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NY Times Blasts St. Louis on Population Decline and Crime

April 17, 2007 Politics/Policy 43 Comments

The NY Times has a highly negative article about St. Louis in their paper today.  From the article:

Population is a critical indicator of any city’s health, but the sinking numbers here are particularly unwelcome as the city has spiraled from one woe to the next.

In the past few months, the public schools were stripped of accreditation and taken over by the state; the city was designated the most dangerous in the country in a national crime survey; and 15 police officers and supervisors were disciplined for giving World Series tickets seized from scalpers to friends and family.

The writer got a few things wrong, including saying Lafayette Park rather than Lafayette Square.  Still, the message is the same.  Major population loss since the 1950s — old news really.  But she also looked at the dispute the city has had with the census since 2000.  In 2003 head city planner Rollin Stanley successfully argued that we had lost only 50 residents in the few years after the 2000 census.  Now the census is saying we are below where we were in 2000.  True or not?  Hard to say.  We’ll have a better clue after the 2010 census figures are released.

One thing is clear, and the NY Times article mentions this toward the end, we are not experiencing the massive losses of population as seen in prior decades.  The debate is if we have a small loss, breaking even or have a small gain.  Regardless, the question in my mind is why?  Have we simply hit rock bottom — that we’ve lost all we are going to lose?  Or have other factors such as shifting demographics, an influx of the “creative class”, or simply new immigrants helped offset continuing losses?  I don’t for a moment credit some great vision from city hall because they really don’t have one.

Read the full article here.

 

Currently there are "43 comments" on this Article:

  1. awb says:

    I thought the City Hall’s great vision was to build parking garages. You mean that isn’t working?

     
  2. Margie says:

    Quibbling over how many liferafts are left will not save this ship. More leadership is needed.

     
  3. dave says:

    Not only are we losing population but we are losing taxpayers. I sometimes think I am the only homeowner in St Louis who pays City real estate taxes. Not many are in lafayette square.

     
  4. apathy says:

    The only thing I learned from that article is the Neal Primm’s Lion of the Valley wasn’t
    written a hundred years ago…I always had the impression that it was
    as antique as antique as Compton and Dry.

    The rest of it is the same, tired rant. It just gets repeated over and over again.
    Slow news day, perhaps. Or maybe the article was written for those New Yorkers
    still seeking solace after watching Carlos Beltran take a called third strike in the bottom of the 9th in Game 7
    of the 2006 LCS?

     
  5. john says:

    The truth has come to haunt the cheerleaders again. Population is one measure among many but one of my favorites continues to be real estate pricing and commercial lease rates. Both these measures continue to show that we are falling further behind and not gaining relative to many other cities.

    However, it is more than just the City, the inner suburbs are losing population too. Major banks and other businesses have already left and many school districts are in more trouble than the media has the time or space to report on. Infrastructure projects are poorly designed which will add to unfunded costs as revenues will not keep up with costs. Leadership? …that is nonexistent and where it attempts to raise its head and assert some influence, it is quickly turned to favor special interests over the public.

    Much more may be said but until the public wakes up and smells the rot, don’t expect further gains. The remaining citizens will have a much tougher time as they will be overwhelmed. To understand the ramifications, just look at what houses are being sold for in Detroit, if they can even be sold. Major change is needed…NOW!

     
  6. aa says:

    I think everyone will agree that the city and the county are two completely different worlds.

    Any survey that exclude the county will be ugly, no doubt about it.

    For instance, median household income in the city ranges from $20-45k. The county ranges from $30-120k!!!

    People leaving the city didn’t necessarily leave the St. Louis “metro” ’cause they might just head west.

    Obviously, that NY Timed writer is still having nightmares about Wainwright’s curve ball.

     
  7. Becker says:

    Didn’t the New York Times lose most of its credibility a few years ago anyway? Call it drive-by journalism perhaps.

    A few weeks back the Boston Globe had a positive article about the city.

    I think it is all a Yankess-Red Sox thing.

     
  8. aa says:

    People have to overcome all the following factors in order to consider living in the city:

    Crime: Too much and concentrated.
    Schools: Bad schools don’t attract families.
    Real estate: Unattractive and demand is low.
    Business: Less population and remaining population don’t have high incomes.
    Entertainment: Is there a “real” shopping mall anywhere?

     
  9. Dustin says:

    Interesting that the previous poster unwittingly pointed out one of the City’s biggest problems: PERCEPTION. And believe it or not, many people would just as soon live a mall-less existence.

