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Valet Parking, An Update From Ald. Krewson

January 5, 2007 Central West End, Downtown, Parking, Valet Parking 11 Comments

As a follow up to my post from earlier today, I received a phone call from Ald. Lyda Krewson (D-28th Ward).  Krewson, as I’ve noted in prior posts, has been dealing with valet parking issues in her ward primarily around the intersection of Euclid & Maryland.  I actually received an email from Krewson last night, before the post, asking me to call her (which I did this morning but she was already in sesssion at the Board of Alderman).  The point here is she was calling me to update me, not just reacting.  Much appreciated Ald. Krewson!!!

So what is the update?  Krewson and new Director of Streets Todd Waeltermann have talked, emailed and met in person to discuss the issue of valet parking.  They have been discussing the various issues such as length of valet area, cones or no cones, signage and such.  The goal, she says, is to develop a written policy within the Streets Department that will eventually be adopted as the city’s ordinance on valet parking.

While nothing is yet finalized it sounds to me like both Krewson and Waeltermann are in agreement as to the issues and solutions.  Here are a few of the areas discussed, but again no final language has been drafted at this point so don’t hold it as the gospel:

  • Valet company & business owner must sign an application form.
  • Valet zone to be created with signs indicating end points for the valet service.
  • Valet zone shall be no wider than the business seeking the application unless an immediately adjacent business also indicates their approval by signing the application.
  • Cones may be allowed “at the curb” to help identify the valet zone.

There were a number of other points but I don’t have all the details in writing, plus it is all a draft at this point.  I suggested that after the policy is enacted we actually live with it for 6-9 months before adopting it in ordinance form.  This would give us time to see if loopholes have been found or if other tweaks are required.
Ald. Krewson’s attention to detail and follow up on this issue have been impressive.  It helps that her constituents in the Central West End have been contacting her about their compliants of aggressive valets.  All in all I was very pleased with the solutions Ald. Krewson and Mr. Waeltermann have developed.  Once they have something ready for public commentary I will pass it along for everyone’s feedback.


Currently there are "11 comments" on this Article:

  1. awb says:

    It sounds like Krewson is taking this seriously and that’s good to hear.

    I know you don’t have the answers, but here are a few questions for the Street Department or Ms. Krewson:

    1. Will these regs go into effect in only Krewson’s ward?
    2. Can we expect the revised permits to start in February, June, next December? 2009?
    3. If a business takes up half a block, is it still necessary to allow more than 2 or 3 parking spots for valet?

    [UrbanReviewSTL — I cannot speak for them or any final policy but I’ll take a stab at these based on my conversation.  The regulation would be city-wide, not just the 28th ward.  Krewson indicated she thought all current permits would be revoked and new permits issued conforming to the new requirements.  I did not get a full sense on time frame but I did get a sense of urgency on her part.  #3 is a good question, I don’t know that many businesses are actually that wide but it is worth passing along.]

  2. valet says:

    steve, please get a life. do you not have anything better to do than harass valet companies? we’re here to help st. louis find parking spots. and yet you complain about it? sure, there are times the streets are blocked, but it is the same way with you riding on your little scooter taking pictures at all hours of the night. is this your job? do you think you have to play the role of “Street God” or something. seriously, find something better to do. Have you ever heard of a girlfriend? Or is internet porn your last resort?

  3. Listen sir, when I am unable to park my Buick in front of Lucas Park Grille since the valet companies are coning off the entire block, it really messes with my women attracting abilities.

    Seriously, this is monopoly on public space by a private profit driven organization. It harms other local business who do not have valets because their customers cannot get a parking spot.

    Do you want to demolish more buildings for garages? If not then well preserving our existing parking spots are a huge issue. People are actually coming downtown. We need to make sure they can park without being at the mercy of a valet monopoly.

  4. awb says:

    Is that a valet parking person claiming to help St. Louisans find parking spots? What a joke! Valet companies hijack public parking to create more demand for their services–and then they make a profit by keeping the public from using public parking spaces.

    Personally, I’m glad Steve has the time to take up the battles I can’t. Some of us feel so beaten down that I sometimes consider moving out of this town of huge egos and a giant collective sense of inferiority. If this battle is won, it may not be the result of Steve’s posts, but I don’t care. It will be a victory for common sense and that’s something we city dwellers sorely need every now and then.

