeats included.

Contrarian

The PV naysayers are as cognizant of anyone of the current problems with High Bridge - "Peoples" Park, Jim. But they suspect the cure is worse than the disease. They are intent on restyling the Great Gorge as a "natural" area, and thus any modification not engineered by Mother Nature is unwelcome. They tend to view themselves as inhabitants of a village in a wilderness, rather than of a neighborhood in a rather large urban area. Hence recreational opportunities and economic impacts cut no ice with them.

Those views are not shared by all the residents of the neighborhood, of course. But those who hold them are zealous and vocal.

Jim

A perfect description of the situation Contro. I just feel that this is "soft" development that shound not have a negative impact on neighbors and in fact will have a postive impact on the environment of the area. I have always winced when driving through here and seeing the remains of the broken concrete from the former RR bridge. If we want to bring back the natural feel, eliminating this eyesore would be a great first step.
Giving away my age, I can remember the city dumping into the gorge along the north side. At least we have made some progress as a civilzation...

rob

Lets think a little bigger....

1) Any person who lives near a downtown and a public park and thinks the neighborhood will never change is deceiving themselves.

2) This project will serve the greater good of Spokane and it is not a project just for PV, even though it is in their backyard.

3) You can't live in the heart of a city and be a NIMBY!!!!

This is clearly a case where a few zealots, as Contrarian said, that live in the neighborhood are trying to act like the voice for all the neighborhood.

Healthy debate about any project, no matter how well planned, is good but it sounds to me that they are not debating just complaining!!! Maybe I am wrong, but that is how I see it.

METROSPOKANE

The gentleman from Trouts Unlimited made some good points about better understanding the impacts to the fish population.

Jim

Given the history of PV I believe you are exactly correct Rob. Complaints about any change no matter how beneficial to the greater area. This is a no brainer that we all support!

Contrarian

The "keep it natural" credo adopted by the whitewater park naysayers also compromises other elements of the Great Gorge Park plan. For example, pathways along the river through PV are proposed to be unlighted and unpaved, and without such amentities as grassy areas, sitting and picnic areas, amusements and concessions, which of course will greatly reduce their appeal and accessibility to seniors, handicapped persons, women --- indeed, almost everyone. The river is the star attraction in that park; it is the feature which must be most accessible and inviting.

Great Gorge Park has the potential to become one of the world's great urban parks, in the class of Stanley Park, Balboa Park, Tivoli Gardens, et al. But it can hardly aspire to that status if one of its design goals entails discouraging use.

Jim

Thanks Contro. I agree that accessibility and amenities are needed to make this park inviting. I like the vision of a great urban park, and the whitewater park is just one piece of the larger scope. Landscaping is an important element, as this area has been abused for decades by dirtbikes and dirtbags. Clean it up, provide the amenities you've described, and the naural feel will follow. Witness the Yakima Canyon and River. This area was abused for years with partying and dirtbiking. Then it became sacred ground to flyfisherman and it has come back beautifully and naturally. Those who use the area now are careful of the vegitation and the party crowd has moved away. Picnic areas and some trails have been added to an otherwise natural landscape. Our vision for the gorge should be similar.

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