    The City of St. Louis is not without it’s real problems — I agree — but if it were nearly as bad as the unfounded perceptions there would be even fewer people willing to invest their lives here. There are a few other places in the region that I MIGHT live and many other large urban areas that I COULD live but I am still happy with my choice going on 10 years now.

     
  10. Patrick says:

    You’re right we don’t have a “real” mall in the city….
    I guess the only thing we’ll have to settle for to entertain us is:
    3 major sports teams
    Fox
    Powell
    Pageant
    Forest Park(zoo, history museum, art museum)
    best bars in the region
    free concerts downtown
    various festivals
    any many more
    …….

    but you’re right there really is just nothing entertaining in the city without a mall. Maybe I should move to St. Chuck and where I can do entertaining things like eat at Applebees and hang out at the mall.

     
  11. aa says:

    We all look at FACTS.

    Have we seen:
    less crimes?
    better schools?
    better neighborhoods?
    more businesses?
    more entertainment?

    What can we use to convince people?

     
  12. aa says:

    Please show me a great city without one single mall.

    Can you imagine how Michigan Avenue in Chicago will look like without all the stores?

     
  13. awb says:

    If aa considers proximity to a mall a factor in entertainment issues, we are worlds apart. But I’m sure I live closer to a mall than many people in the County.

     
  14. Adam says:

    unattractive real estate? are you serious? what could possibly be more unattractive than a subdivision? not to mention poorly constructed.

     
  15. Jim Zavist says:

    My take was the article is, to use a well-worn cliche, fair and balanced. It identifies both positive and negative issues, many of which have been discussed in great detail here. Maybe the truth hurts, especially when some “outsider” repeats it, but we have had major population loss, cops doing stupid things with World Series tickets and a school system on the verge of becoming unaccredited. (It also said good things about downtown’s residential growth and some of our cultural institutions.) Perhaps most interesting / intriguing was the article’s failure to dance around the whole “north side” issue. Until we accept that “What is left is a shell of a city, boarded up, rotting, populated by the most impoverished. Residents, mostly black, are still fleeing these parts of town.”, we can’t have an honest discussion about viable solutions!

     
  16. Craig says:

    I never thought I’d say this, but what is up the the NY Times’ relative infatuation with the city of St. Louis? It seems that every two or three months there is a new article about the city’s attempt to make a comeback — perhaps it has to do with St. Louis as an example of the many mid-sized cities seeking to keep their head above water in the post-industrial age. So far, these cities (Indy, Cleveland, Baltimore) have only been able to muster bread and circuses (lofts that no one pays taxes on, subsidized arenas, stadiums, and museums) but nothing that really draws people to a city — like good jobs.

     
  17. john says:

    Yes JimZ “honest discussion” is necessary. However Steve has accuratley explained that the cheerleaders, not the realists, are in control. Back in September ’06, the Mayor proudly accepted the “World Leadership Award”. Great, now when will some of those internationally applauded claims become reality?

    The BIGGER problem though is the fact that many of the negative trends experienced in the City are now develping in the inner suburbs. The ramifications are obvious and not good.

     
  18. region says:

    New Yorkers are envious of our major league attractions and laid back, semi-southern, style of living. And they’re real envious of our Cardinals.

     
  19. john says:

    StL represents a grand experiment: Early fame and success quickly evolved into a political structure that favored separation over integration. Perhaps NY’s interests lies in the fact that StL is the un-city with with many non-NY like characteristics: sprawl over density, small municipalities over a larger centralized government, autocentrism over pedestrians, highways over rail, etc. Is there any doubt about the outcome of this experiment?

    What’s it like to live in a great city? Vibrant, thought provoking, challenging, rewarding, exciting, unpredictable, sustainable, reflective, contentious, and almost too many visionaries, risk takers, energetic citizens, …

    Which cities are happening places? NY, London, LA, Paris, Chicago, Portland, San Francisco, Vienna, Milano, Rome, Tokyo, Sydney and a few others are all hosting the next Bicycle Film Festival. Imagine riding your bike to the screenings and having that orange monster valet parked, but don’t worry Steve, it won’t be the StL way!

     
  20. I’m a former St. Louisan and I love the city. And I’m not in love with the NYT, but I think the article, but for some minor quibbles, was on the money. Mercifully, the article spared readers the litany of corporate headquarters lost over the years.

