Businesses react to parking expansion proposal

Some Davenport businesses are speaking out on the city’s proposal to provide more parking to the Hilltop area, near Harrison and Locust streets.

Business is as sizzling as the griddle at Rock’s Anchor Grill on Harrison.

“I like their breakfast and their specials,” said Tom Nash, who’s eaten here since the 1960’s.

In that time, he’s seen firsthand, the grill’s ownership change hands quite frequently.

“This place really has got three parking spots in the back and that’s not enough,” said Nash.

The city’s proposal to reduce the four lanes along Harrison to two or three to allow for parallel parking is a no-brainer not only for patrons like Tom, but also restaurant staff.

“If they can’t find parking, they’re not going to come in,” said Sandy Bivens, who’s an employee. “We don’t want them to have to park and walk up. We want it to be a convenient spot to come to.”

Because accessibility has always been a problem for these businesses, many of them have been replaced by empty storefronts.

Nash isn’t surprised.

“I can see why these businesses have a hard time, when they open and close and open and close.”

Some city leaders say any time a store has to close, it’s bad for business for the entire Quad Cities.

“It does not offer the goods and services to people, it reduces the tax base for the city, and it’s land that is not being used for its full potential,” said Alderman Bill Boom, Ward 3.

Regulars like Tom know there’s a demand for changes here in the Hilltop area.

“People like to patronize smaller places that aren’t a chain. You get tired of the burgers and fries. This is home cooking in here.”

Owners at another nearby business, who don’t want to be identified, don’t agree on providing parallel parking because of the reduced lanes of traffic.

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