Answers: Questions about Avenue of Lights, parking on Locust and cats at large

The Avenue of Lights ticket booth is staffed each year by volunteers from not-for-profit groups, many of whom donít take a penny. Each group was paid $75 to work the booth during last yearís display. (H-W File Photo/Phil Carlson)
Posted: Jan. 18, 2013 6:39 pm Updated: Nov. 28, 2014 3:34 pm

Do the organizations that man the pay booth at the Avenue of Lights get a percentage of the profits on the night they work, or do all the groups share equally?

The Avenue of Lights, a series of Christmas light displays in Wavering and Moorman parks in Quincy, is open daily from 6 to 9:30 p.m. from Thanksgiving Day to New Year's Day each year. The cost for a vehicle to go through the displays is $8, and the money is taken at a booth at the entrance off North 36th Street.

Linda Groves, a member of the board of directors for the Avenue of Lights, said many people who staff the booth during the holiday season don't take a penny for their work. However, the booth isn't staffed every night, and not-for-profit groups send volunteers to take the money. Groves said each group was paid $75 this year to work, with six people typically needed to handle the evening.

However, that formula might change next year.

"There were nights we had 1,000 cars and several with 900, and there were some nights we would have 100," Groves said. "So I think we're planning some dates when we're going to pay a little more and ask for more people to help."

Groves said the first week after Thanksgiving is typically slow, and "then it starts picking up."

"The weekends are busy, the two weekends before Christmas are very busy, and the weekend before Christmas is extremely busy," she said. "The Sunday before Christmas, the cars were backed up (from the entrance) to the top of the hill (heading south on 36th) until at least 9:15 p.m., and we were told the line was as far back as Boyer's Boot and Shoe Repair."

The Avenue of Lights, in its 14th year of operation, didn't surpass the 12,000-car mark until 2010, and it was just a few cars shy of 14,000 in 2011. Groves says this year's figures are not available yet, "but if it wasn't as good as last year, it was pretty doggone close."


Why did the city establish a no-parking zone on the south side of Locust between Fourth and Fifth streets in Quincy?

City Engineer Jeff Steinkamp said the city's Traffic Commission recommended restricting parking at its November meeting because of safety reasons and traffic congestion. Steinkamp said a new turning radius was installed at Fourth and Locust to help trucks heading north navigate the tight turn. Eliminating parking also would help. The City Council approved an ordinance establishing the no-parking zone at its Dec. 26 meeting on a 13-0 vote.

After signs were installed, Alderman Virgil Goehl, D-1, told Steinkamp some residents were not happy with the change. He said the signs have been taken down for now and police won't enforce the ordinance until the Traffic Commission reviews street parking again at its February meeting.


Is it legal to allow cats to run at large in town?

No. Police Chief Rob Copley says the city ordinance is the same as the one for dogs. Owners must keep cats indoors or penned up.

"If Animal Control picks up a cat and can prove who the owner is, then the owner will be given a ticket," Copley said. "If no one picks up the cat, it will be taken to the animal shelter, and after a prerequisite time, it would be put down."


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