    Anyone remember the Pierce Report of about 10 years ago? The report said fragmented government and infrastructure was a cause of the decline, and, if memory serves, cited bickering back and forth across the river which sabotaged efforts to move the airport to Columbia Illinois. The report called for major reorganization and radical efforts toward regional cooperation. From what I can see the recommendations were summarily ignored, and now the proposed downtown bridge is in jeopardy for the same reason.

     
  21. publiceye says:

    “Anyone remember the Pierce Report of about 10 years ago?”

    October 10, 2005

    By Elisa Crouch
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    Urban expert revisits, praising downtown revival

    Urban expert Neal Peirce toured the urban core that in 1997 he’d warned was near death — the Washington Avenue loft district, the new Busch Stadium and neighborhoods such as Lafayette Square that are now thriving.

    He’d heard that St. Louis was recovering, that once-abandoned streets were holding condominiums and new stores. But the man who co-wrote the Peirce Report of the city’s problems and prospects eight years ago wanted to see before believing.

    “Now praise the Lord, it does seem to be on a recovery path,” Peirce told 130 members of the St. Louis Regional Chamber & Growth Association Sunday night. “The big visible headline of your change,” he added later, “is downtown.”

    Peirce, a nationally syndicated Washington Post journalist, gave the keynote address at the RCGA’s annual leadership trip. It was his first follow-up to the report that landed with a thud in a week’s worth of editions of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in March 1997.

    The report sparked regional debate on how to reverse decaying neighborhoods in St. Louis and its closest suburbs. The report targeted urban sprawl, low public confidence in schools, racial tensions, regional fragmentation due to the hundreds of local governmental entities, the plummeting population and its deteriorating downtown.

    Peirce and urban expert Curtis Johnson prepared the study at the invitation of the Post-Dispatch, the Regional Commerce & Growth Association and the William T. Kemper Foundation.

    At the time, some said the report unfairly cast in a negative light development in St. Charles County, which was experiencing some of the highest rates of growth in the country. Others credited the report with sparking regional debate and giving attention to issues that had previously been off the table.

    The report “set the pace, set the tone for some huge changes in this region,” Arnie Robbins, managing editor of the Post-Dispatch, told the group.

    Peirce, after praising St. Louis for its downtown revival, said the region’s appetite for land remains large and needs a reduction. Development continues to outpace population growth, he said, and social and racial inequality persists.

    As in 1997, Peirce remained critical the hundreds of independent governments and special districts and their “growing inability” to pay for schools, streets, public safety and other basic services. He added that efforts by local leaders to fight one another for tax revenue holds the region back.

    “This all seems to an outsider to be a zero-sum game,” he said.

    Rather than travel to another city as it usually does, the RCGA leadership team is spending its annual three-day trip in St. Louis and is touring the region as it would other metropolitan areas.

    When asked what Peirce likes best about St. Louis, Peirce paused a few seconds. “Spirit,” he said. There’s an energy that didn’t exist in 1997, he added. “We were getting so many frowns and groans eight years ago.”

     
  22. The Pierce report’s criticisms are largely valid even today!

    “…this region, hauled up on the couch every quarter-century or so, tells analysts it isn’t doing so great, and then lapses back into inaction”. Peirce is eluding to the inaction of St. Louis’ leadership, while he makes it clear that the media, along with St. Louis University professor George Wendel, have been addressing the issue of blight and sprawl since 1950.

    The Downtown revitalization is really a small fingerprint in a long line of decline. We have many issues to address outside of Downtown and if we do not, then we will fall back into inaction content with our few lofts and boutiques, while the rest of the City rots.

    [UrbanReviewSTL — Agreed, leave it to the Mayor’s PR spinner to gloss over the many issues raised in the series of articles from 1997 by Peirce & Johnson.  I’ve downloaded them all and will prepare a where we are 10 years later post.]

     
  23. Andy says:

    Looks like KSDK is reading your site, they did a story about this article on their newscast this morning.

     
  24. Jim Zavist says:

    Other thoughts – Yes, the cheerleaders are in charge. But, in many ways, that’s what leadership is all about. You/we need a vision and goals. (I’m probably the ultimate realist, but without striving for something bigger and having, at times, crazy dreams, we’re going to be stuck just doing more of the same.) The merger of Louisville and Jefferson County wouldn’t have happened without cheerleaders, visionaries and dreamers. If anything, we need to think bigger, have higher expectations.

