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City Sidewalk Parking on Channel 4 at 6pm Tonight

14thsidewalk - 19.jpg KMOV News (Channel 4) will be airing a story tonight on their 6pm news about city employees parking on the public sidewalk along 14th Street (see prior post). I met with KMOV’s Russell Kinsaul this afternoon on 14th to discuss the issue. He gave me a copy of a statement received from Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce. You will recall that I emailed her Friday afternoon prior to posting my story on this subject a couple of hours later. To date, I have not heard back from Ms. Joyce.

I will post a copy of the statement and some additional thoughts after the story airs tonight on the 6pm news, KMOV Channel 4.

UPDATE 1/8/2007 – 6:20pm

This story was Channel 4’s leading story if you don’t count the breaking news of a double stabbing in North St. Louis. As mentioned in their story, and referenced above, Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce issued a statement about this issue:

Thank you for bringing this issue to my attention, as I was unaware that vehicles from this office were parking in this manner.

The Circuit Attorney’s Office has historically been assigned parking spots along 14th Street. My staff has informed me that the parking spots allocated to the Circuit Attorney’s Office on 14th Street are occassionally occupied by other city vehicles. To correct the situation, I will do the following:

  • I have directed my staff to never, under any circumstances, park on the sidewalk, even if our spots are illegally occupied by someone else; and
  • I have asked and will continue to ask the city police to ticket and tow unauthorized vehicles in our parking spots or on the sidewalk; and
  • I will speak to other city agency leaders to request their staff members don’t park in our parking spots on 14th Street.

Click here to view the statement in PDF format, with thanks to Channel 4 for providing me a copy of the statement even though I made such a request Friday afternoon. All in all this is a good statement, it says she was unaware of the issue and then lists specific steps that are being taken to address the oversight.

But I want to look at the bigger picture here for a moment. Their office has “historically been assigned parking spots along 14th Street.” Ok, that is nice. Assigned by whom? Does the Treasurer’s office who runs the City’s parking garages and members have authority over all on-street parking? When the Circuit Attorney’s Office moved two blocks East to the other side of Tucker was the parking situation not evaluated?

I love the fact that an elected official must inform her staff that it is not OK to park their cars and SUVs on a sidewalk. This would seem to be common sense in my book. And finally Joyce is going to speak with other leaders and ask them not to park in their spots. This goes back to the question about numbers of spaces, who assigns them and how often this is evaluated. Yet another example of poor parking management downtown.

UPDATE 1/8/07 @ 10pm – link to KMOV story & video.


Currently there are "14 comments" on this Article:

  1. Tom Shrout says:

    Where their cars on the sidewalk this afternoon?

    [UrbanReviewSTL – Yes, apparently when they took video this morning there were five cars.  I also saw five around 1pm but by 2pm it was down to only 3 cars.  KMOV attempted to talk to one person getting into their car parked on the sidewalk, I heard about the response but I want to see for myself.]  

  2. Cody says:


    Just like most of the other city officials they don’t care about us (the people that pay 1% to live in the lovely city) because in their mind the have there own agenda and wanna do what they wanna do. I think that the city needs a wake up call and people need to stand up and say we are not taking this any more!!! You will find in my recent blog about several issue in the Dutchtown area that have been a issue for me lately.


  3. Craig says:

    The mainstream media is picking up on more and more of your stories, Steve. On Saturday, Jake Wagman of the P-D was on KMOX and said he might do a story on valet parking. He noted that “a lot” of bloggers are talking about it. Well, I know of one blogger talking about it…

  4. Maurice says:

    I wonder if we should all print off signs that say On Official Business and that way we could park where and when we want.

    I can understand Joyce not knowing where her staff parks, especially if she comes in another door. BUT I can’t understand why the police didn’t ticket or at the least, notify her that there were violations and if they don’t correct, they will ticket.

    [UrbanReviewSTL — Yes!  It would be so easy to make your own parking pass.  Step 1) find insignia from city website, Step 2) paste into a work processing program, Step 3) add “official business” and then pick a department.  You can even do a “save as” and create multiple ones for different agencies depending upon where you wish to park.  

    Kidding aside, what confuses me is this parking is two blocks away from their office — it is not convenient at all.   The old municipal courts building, like city hall, has some parking on the ground level behind a gate.  Some people are allowed to park in there — I saw a newish Mercedes and a Lincoln SUV.  They would enter/exit past this sidewalk so someone had to have noticed.]

  5. Margie says:

    I’m impressed by Joyce’s response. Yes, the parking on the sidewalk never should have happened; yes, it showed arrogance by the institution. But she responded exactly as an official should. Now please hold her accountable.

    And Steve, what a lovely example of how shining light on a situation can create positive change. Kudos to you and to Channel 4 for creating a conscience.

    It’s a start.

  6. Maurice says:

    Mercedes and Lincoln….why is it the first thing coming to mind is that those are judge’s cars?

    [UrbanReviewSTL — Once again, this is the OLD Municipal Courts building.  The Circuit Attorney’s office, the public defender’s office and the judges are all two blocks East of this location.  I don’t know who these cars belong to but I seriously doubt a judge has to walk two blocks to their car — they’ve got spaces around the courthouse.]   

