Good News Friday: Better Bike Parking at Culinaria

The best urban bike racks: Allow the cyclist to secure both wheels & frame to the rack Support bikes that don’t have kickstands Position the bike so as not block the public sidewalk Are located near the entrance When downtown’s grocery store, Culinaria, opened in August 2009 they had bike …

Working on Legal Holidays

Many of you likely enjoyed Memorial Day off work, we enjoyed a 3-day weekend in Chicago. I’m disabled so I’m off everyday — not as great as it sounds. My husband is an hourly worker, he took the day off without pay. He gets no paid holidays. Unfortunately, those with …

“Do You Have A Home?”

Living at 16th & Locust is very convenient to the downtown central business district (CBD), central library, city hall, numerous MetroBus lines, Washington Ave nightlife, etc.  It’s also very close to where many of the region’s homeless hang out — not a problem for me. In fact, when I’m out …

Happy Memorial Day

I’m fortunate, I’ve not lost any family or friends during their military service: Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day; Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving, while Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans. (Wikipedia) …

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Good News Friday: Better Bike Parking at Culinaria

The best urban bike racks:

  1. Allow the cyclist to secure both wheels & frame to the rack
  2. Support bikes that don’t have kickstands
  3. Position the bike so as not block the public sidewalk
  4. Are located near the entrance

When downtown’s grocery store, Culinaria, opened in August 2009 they had bike parking but missed on all four of the above points.

When Culinaria opened in August 2009 I was disappointed by the four "dish drainer"  bike racks along 9th Street
When Culinaria opened in August 2009 I was disappointed by the four “dish drainer” bike racks along 9th Street

The “dish drainer” is the worst urban bike rack.

Over a year ago when I was working with Culinaria’s new manager, Adam Scheer, on reducing the number of cafe tables blocking the public sidewalk (see Balancing Sidewalk Seating & Walkability at Culinaria) I also discussed bike parking with him. A few weeks later he told me they were working on new bike parking — which was just completed.

May 26th I posted this image to Twitter & Facebook of the new rack being installed on 9th Street
May 26th I posted this image to Twitter & Facebook of the new rack being installed on 9th Street
When I returned Yesterday installation was complete
When I returned yesterday installation was complete
Closer view of the rack using previously wasted right-of-way
Closer view of the rack using previously wasted right-of-way

High visibility is a boost for cycling — everyone coming/going at Culinaria will see the bike parking — hopefully cyclists will begin using it in large numbers.

Yesterday morning only one bike was parked in front of the store, narrowing the sidewalk.
Yesterday morning only one bike was parked in front of the store, narrowing the sidewalk.

I’m not sure if they plan to remove the four dish drainer racks, I mentioned that when I emailed them sharing my pleasure at the new rack on 9th near the entry.

— Steve Patterson

St. Louis’ Gateway Arch Added To National Register of Historic Places 28 Years Ago Today

Twenty-eight years ago today St. Louis’ Gateway Arch was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The Gateway Arch, click image to view National Register nomination
The Gateway Arch, click image to view National Register nomination

Five months from today, October 28th, is the 50th anniversary of the final piece being set into place. Click here for all National Register listings in the City of St. Louis, note that razed buildings, like the Century Building, are still listed on this page:

Finally, nominations for some properties and districts are provided for their historical value — the resource itself may have vanished.

— Steve Patterson

Working on Legal Holidays

Many of you likely enjoyed Memorial Day off work, we enjoyed a 3-day weekend in Chicago. I’m disabled so I’m off everyday — not as great as it sounds. My husband is an hourly worker, he took the day off without pay. He gets no paid holidays.