    800,000 to 500,000 is a big loss, but 500,000 “ain’t chopped liver”. We can look back or we can look forward. 500,000 still makes us the 800-pound gorilla in a metro region with 2.3 million. We also have a huge inventory of brownfield “opportunities”. Folks in Denver freaked in the late ’80’s and early ’90’s when an air force base shut down and the existing airport relocated, leaving/freeing up two huge parcels for development. Today, through a combination of good planning and a strong economy, both sites are thriving and are prime residential locations. (And yes, Denver has a “head tax” similar to St. Louis’ city income tax). I can understand why Blairmont is so scary (especially in its secrecy), but it might take a project of this scope to jumpstart development on the north side specifically, and for the city as a whole.

    SLPS is a huge challenge, both in reality and from its negative perceptions with outsiders, but it’s not a whole lot different than any other urban school system. The Rocky Mountain News is exploring Denver Public Schools’ challenges in a series of articles this week: http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/education/article/0,1299,DRMN_957_5482849,00.html Are there “answers”? I hope so, but I don’t have them.

    Yes, the inner-ring suburbs are experiencing more of the “problems” that St. Louis has apparently “enjoyed” for years. It just goes to prove you can’t run away from your problems. What many people fail to acknowledge and/or accept is that no city “stays the same”. It’s either getting better or getting worse (and that perception and definition varies from person to person). Glass half-full, half-empty. Problem or opportunity. It is what it is and it boils down to what you do about it / with it.

    Why is the NYT “fascinated” with St. Louis? Maybe because we’re not Detroit or Newark, and they’re seeing glimmers of hope that could be applied to some of their own regional problems. Maybe it’s because our housing costs are one-quarter what their’s are. Maybe it’s just because our commutes are measured in minutes, not hours.

    Our biggest challenge, after SLPS, is jobs. Unless we successfully encourage more non-retail, professional jobs (and companies) to locate in the city, we’re just going to see more of the same. There are reasons why sunbelt cities are booming, and we’re not, and it’s not just the weather. It’s a complex mix of perceptions, taxes, racism, development dollars, perceptions, shipping costs, proximity to other companies in the same industries, housing, utilities, infrastructure, perceptions, crime, golf courses, the airport and yes, the weather. We live in a global economy. We have our unique assets and we need to build on them. And to do that, we need the cheerleaders to counteract some of that unfavorable publicity and perceptions that continue to pop up . . .

     
  25. vote says:

    Jim,

    You’ve shared a lot of personal thoughts and some history with the readers here at Urban Review. Thanks for your insights. Given your newcomer perspective, you often see things differently than locals. What brought you to St. Louis? You’re obviously a college educated professional. With your background you could be living in lots of areas, including places with better weather. So why St. Louis? Any regrets? Perhaps by understanding what attracted you, we could identify the themes for promoting St. Louis to others.

     
  26. john says:

    Cheerleaders are examples of rah rah but do little to create victory. They do not articulate vision nor do they create cooperation between leaders and the public. Cheerleaders attempt to keep spirits high no matter what the score is or how it is developing. Cheerleaders do not create honesty or open debate. Cheerleaders will always fail as leaders since the score is meaningless to them.

    Yes the roots of StL problems have yet to be addressed as the Pierce Report makes clear. In fact, in many ways, our leaders have created more governmental units, not less. Numerous other trends are negative and the yearly balance sheets of progress continue to show that liabilities are growing faster than assets. Is this what we should be cheering for?

     
  27. MH says:

    Vote, you seem surprised that an educated person from outside the area would move here. I have news for you, pretty much my entire (and large) circle of people I am associated with (neighbors (almost my entire block!), co-workers, friends at the neighborhood bars) are ALL out-of-state young professionals, including myself, who have decided to move here because of what St. Louis has to offer.

    As far as the comments above about unattractive real estate and low demand, that person either doesn’t live in the city or simply has no clue what is going on. The comment is so naive it doesn’t even deserve the time I am spending simply typing this. That kind of person must not have been here years ago to see how far things have improved.

    We love it here, chose to live here several years ago, and are excited about the potential in this city. Yes, there are still a lot of problems, but compared to just 10 years ago, the improvements all over the city are frankly astonishing.

     
  28. Tyson says:

    Craig and Jim Z. have both hit on good jobs as the true driver of the city’s fortunes, to which I would add a solid working/middle class residential population. In regards to jobs, clearly reducing taxes is key, but when the city has such a high burden of services relative to tax revenue, plus a decaying infrastructure, it’s difficult to offer a product to businesses that’s competitive with the suburbs; this is where regionalism comes into play. It has to if the city, and the region as a whole, is to succeed.

