St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills 4/28/2017 (#2-#8)

 

 The following are the first seven (7) board bills, being introduced today, in the 2017-2018 session of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen: B.B.#2 – Davis –An ordinance recommended by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorizing and directing (i) the issuance by the City of its Airport Revenue Refunding bonds, St. …

Readers: Missouri Should Not Close Rest Areas

 

 A majority of those who voted in the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll think Missouri shouldn’t close interstate rest areas as a way to close budget shortfalls. Florida, Michigan, Ohio and South Dakota are among the states that have closed traditional rest stops in the last two years. And a battle …

Reading: Within Walking Distance: Creating Livable Communities For All by Philip Langdon

 

 Last week I received a new book that immediately caught my attention. Within Walking Distance: Creating Livable Communities For All speaks to a core personal issue for me — walkability. Before the personal automobile displaced public transit, most everything in American cities was within walking distance. For nearly a century now Euclidean, …

Sunday Poll: Should Missouri Close Interstate Rest Areas?

 

 Missouri has low fuel taxes and the legislature is unwilling to increase it. Maintenance needs remain. Some states in this situation have opted to closer rest areas: For more than half a century, old-fashioned, no-frills highway rest stops have welcomed motorists looking for a break from the road, a bathroom …

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St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills 4/28/2017 (#2-#8)

April 28, 2017 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills 4/28/2017 (#2-#8)
 
St. Louis City Hall
St. Louis City Hall

The following are the first seven (7) board bills, being introduced today, in the 2017-2018 session of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen:

  • B.B.#2 – Davis –An ordinance recommended by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorizing and directing (i) the issuance by the City of its Airport Revenue Refunding bonds, St. Louis Lambert International Airport, in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed two hundred forty million dollars ($240,000,000) in one or more series to effect the refunding of a portion of the City’s outstanding Airport Revenue Bonds; (ii) the issuance by the City of its Airport Revenue Bonds, St. Louis Lambert International Airport, in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed seventy million dollars ($70,000,000) in one or more series as part of the $3,500,000,000 of bonds approved by the voters in 1991 and 2003; and containing a severability clause and an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#3 – Roddy –An ordinance authorizing and directing the Mayor and Comptroller to execute, upon receipt of and in consideration of the sum of One Thousand Two Hundred Dollars and other good and valuable consideration, a Quit Claim Deed to remise, release and forever quit?claim unto FOPA Partners, certain City?owned property located in City Block 2198, which property is known by address as 3699 Market St.
  • B.B.#4 – Ogilvie –An Ordinance recommended by the Planning Commission on February 1, 2017, to change the zoning of property as indicated on the District Map, from “B” Two?Family Dwelling District and “J” Industrial District to the “G” Local Commercial and Office District in City Block 4616 (6510 Mitchell Avenue); and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#5 – Coatar –An Ordinance recommended by the Planning Commission pertaining to the Zoning Code; repealing Section Three of Ordinance 62588, pertaining to the “A” Single Family Dwelling District, and enacting a new Chapter in lieu thereof; and amending, in part, Section Twenty?One of Ordinance 59979, pertaining to conditional uses, and enacting in lieu thereof a new section on the same subject matter; repealing Section Two of Ordinance 67607, pertaining to the “H” Area Commercial District, and a enacting in lieu thereof a new Chapter on the subject matter; containing a severability clause and an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#6 – Flowers –An Ordinance recommended by the Planning Commission on March 13, 2017, to change the zoning of property as indicated on the District Map and in City Block 9121, from “A” Single?Family Dwelling District to the “H” Area Commercial District, at 11050 and 11110?80 Riverview Drive, aka 11110R, 11110?80 & 11192 Riverview Drive; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#7 – Flowers –An ordinance pertaining to Special Use Districts; establishing The Lighthouse Area Special Use District; providing definitions and findings pertaining to said District; further providing use and conditional use regulations for said District; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#8 – Cohn –An ordinance repealing Ordinance 68830, and approving the petition to establish the Dutchtown Community Improvement District, authorizing the district to impose special assessments and retail sales tax, finding a public purpose for the establishment of the Dutchtown Community Improvement District, and containing a severability clause.

Today’s agenda is here. The meeting begins at 10am, it can be watched online here. Board Bill #1 is reserved for the budget.