  7. john says:

    Unaware? Unbelievable! Perhaps the new nick name of StL should be the UNcity… the uncola (7-UP) began here. It is definitely unacceptable to think drivers have to be told not to park on sidewalks. Are all (most, majority,…) government employees this foolish? Or is this just an indication of bad attitudes coupled with arrogance? Either way you slice it, on the most simplest of matters, local officials remain out of touch and must be embarrassed before they remedy obvious problems. These individuals are supposedly the trusted members of one of our most important pillars of civility… law enforcement? Perhaps a camera is more effective in the StL area and yet the bigger picture remains UNaddressed. By the way, 7-UP originally contained lithium, isn’t that used to treat mental illness?

  8. Jim Zavist says:

    Better enforcement is both the answer and a bureaucratic choice. It’s an answer because it levels the playing field between the public and private sectors (city employees aren’t any more “special” than those who work just as hard [and probably harder] in the private sector), and it generates more revenue for a cash-strapped city. Public streets (and sidewalks!) belong to all of us and to none of us. Yes, it’s both convenient and a benefit to city employees to park where other people aren’t allowed to. It’s also a (small?) reason why many private businesses are (thinking about?) moving to more suburban areas – there’s a limit to the level of hassle anyone will put up with, and if you don’t need to be downtown, finding parking is one of those make-or-break issues (along with congested highways). Public-sector employees (including elected and appointed ones) need to look beyond their own little worlds and consider the immutable law of unintended consequences. Taxes (sales taxes and income taxes) pay their salaries – a drop in taxes (should) equal a drop in the number of employees on the city payroll! It’s also very much a bureaucratic choice. You need to provide adequate on-street parking for the consumer (of both retail and city services) and you need to get workers’ cars off the streets, either by providing structured parking (or parking lots), or ideally, encouraging (by bribing with free or reduced-cost bus passes) daily commuters (worker bees) to use public transit and to leave their cars either at home or at remote park-n-ride lots. Make downtown something other than a growing residential (loft) area and primarily a center for government and legal services, and you may see more thriving retail. Make it too difficult to operate a private business, and private businesses will continue to vote with their feet. If anything, the ideal situation would be to disperse city offices and their employees throughout the city – there are many areas that could benefit from having a stable, adequately-paid workforce dropped into their neighborhoods!

  9. oakland says:

    Now that you’ve gone on TV saying “sidewalks are for people,” are you going to quit parking your scooter on the sidewalk when you feel like making a scene?

    [UrbanReviewSTL — Planners and designers generally refer to the space immediately adjacent to the curb as the “furniture zone” where items such as trash cans, newspaper boxes and bike parking is placed.  I believe 49cc scooters should be allowed to park in bike parking areas where they can be securely locked if additional motorcycle/scooter parking is not provided.  There is a huge difference between a scooter out of the primary walking zone and a 2-ton SUV directly in the walking zone.  I will continue working for designated parking for 2-wheel vehicles — motorized and non-motorized.

  10. wake up and smell the rest of the world, eh “oakland”. NOT having the outskirts of every single available sidewalk crammed with scooters is a uniquely North Amerikan experience. At least Steve sometimes HAS a sidewalk to park securely and out of the way on. I can’t even walk the 500 yeards to the damned QT for a drink w/out having to walk in traffic or through landscaping at work.

  11. oakland says:

    Planners and designers generally refer to the space immediately adjacent to the curb as the “furniture zone” where items such as trash cans, newspaper boxes and bike parking is placed. I believe 49cc scooters should be allowed to park in bike parking areas where they can be securely locked if additional motorcycle/scooter parking is not provided.

    That’s cool, but that’s not what the laws say right now, like it or not. If you’re going to call people out for acting as though laws do not apply to them, you ought to stop acting under that presumption yourself.

    [UrbanReviewSTL — Please enlighten me with what the law does say, I’d love to know the exact language.  First, it cannot prohibit “vehicles” from parking on the sidewalk because a bicycle is a form of vehicle.  What about a motorized vehicle?  That might do it except that Missouri classifys my 49cc scooter as a motorized bicycle — aka moped.  That is why you see 49cc scooters running around without license plates — mopeds are classified differently than larger engined motorcycles and passenger cars.]

  12. insider says:

    you know whats interesting steve is that when the local media cover stories they park their tv trucks on the sidewalks……since you claim the sidewalks are for pedestrians shouldn’t the media be held to the same standards? you seem very hypocrytical here.

    [UrbanReviewSTL — How exactly does TV crews parking on sidewalks make my a hypocrite?   Oh I see, because I have not exposed every single abuse of sidewalks by motorists I am a hypocrite for exposing the one that I did see? 

    Channel 4 parked in a normal parking space on Market when they came to interview me, I parked in the city’s parking lot.  We actually discussed the TV crews’ habit of parking on sidewalks and at least that reporter realized that after doing this story that practice would need to end.  If you want to call anyone a hypocrite, wait and see if Russell Kinsaul parks on a sidewalk to do a story.]

  13. Maurice says:

    Steve (and Insider) you miss the point. Channel 4 and other news stations park on sidewalks for a brief period of time to cover some news story of interest to the population. It could be a police story or a general interest story. But again, it is for a short time and for the greater good of getting the news out. I don’t have a problem with that.

    Now if Insider is talking about in front of the KMOV building on a continual basis, then I agree….move it or ticket it.

    [UrbanReviewSTL — I wasn’t really the one pressing the issues, it was “insider” calling me a hypocrite for not pointing out the issue.  As far as the news stations parking on the sidewalks I should clarify that it was not me telling them that practice would need to end — it was the St. Louis Police telling Channel 4 that if they run this story on sidewalk parking their same “priviledge” would also go away.]

  14. shredders says:

    What a lovely example of how shining light on a situation can create positive change. Kudos to you and to Channel 4 for creating a conscience.


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