    Regarding the working/middle class residential population, I think one of the things the city desperately needs more of is new, quality middle class housing developments. $300,000+ rehabs don’t qualify, and it seems like the rest of the selection is either decaying fixer-uppers or your typical 2br 1ba. bungalow in south city. None of these fit the needs/desires of the majority of present day middle class home buyers. Some new middle-class developments may require clearing of old buildings, and yes some may have vinyl siding, but both may be necessary if people want to see the type of broad-based population resurgence that would constitute a true “renaissance”.

     
  29. aa says:

    The city can hardly come back if it can only attract residents with low incomes.

    All in all, crime is the #1 problem that scares people away. It’s all about reputation. The city cops just can never figure it out other than complaining every time an unfavorable crime report comes out.

    As always, most people living in the city are cheerleaders as they always stay south.

     
  30. chris says:

    seems like the county and city have to (gasp!) work together on this and do what they can to save what’s left of downtown. Maybe anti-sprawl legislation would keep developers from continuing to build west out along the highways and start rehabbing some of the city’s housing stock into places people could afford to buy. Oh, and change the city boundaries for god’s sake, reverse the seccession decision of 1876 and reincorporate the city into the county so everybody has a stake in this.

    It’ll never happen, but it’s nice to think about.

     
  31. Craig says:

    Chris, while a regional vision would be nice, the city could do enough by itself to encourage new jobs. It would be nice if the city could bring in a Mayor with solid corporate connections — someone who has sat on a few boards of mid to large companies — who could entice his cronies to locate here through tax credits and other incentives.

    As it is now the city has a dearth of good jobs. Sure, there are the classic pre-industrial era jobs that still exist: doctor, lawyer, carpenter, plumber. But for the typical talented kid who graduates from Washington University there are not enough well-paying or exciting jobs out there in the land of Federated and Enterprise.

     
  32. Joe Frank says:

    Of course, most WashU undergrads are not StL natives anyway, so why would they necessarily be motivated to stick around?

    The governmental fragmentation issue is, in my mind, a bit of a red herring. The biggest problem in that regard is the state line, but that cannot be changed anyway.

    Most of your tax credits and other incentive programs that aren’t Federal, are created by State legislation. In the biotech area, for example, Missouri is pretty far behind Illinois and, well, most other states.

    Unless we can change the culture and attitudes in Jeff City, both StL and KC will be hamstrung.

     
  33. aa says:

    If STL can’t even attract WashU non-natives to stay, how can STL attract other talented, educated people to come?

     
  34. Craig says:

    “Of course, most WashU undergrads are not StL natives anyway, so why would they necessarily be motivated to stick around?”

    To stay in a fun city with a good job. How many Columbia grads are from NYC? How many stick around after graduation? Plenty. Same for Georgetown, Northwestern, Stanford, BC and their respective metro areas.

     
  35. Dustin says:

    I stayed in Lawrence, KS for some time after graduating from KU. And not for some slacker/nostalgic reason. It was simply a great place to live. Ironically, I lived a more urban, walk/bikeable existence there than I ever have here. The reason I left — FEW JOBS!!! I wasn’t going to commute to KC like so many there do.

    Graduates from our esteemed (and less so) institutions are exactly who we need to convince to stay. I have met (close friends among them) several folks in St. Louis who fell in love with this City when they were just signed on for a four year hitch.

    Case in point: Architect John Burse of Mackey Mitchell who is from the east coast and came here to attend Wash U School of Architecture. He saw in Old North St. Louis the potential overlooked by most locals. He is helping lead a true renaissance there. It takes this kind of infusion to teach parochial locals a thing or two about what they take for granted (or simply dismiss).

     
  36. chris says:

    Craig – of course the city should be pursuing the creation of new jobs with everything they have, regardless of any other solutions. But unless they also work with the entire region to help rebuild the city itself, even if they do create thousands of new jobs, very few of those workers they attract will want to live inside city limits.

     
  37. Craig says:

    No, Chris, the city does not need the “region” to fix the problems that prevent people from moving there. As I see it, the big problems are:
    –Horrible public schools.
    –Crime / Lack of Police
    –Earnings Tax
    –Homelessness
    –Bad Attitude About Race
    The city should be capable of fixing these problems for itself.
    AFTER these problems are fixed, we can have a viable discussion about merging the region’s governments.

     
  38. publiceye says:

    –Horrible public schools.
    –Crime / Lack of Police
    –Earnings Tax
    –Homelessness
    –Bad Attitude About Race

    Public schools are bad. Pretty much everybody in town is working on that one. BTW, where are those Wellston kids going to school now?

