The East Isles Residents Association (EIRA) has been listening to our neighborhood’s comments about the proposed design changes to The Mall park. We have heard from neighbors at our Farmers Market, at our board meeting on August 13, at our Ice Cream Social on August 20, at Community Advisory Committee (CAC) meetings, through our info@eastisles email, and through a survey we posted on our website and advertised through emails and flyer distribution. We estimate that we have heard from over 100 neighbors and we note that The Mall has also generated the most comments on the Park Board’s survey. This EIRA Board comment to the Park Board’s Community Advisory Committee (CAC) reflects what we have been hearing.
The neighborhood is strongly in favor of enhancements to The Mall such as the plaza with plantings and adding native plants or rain gardens. The neighborhood is strongly in favor of protecting The Mall’s healthy tree canopy. On our survey, 74% of respondents were somewhat in favor or strongly in favor of the plantings, 76% were somewhat in favor or strongly in favor of native plants/rain gardens, and 91% were somewhat in favor or strongly in favor of protecting The Mall’s healthy tree canopy.
The neighborhood is strongly opposed to removing roads or reducing or eliminating parking to create multi-use fields, more passive green space, or sand volleyball courts. On our survey, 85% of respondents were somewhat or strongly opposed to the sand volleyball courts, 83% were somewhat or strongly opposed to reducing or eliminating parking, 80% were somewhat or strongly opposed to removing the roads between Irving Ave. and East Bde Mka Ska Parkway, 76% were somewhat or strongly opposed to more passive green space, and 76% were somewhat or strongly opposed to the multi-use fields.
The neighborhood is neutral or somewhat in favor of improving the Midtown Greenway connection, enhanced gardens and pedestrian crossings, community gardens or urban agriculture, enhanced pedestrian crossings to the Chain of Lakes parks, the play area, and the woonerf or flexible market street.
We have sent the full analysis of our survey results to Jono Cowgill, our Park Board Commissioner; to Brian Nalezny, the CAC chair; to Craig Wilson, our CAC representative; and to Colleen O’Dell of the Park Staff. We have asked them to share the results with you and encourage you all to review the analysis.
As the Board representing the neighborhood, we urge you to listen to our neighborhood’s comments and opinions and recommend a plan for The Mall to the Park Board that would be consistent with what the great majority of our neighborhood wants. We treasure The Mall as it is. We welcome enhancements to its quiet beauty and the safety of all of its users. We oppose changing its character to add recreation fields or volleyball courts. Please help us preserve this peaceful oasis in our increasingly busy neighborhood.