— Steve Patterson

Readers: Missouri Should Not Close Rest Areas

April 26, 2017 Featured, Missouri, Politics/Policy, Transportation Comments Off on Readers: Missouri Should Not Close Rest Areas
 

A majority of those who voted in the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll think Missouri shouldn’t close interstate rest areas as a way to close budget shortfalls.

Florida, Michigan, Ohio and South Dakota are among the states that have closed traditional rest stops in the last two years. And a battle is brewing in Connecticut over a proposal to shut down all seven stops on its interstate highways to save money. (USA Today)

I’m not aware of any plans in Missouri to do the same as these other states

Route 66-themed Welcome Center on I-44, click image for more information

I know I like rest areas when I’ve driving — a restroom without having to buy something. Those few minutes out of the car improves my alertness.

The poll results:

Q: Agree or disagree: Missouri should NOT provide rest areas along our interstate highways

  • Strongly agree 3 [5.17%]
  • ]Agree 5 [8.62%]
  • Somewhat agree 2 [3.45%]
  • Neither agree or disagree 0 [0%]
  • Somewhat disagree 3 [5.17%]
  • Disagree 11 [18.97%]
  • Strongly disagree 34 [58.62%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 0 [0%]

I am curious about the cost of a rest area vs a welcome center.

— Steve Patterson

 

 

Reading: Within Walking Distance: Creating Livable Communities For All by Philip Langdon

April 24, 2017 Featured, Reading, Walkability Comments Off on Reading: Within Walking Distance: Creating Livable Communities For All by Philip Langdon
 

Last week I received a new book that immediately caught my attention. Within Walking Distance: Creating Livable Communities For All speaks to a core personal issue for me — walkability. Before the personal automobile displaced public transit, most everything in American cities was within walking distance. For nearly a century now Euclidean, AKA single-use, zoning has actively created places that are well beyond walking distance.

I’m not alone in seeking out walkable places:

For five thousand years, human settlements were nearly always compact places. Everything a person needed on a regular basis lay within walking distance. But then the great project of the twentieth century—sorting people, businesses, and activities into separate zones, scattered across vast metropolises—took hold, exacting its toll on human health, natural resources, and the climate. Living where things were beyond walking distance ultimately became, for many people, a recipe for frustration. As a result, many Americans have begun seeking compact, walkable communities or looking for ways to make their current neighborhood better connected, more self-sufficient, and more pleasurable.

In Within Walking Distance, journalist and urban critic Philip Langdon looks at why and how Americans are shifting toward a more human-scale way of building and living. He shows how people are creating, improving, and caring for walkable communities. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Starting conditions differ radically, as do the attitudes and interests of residents. To draw the most important lessons, Langdon spent time in six communities that differ in size, history, wealth, diversity, and education, yet share crucial traits: compactness, a mix of uses and activities, and human scale. The six are Center City Philadelphia; the East Rock section of New Haven, Connecticut; Brattleboro, Vermont; the Little Village section of Chicago; the Pearl District in Portland, Oregon; and the Cotton District in Starkville, Mississippi. In these communities, Langdon examines safe, comfortable streets; sociable sidewalks; how buildings connect to the public realm; bicycling; public transportation; and incorporation of nature and parks into city or town life. In all these varied settings, he pays special attention to a vital ingredient: local commitment.

To improve conditions and opportunities for everyone, Langdon argues that places where the best of life is within walking distance ought to be at the core of our thinking. This book is for anyone who wants to understand what can be done to build, rebuild, or improve a community while retaining the things that make it distinctive. (Island Press)

I’ve visited Portland’s Perl District and Philadelphia’s Center City, in July we’ll go to Chicago’s Little Village. Learning from other places is one of the smartest ways to get the inspiration to tackle neighborhoods that have great potential.

Within Walking Distance: Creating Livable Communities For All by Philip Langdon, releasing next month, is available via Island Press, Left Bank Books, and Amazon.

— Steve Patterson

Sunday Poll: Should Missouri Close Interstate Rest Areas?

April 23, 2017 Featured, Missouri, Politics/Policy, Sunday Poll, Transportation Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Should Missouri Close Interstate Rest Areas?
 