Customers on Chicago's Michigan Ave at 1pm on Memorial Day
Customers on Chicago’s Michigan Ave at 1pm on Memorial Day

Unfortunately, those with paid holidays don’t always think about those who work on holidays, or have unpaid days off. Monday we encountered many people working as we returned to St. Louis:

  • The doorman at the building where we stay in Chicago
  • Retail & restaurant workers
  • Taxicab drivers
  • Transit workers — the bus driver that took us to Union Station
  • The many drivers for Megabus — two on most.
  • Workers at the Dixie Truck Stop in McLean IL where our Megabus stopped for a break and to switch drivers.
  • Ballpark workers at Busch Stadium that we passed as we were almost back.
Busch Stadium on Memorial Day
Busch Stadium on Memorial Day

Imagine if you went out on your day off but couldn’t get gas in your car because all gas stations were closed due to no employees. You couldn’t fly anywhere because airlines were grounded — no TSA to screen you, no flight crew to operate the plane, no air traffic controllers to guide the plane. You walk to the market but it’s closed, as are all restaurants.

First responders & healthcare workers are there for us too — even on legal holidays.

Unfortunately the number of responses to the Sunday Poll were half the usual number, but here are the results anyway:

Q: Tomorrow is Memorial Day, have the day off work?

  1. Yes — paid holiday 6 [37.5%]
  2. Yes — retired/disabled/unemployed 4 [25%]
  3. TIE 3 [18.75%]
    1. Yes — unpaid
    2. No — will be at work
  4. TIE 0 [0%]
    1. Yes — used a vacation day
    2. Yes — off on Mondays

In this small sample the number of people off without pay plus those working equalled the number who were off with pay.

Around 9pm Monday we passed Soldiers’ Memorial (WWI) and the WWII memorial as we made our way home.

— Steve Patterson

“Do You Have A Home?”

Living at 16th & Locust is very convenient to the downtown central business district (CBD), central library, city hall, numerous MetroBus lines, Washington Ave nightlife, etc.  It’s also very close to where many of the region’s homeless hang out — not a problem for me. In fact, when I’m out in my wheelchair I’m often mistaken as homeless. My white middle-class neighbors ignore me on the sidewalk, church groups passing out food from car trunks/vans offer me a meal, the homeless ask me if I have a cigarette or light.

Part of it is that I rarely dress to impress, shorts/faded jeans  & t-shirt are common. Another is the wheelchair. My power chair is now seven years old, it’s showing its age. Still, few disabled homeless have power chairs, most use manual wheelchairs. Still, I think many assume a person in a wheelchair passing the library is a homeless person.

Students return to Lafayette Preparatory Academy from outdoor time at Lucas Park's playground, August 2013 photo
Students return to Lafayette Preparatory Academy from outdoor time at Lucas Park’s playground, August 2013 photo. Click image for school website

As is often the case I was returning home from Culinaria as grade school students were returning from recess in Lucas Park. The Locust sidewalk is narrow next to the building so I waited as they passed by, many of the kids said hello as they walked single-file past me. But one girl asked, “Do You Have A Home?” Caught off guard, I quickly replied, “Yes, a few blocks away — a nice loft.”

I didn’t expect such a question, earlier that morning I attended the ULI presentation on the Railway Exchange Building (see What To Do With 1.2 Million Square Feet In The Railway Exchange Building) — I was dressed my best that day: new jeans, white dress shirt, custom-made sport coat. Weeks later is still bothers me this little girl thought I was homeless.

A 2011 interior photo of our loft
A 2011 photo of our loft, I’ve lived here since November 2007

I do think kids raised seeing all facets of society will be better prepared for life when they go out on their own, those raised strictly within their economic class will need to adjust more as adults. I’ll likely email the staff at Lafayette Prep to inquire about their conversations with students about homelessness.

— Steve Patterson

Happy Memorial Day

I’m fortunate, I’ve not lost any family or friends during their military service:

Memorial Day is not to be confused with Veterans Day; Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving, while Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans. (Wikipedia)

The war memorials downtown are beautiful, but somber, places. I feel for those who have lost loved ones serving our country.

People enjoy the steps during a downtown festival
People enjoy the steps of our WWI memorial during a downtown festival
The mosaic tile ceiling in the center is impressive
The mosaic tile ceiling in the center is impressive
Our WWII memorial, with additions foe Korea & Vietnam
Our WWII memorial, with additions foe Korea & Vietnam

For more information on the Soldiers’ Memorial Military Museum click here.

— Steve Patterson

 

 

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