Envision Fort Wayne: 70% of people want a good sitting experience by the rivers

St. Mary's River
FILE: A view of the St. Mary's River near downtown Fort Wayne.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – For the last three months, city leaders have been collecting your ideas of what you’d like to see built along our rivers.  It’s all part of the city’s initiative to build a better downtown area.  Something our very own Terra Brantley highlighted recently in a Focus 15 report.

We checked in with leaders to see what kind of ideas they’ve received so far.  Officials say they’re happy with the turnout.

“Everyone wants to know, ‘Well, how is that riverfront study going?’ It seems like everyone is waiting at the edge of their seat,” Pam Holocher with City Planning said.

What started off as an abstract idea is now something people in the Summit City are embracing, and looking forward to.  Thousands of people are sharing their ideas of what they’d like to see along the river online at riverfrontfw.org, on social media, and in person at the Envision Fort Wayne office downtown (916 S. Calhoun Street).

“We are absolutely trying every type of engagement opportunity that we can think of.”

In fact, Envision Fort Wayne will offer free pontoon rides during the Three Rivers Festival.

“The idea here is to get as many people that normally don’t participate or listen to media or whatever to come down and can actually experience the rivers and provide their ideas.”

So far, what do people want to see along our rivers? According to Envision Fort Wayne, they want to improve an aging dam by either beefing up its technology or getting rid of it entirely.

“But a lot of them to be honest have been you know let’s look at recreation on and off the rivers.  There is a huge percentile of people that say this is very important to them.”

The idea that caught officials by surprise:  most people want a nice place to sit along the river.

“We had like 70 percent of the people who took the survey that really care about just the sitting experience.”

Two public meetings will be held late next month at the Allen County Public Library downtown where they will actually reveal realistic ideas that you can voice your opinion on.

  • Wednesday, July 23, 2014 [5:30pm – 7:30pm]
  • Thursday, July 24, 2014 [11am – 1pm]


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