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Will Fifth Third Bank At Loughborough Commons Connect To Sidewalk?

October 5, 2010 Accessibility, Loughborough Commons, South City 9 Comments

Has it really been nearly two full years since I’ve written about Loughborough Commons? It was December 2008 when I wrote about the new Burger King’s lack of pedestrian access despite the nearby sidewalk.

“Burger King has very generous provisions for the motorist but zip for the pedestrian. What pedestrians you might ask. Well, people do walk to Loughborough Commons. People also arrive by bus and bike. Yes, most use a car but we shouldn’t overlook those not driving private autos. Everyone spending money at Loughborough Commons is paying an extra tax to the Community Improvement district. Shouldn’t pedestrians expect some accommodation in return?”

Of course, nothing was done to correct the lack of pedestrian access.  Now construction has started on the Fifth Third Bank for the parcel between the main entrance and the Burger King.  Here is what the site looked like in late 2008:

The bank building faces Loughborough but will be reached internally. The drive through lanes, not the front door is what is visible from the main drive.


My assumption is the existing sidewalk will not be continued across the edge of the parcel and not up to the front door, a clear violation of the ADA.


I was only at Loughborough Commons for a few minutes but I spotted pedestrians leaving as I was leaving. Walkability is not that difficult but it is obviously out of the mindset of civil engineers and the developers who hire them.

– Steve Patterson


Currently there are "9 comments" on this Article:

  1. Kevin B, YAStLBlog says:

    That whole area is poorly developed from a pedestrian standpoint. Heck, even when driving, it's a tense process getting to a parking spot.

    When will you be writing about the Boulevard Heights development, Steve. It is definitely a weird (and unwanted) sight in an otherwise classic and beautiful South City neighborhood.

  2. JZ71 says:

    While you may want Loughborogh to be the “front”, I'm sure that most customers would define the “front” as the side facing south, toward the parking lot.

    Shopping centers provide an interesting challenge for ADA compliance. Obviously, the overall center is required to comply. The unanswered question is whether or not each tenant, especially those on out parcels are required to provide a separate, direct connection to the perimeter / public streets, or if a common path of travel is adequate?

    • I don't care what the front is, the bank has decided Loughborough will be their front. All I want is sidewalk connections. The bank parcel has a cannon sidewalk in the development along it's long side and it could easily be continued along the south so the Burger King and the other our parcels could connect to it, although the curbs at BK would need to be redone to extend this walk. The developer should have mandated each parcel owner continue this shared walk and that each building should connect to it.

  3. GMichaud says:

    What is more troubling than anything else is in spite of the obvious concerns about urban planning that has arisen from this blog and others in recent years, there seems to be no effort on the part of the city government to address these issues.
    I agree with Kevin, the first poster, and as previous posts on this site talked about at length, this whole strip mall is terrible from an urban planning point of view.
    The reason of course it is the formula urban planning that is used, that is an urban planning designed to maximize profit.
    Thinking cost money. Design cost money. Thus slap any old piece of crap in place as long it is the formula that makes money. No thinking necessary.
    That hasn't included pedestrian nor ADA concerns in the past and there are other urban issues (across from a park, mass transit and so on).
    The irony is that Desco and other developers could benefit by rethinking their projects, otherwise they will be last in place when the inevitable changes to the auto orientated culture occur.
    Anybody that thinks that capitalism is nimble and innovative is sorely wrong.

    • JZ71 says:

      While I agree that the strip mall is “terrible” from both an urban planning and a non-vehicular perspective, I blame us, the customers, more than either the developers or “the government”, for their proliferation. Money talks. More of us choose to shop in strip malls than along traditional urban streets. Developers are greedy, but they're not stupid. They give us what we want, i.e. where we actually show up and plunk down our cash. If their tenants didn't demand X number of parking spaces per 1,000 square feet of floor area, then guess what, mr. developer wouldn't build as many and just save that money! And the government is us. We elect 'em, and they write the laws and pay for the staff that set these “standards”. Don't like the results? Then elect people who share your vision and/or get involved in the process, working behind the scenes, educating your alderman and making them look good/letting them take the credit. Bottom line, we have vacant businesses, be they storefronts on Gravois, a shopping center in Crestwood or big boxes in Chesterfield because people quit shopping there. Vote with your wallet. Spport businesses in the urban context that you want to see more of, and boycott the suburban crap that you find so distasteful. Believe me, both the tenants and the developers wil get the message . . .

      • Sorry, I don't buy the “it is our fault” argument. Had this been built to welcome pedestrians, in addition to motorists, people would still shop there. They wouldn't stay away because of pedestrians. There has been a very real lack of retail services in the city the last 30-40 years. The demand exists, the developer just gave us the lowest form of retail and the cluless city didn't bother to force them to accommodate pedestrians.

        • JZ71 says:

          I agree, the “city didn't force them to accomodate pedestrians”. The real question is why? If there's not a noisy minority (absent a vocal majority) agitating for the change, then change simply doesn't happen. We can opine all we want on the blogosphere about the righteousness of being pedestrian friendly, but the results speak for themselves.

          I can name 3 projects in greater Denver (Belmar, Lowry and Stapleton), that a) embrace beter-quality urban design principles, and b) were constructed on brownfield sites (a dead shopping mall, a closed military base and a closed airport, respectively). They all had developers and “the government” involved, just like they had at Loughborough Commons, yet the results are distinctly different and better.

          “We” are the government and “we” are the customers. We “get” what we find to be acceptable or tolerable. The government has the power to say “no, we want something better”. We, as customers, have the option of shopping at a multitude of businesses in a myriad of retail shopping environments. If you want to shop at the local lumber yard, hardware store and paint store, no one is stopping you, yet, Lowe's remains open, and is apparently continuing to meet corporate expectations, with or without pedestrian access.

          • I'm part of that noisy minority. I know that if we build a great urban city we can gain population and tax base. We've been trying to compete with suburbia on their terms for decades and it doesn't work.

  4. Pmurphyholmes says:

    The construction documents are available for viewing with the city as they are “public” record. Your assumptions are a bit premature as the buildng is not completed.

    But, I can assure you the sidewalk does connect to the existing sidewalk along Loughborough Drive and there are seven (7) detectable warning ramps that will be installed on the public and private sidewalks. These sidewalks will lead to the front entrance of the bank, which is located on the NE corner of the building.

    The bank is very ADA friendly.

    I hope this helps.



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