Though I haven't had time to fully process all that was said at last night's Regent Square Civic Association meeting, I want to share my initial thoughts because I know everyone is curious.
Overall, I think the meeting went very well. I was very nervous going into it, having no idea what people might say. The Parks Conservancy did a great job of explaining it's role in the parks and presenting information about Kate and Peter's project. The meeting was well attended and it seemed as if everyone who wanted to was able to ask questions or share their comments.
I felt that, generally, everyone who spoke was honest and respectful. People spoke from their hearts and I did my absolute best to listen and hear everything that was said. There was a lot of support as well as opposition for placing the treehouse in Turtle Park, though I use the term opposition lightly because it did seem that most residents were not necessarily opposed to the treehouse, but rather concerned with what impact this location might have on their neighborhood.
In my opinion, the overwhelming concerns revolved around traffic and parking. I think before we can decide the most appropriate location for the treehouse, we need to examine the impact this project will have on traffic and parking and if anything can be done to rectify the situation. Who knows, maybe by addressing these issues as part of the development of the treehouse we could actually make changes that improve traffic and parking for this community? I think it's possible it could be a win-win situation, and everyone could benefit. But that remains to be seen and certainly, at this point no decisions have been made.
It also seemed clear that many of the traffic issues are in no way related to the treehouse and are city issues that need to be dealt with regardless of the location of this project. As one man said toward the close of the meeting, "not building this treehouse will not fix these problems". It's true, these issues are far bigger than the treehouse.
I promise that as I have time to digest the information shared at the meeting and talk with the other parties involved I will update you on the specifics and what the next steps will be. For now, I just want to thank everyone who was there last night. Thank you for being there to support me, to support this project and to speak out for a neighborhood that you love. I think only good things will come from this and I'm so glad everyone had an opportunity to say what they needed to say.