COEUR d'ALENE - It's a sign of approval, says Team McEuen - so far.
The first wave of surveys has been tallied and their numbers crunched, rating the public satisfaction level for 24 components tied to the McEuen Field conceptual plan.
Generally speaking, it's thumbs up, the design and engineer team said, but a lot of feedback is still needed before anyone is ready to say yay or nay.
"I think they're optimistic to this point," said Dick Stauffer, Team McEuen architect. "I think everyone would appreciate feedback like that."
The numbers are drawn from two survey brackets - the written form handed out at public meetings and the surveys submitted online.
The written surveys say 75 percent of its 133 responders approve of the project, and 17 percent disagree with 8 percent no response.
Online reaction is slightly lower, but still positive, the team said.
From the first 358 online responders, 66 percent overall agree with the plan, and 29 disagree, with 5 percent no response.
Questions on both surveys are the same, asking the public to rank by degree their approval or disapproval of 24 different aspects of the proposed redesign on the downtown park.
The 24 aspects focus on what's proposed, not what's missing. Does the citizen like or dislike the idea of changing Tubbs Hill, the stacked parking or the pedestrian connections?
Between the survey brackets, the highest mark was 87 percent approval for the children's play area, and the lowest mark was 53 approval for the skate park.
The 50 percent mark is likely the failing point, Stauffer said, where it could be time to ditch the idea.
Generally, the online feedback received lower marks across the board. The team said that could be due to online responders not having anyone there to answer questions on specific parts of the project should they arise.
The top three approvals for the presentation surveys are child's play area at 87 percent, Centennial Trail at 86 percent, and Front Street Promenade at 85 percent.
The same three are the top voter getters online, but with 76, 75 and 73 percent approval.
Last place for written survey is urban water at 60 percent.
Still, this is the first round and the team wants more feedback.
"We want thousands, not hundreds," said Team McEuen's Monte Miller.
Two rumors the team hears that it wants to correct are that people who favor the whole project don't need to vote, or people who disapprove of the project shouldn't vote because the plan is set in stone.
Still, big portions of the project have critics.
Already the Tubbs Hill Foundation has come out against the proposed changes to the hill.
"We sincerely believe that nothing in the McEuen Field re-design should impact the public's ability to enjoy the traditional visual feast Tubbs Hill provides," a letter from foundation president Peter Luttropp to the city of Coeur d'Alene reads. "Tubbs Hill must be kept in its natural state."
On Thursday, questions about the possible replacement boat launch near the wastewater treatment plant came up, including how difficult the Spokane River current will make it for people trying to drop their boat.
"It'll be hard with the pilings right there," said Rick Williams, a Coeur d'Alene boater attending a presentation at the Ironhorse on Thursday.
That difficulty can be eased with proper engineering, the city said.
Stauffer said the biggest issue tied to the project so far has been removing the boat launch. The surveys don't ask yes or no whether the responder approves of removing the launch, but the team is monitoring its popularity through the comments being submitted.
The comments will be typed up, and given to the City Council for review before they would vote on it.