  5. Lester Burnham says:

    “Have you ever heard of a girlfriend? ”

    I believe awb is his bestest “girlfriend.” Kidding aside, how Steve spends his time is his business. Like awb, I am glad he has the time and skills to pursue issues on the public’s behalf that are not for his personal gain (except to live in a better built environment). Unlike you, he sticks to the issues and doesn’t make personal attacks (though so many — i.e. Jennifer Florida — think so). You’re the one reading. Don’t like what he has to say or how he says it? Then STOP reading. Obviously, there are great many others who give his thoughtfulness and forthright approach to a myriad of issues a great deal of credence evidenced by the number hits he receives every day — myself included.

    This IS an important issue. It’s about how the city has given outrageously unfair private use of a public asset for the profit of a few private entities over the good of others. That kind of thinking whittles away our collective good little by little and seems to permeate all levels of the system to everyone’s detriment. Believe it or not, Steve is looking out for you too, whoever you are.

  6. Craig says:

    Maybe an unrelated question, but why are these flavor of month lounges that make such an ostentacious display of valet parking so popular these days?

    [UrbanReviewSTL — Actually a very good question.  I haven’t the slightest idea.  My guess would be to give young women from Ballwin a place where they can pretent to be Paris Hilton.]

  7. Concerned Patron says:

    I’ve noticed that you’ve only targeted one valet company in the city. There is more than one company though. What about the other popular valet company called VIP valet. They are at Pepper Lounge causing problems too. Just last Sunday, New Years Eve, they were on 10th street and basically had the whole street shut down between Washington and Locust. I think we should look into them as well.

    [UrbanReviewSTL — I haven’t actually “targeted” a company.  I’ve just focused on a highly visible street that has been an issue.  When this all started roughly a year ago there were not that many places with valet.  Since then places on Locus, Olive, Lafayette Square and others have gotten out of hand.  I am aware of VIP as well.  

    Here is the problem, I can’t really start showing what they are all doing wrong until I actually have a copy of their permit.  A year ago I could just ask to see their permit and they’d give me a weird look and show it to me.  These days I am too well known, they refuse to show me their permits.  As a quick aside, tonight at Lucas Park the valet refused to show me the permit and when the police asked for it turns out they didn’t have the current permit onsite. 

    OK, so I can’t just ask to see the permits anymore.  I can so a Sunshine Law request but the problem is you must be pretty specific otherwise they can charge you “research” time to go through records.   You see, the Dept of Streets can’t just print out a list of current valet permits in the city.  They have to manually look through a stack of street permits issued for all sorts of reasons.  This should all change soon as the Dept of Streets issues new permits with much stricter regulations.]

  8. John Doe says:

    “when I am unable to park my Buick in front of Lucas Park Grille since the valet companies are coning off the entire block, it really messes with my women attracting abilities.”

    The first problem Mr. Duckworth is that you’re driving a Buick. Your women attracting abilities just went downhill from there. If you want to increase your women attracting abilities, maybe you should show them you have money by paying to keep your car close with the rest of the big spenders in the city.

  9. Jim Zavist says:

    The only problem I see with tying the permit to the frontage of a business are larger businesses potentially doing what you’re trying to end. Better to just limit a valet operation to 3 or 4 spaces, then move the cars elsewhere!

    [UrbanReviewSTL — I thought about that too.  But every business I could think of just wasn’t that long.  They were talking about a maximum of 120ft, six spaces, regardless of the width of the business.  That is still too much in my book but perhaps if 2-3 restaurants that are side-by-side want to go together then maybe it would be OK.  Still seems like a big gap but I think that would be the exception rather than the rule.]  

  10. equals42 says:

    “You see, the Dept of Streets can’t just print out a list of current valet permits in the city. They have to manually look through a stack of street permits issued for all sorts of reasons.”

    What? Here’s another example of how backward this city is. Why aren’t permits in a computer that can be searched and indexed? It should be a simple matter of printing a list of permits this year and picking the address in question. No research needed.

    [UrbanReviewSTL — Do you really think a computer spreadsheet/database where you could search & sort by zip code, ward, valet company, street or expiration date is superior a system to stacks of permits rubber banded together?  What do you think this is, 2007?]

  11. Dave says:

    I see a loophole here. What if all businesses on a street decide they want a valet? Then we’re still running into the same problem in which our streets are hijacked from the public. It shouldn’t be necessary to have more than 2 or 3 valet spots per street. Should it?


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