    The percentage of police per resident in the City is one of the highest in the country.

    City earnings tax is a third of the budget — and less than in some thriving cities. If you hate paying the earnings tax while you live in the county, move to the city.

    Half the people who call the City homeless line for help are from the county. You have to start accomodating your own problem.

    Actually, the City is one of the most integrated communities in the country; the county is one of the most segregated. Who has the bad attitude?

     
  39. Jim Zavist says:

    vote – short answer – I remarried and my wife lived in Kirkwood. Someone had to make the move, and she had more relatives around here. Slightly-longer answer – I grew up in Louisville, so the weather here didn’t scare me, plus my mom still lives there (3½ hours away). Regrets – not many. Obviously, I miss the 300+ days of sunshine every year, along with the dry air, but I don’t miss the explosive growth, its pressure on how water is managed, and seeing one of the big draws (the mountains) being loved to death. When going skiing now means 2-3 hours in bumper-to-bumper traffic, each way, on the weekends, it loses a lot of its glamour. And any other regrets would have to do more with leaving than with where I ended up . . .

    As for what is great about St. Louis, probably the biggest draw is the price of and the quality of the housing stock. If you’re young enough, old enough or catholic enough that SLPS isn’t something you need to worry about (sending your kids to), south city looks pretty good. What I bought near Lindenwood Park would’ve cost at least twice as much in Denver. And, as far as I can tell, in my ‘hood, crime is no different than crime in Denver or Kirkwood. There are some outstanding parks, a lot of great restaurants, Schlafly Brewing can compete pretty much anywhere, and the music and arts scene keeps us busy.

    What makes us unique? Marketable? Cost of living. Affordable, quality housing stock. Some really great neighborhoods. Plenty of water. Not much worry about coastal flooding (if global warming really is true and the glaciers melt). Central location. Public transit. Urban living. Diversity. Available land and infrastructure (for relocating businesses).

    What works against us? Primarily the perceptions we’re all familiar with – crime, weather, racism, non-trendy, midwestern, conservative, no beaches, few great jobs, not great pay. And, as with many perceptions, many simply aren’t true, yet they’re self-perpetuating.

     
  40. Adam says:

    good plan: county-ites flee city rather than help to solve aforementioned problems (which some may have helped to create). dedicated city residents fix problems. county-ites rejoin city to take advantage of urban benefits brought about by other people’s hard work. yay, saint louis county.

     
  41. aa says:

    Does the city need even more cops? Or our cops simply can’t handle the drug dealers and gangs?

     
  42. equals42 says:

    To those who think St Louis isn’t attracting young professionals you are wrong. I moved here from California for the urban aspects, decent airport and the cheap housing. My neighbors are early 29ish and moved here from Ohio and discovered at least a dozen other young Ohio State fans in the neighborhood. The housing stock in South City is great. The neighborhoods have seen a huge improvement in my 4 years here.

    The improvements I need as a mobile professional who works from home or in a hotel when traveling are actually very few. Increase the police force on the street and install automated traffic cameras to help regulate speeding and red light runners. The cops in St Louis only give tickets out when they want to get a look in your car. Let the cameras do most of the traffic detail and get more cops on the street to deal with dangerous crimes. Increase my property tax by 50% if necessary but a lot more cops would be good.

    Finish the damn parking garage at Lambert. Why didn’t they just tear the stupid thing down years ago? They would have been done by now. Even after the work it still sucks! In order to pick up people by the baggage claim you have to go inside the parking structure or fight the parking lot shuttles in an uncovered area. Dumb design. Good thing though is that American has a lot of direct flights left to many parts of the country without the overcrowding of the TWA days. The whole thing should really be torn down built with security in mind. Tell me why they remade the A concourse security area without adding a passage to connect it to the food and services of B,C and D? Brilliance I tell you.

    Get rid of all the big box places that don’t understand urban living. Target near Hampton village is great since I can drive if I want, park underneath and not get rained on. Why is every Schnucks like an island amidst its own parking? Put the parking underneath and attach a Starbucks. Have some trees and greenery out front and I’ll buy a baguette, grapes and a coffee. Heck, I’ll probably impulse buy even more.

    There’s more but it mostly involves how Charter sucks. I love STL. The parks, Cards, people, toasted ravioli, Provel, mispronounced French names and distinct neighborhoods are fun.

     
  43. Jim Zavist says:

    Schools are a BIG issue – this is how one newspaper is trying to provide leadership: http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/opinion/article/0,1299,DRMN_38_5503072,00.html

     

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