Your ideas wanted for riverfront project

We've often chastised local government and agencies for not getting enough public input before deciding on major projects.

But we've got to give the Port of Kennewick credit. The agency has launched an online survey regarding development plans along Columbia Drive and is practically begging people to provide ideas and comments.

The survey covers 28 acres of riverfront between Clover Island and the cable bridge on the back side of Columbia Drive.

It's prime real estate, though it doesn't appear that way at the moment. A mix of repair shops and other businesses and the remnants of a trailer park now dot the landscape.

Besides the well-publicized purchase and eviction of the trailer park, the Port of Kennewick has been quietly buying land along Columbia Drive, including the old putt-putt golf course, with an eye toward future development.

Now is the time for the public to get involved.

But don't delay. The port has put the project on a fast track.

We've already seen big improvements and plans for more on Clover Island as a result of projects that have been managed by the port.

The online survey for the Columbia Drive revitalization plan asks about interest levels in everything from outdoor chess tables to a carousel and a fire pit.

Wine tasting rooms, rock climbing and ice skating are other potential activities. Space is provided for new ideas as well.

We've long been fans of the Port of Kennewick's vision for the downtown waterfront. And we like the pace on the project.

We've got a lot of riverfront in the Tri-Cities, but not a lot of riverfront development that's accessible to the general public.

We need activities and economic drivers that make the most of our water assets, and the port is on the right path in downtown Kennewick.

If you don't participate in the survey, then don't complain about what ends up there.

w To participate, go to www.portofkennewick.org.