Please vote below

Missouri has low fuel taxes and the legislature is unwilling to increase it. Maintenance needs remain. Some states in this situation have opted to closer rest areas:

For more than half a century, old-fashioned, no-frills highway rest stops have welcomed motorists looking for a break from the road, a bathroom or a picnic table where they can eat lunch.

But in some states, these roadside areas are disappearing.

Cash-strapped transportation agencies are shuttering the old ones to save money, or because they don’t attract enough traffic or are in such bad shape that renovating them is too costly. Or, the stops have been overtaken by tourist information centers, service plazas that take in revenue from gasoline and food sales, or commercial strips off interstate exits. (USA Today)

How many rest areas does Missouri have?

Missouri maintains 8 Welcome Center’s, 14 Rest Areas, and 23 Truck-Only Parking sites across the state. Located on seven different Interstates, the facilities feature a variety of easy-to-access amenities to serve travelers. (MoDOT)

Below is today’s poll:

This poll will close at 8pm.

— Steve Patterson

Lyda Krewson Is The 5th Mayor Since I Moved To St. Louis

April 21, 2017 Featured, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Lyda Krewson Is The 5th Mayor Since I Moved To St. Louis
 

On Tuesday, while waiting for the inauguration of our first new mayor in 16 years, I reflected on the mayors we’ve had since I moved here in August 1990. For many of you, Francis Slay has been the only mayor you’ve had as a voting-age adult. This could be because you’re young or because you moved here since 2001.

Mayor Lyda Krewson making her way to Room 200 after being sworn in and giving her inaugural speech in the rotunda.

Mayor Krewson is the 5th mayor since I moved to St. Louis. Vince Schoemehl was in his 3rd/last term when I arrived. Freeman Bosley Jr. was elected in 1993, followed by Clarence Harmon in 1997.  Then Slay.

I also thought about how my interaction with them has changed over the years.

  1. Schoemehl — I never met him while he was mayor, it was only after I started this blog that I met him. He recognizes me now.
  2. Bosley — I met him once during his 4-year term, at an event at O’Fallon Park announcing planned renovations. I gave him a book on urban planning.
  3. Harmon — I don’t recall ever meeting him.
  4. Slay — I didn’t know him before he became mayor. Even after I had started this blog he didn’t know who I was. Over his 16 years in office that changed, but our interaction was limited to polite chit chat at events such as press briefings or ribbon cuttings. I did come to meet many people on his staff.
  5. Krewson — keep reading to learn about how different my relationship is with our 46th mayor.

I knew about Lyda Krewson years before I first met her, the story of her husband being murdered in front of her and their young children was big news in the early 90s.

I can’t recall the first time I met her in person, but it was likely after starting this blog in October 2004.  I recall when I was first dealing with restaurants taking up entire blocks for valet parking she was the only alderman who would talk with me about the problem and possible solutions.

In early 2009 I was bugging Krewson about getting on Twitter, having a blog, and getting an iPhone. She joined Twitter on April 1, 2009. On April 4th I created a Tumblr account for her, I also suggested she register her name as a domain — but that didn’t happen until May 2013. At the time I wanted every alderperson to be on social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc). Remember, this is when recently ousted Alderman Ken Ortman refused to accept email communications through the city website!

In 2013 my then boyfriend moved from Springfield IL to live with me — I invited people over for a welcome party. Among the guests were Lyda Krewson and husband, reporter turned lawyer, Mike Owens.  In August last year she came by again — this time to ask for my endorsement. As filing hadn’t opened yet I wanted to see the field before I’d make any endorsement. I shared that I was very pessimistic about St. Louis’ future. Krewson was the only candidate to ask for my endorsement & vote.

As the March primary approached I realized I wasn’t excited about any candidate for mayor — none had the ability or will to change the culture in city hall, the city, or the region. A week before the primary I saw Krewson at a Loop Trolley event and she asked me if she had my vote. Always honest, I said I’d already voted for someone else via absentee ballot. I could’ve played politics and sucked up to her since she was favored to win — but that’s not me.

Over the years Krewson and I have debated politics/policy online and in person. Though we haven’t always agreed, we’ve been cordial and the conversations productive.

I wish Mayor Krewson the best of luck, I want her to succeed and surprise me.

— Steve Patterson

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