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The Boulevard Piled Snow on Sidewalk, Blocking ADA Ramp (UPDATED)

January 14, 2014 Accessibility, Featured, St. Louis County, Walkability 20 Comments

Yesterday I decided to use a gift card I had for Crate & Barrel. We’d had warmer weather and rain to help clear away the snow. Unfortunately I encountered a problem as I approached The Boulevard.

As I got to The Boulevard I found a pile of snow blocking the wheelchair ramp.
As I got to The Boulevard I found a massive pile of snow blocking the wheelchair ramp. 3:42pm on Monday January 13, 2014. High temp yesterday was 55 degrees.
I had to turn around and go back to the MetroLink station to cross to the other side.
I had to turn around and go back to the MetroLink station to cross to the other side.
I briefly thought I wouldn't be ab;e to get through, but I could.
I briefly thought I wouldn’t be ab;e to get through, I crossed mid-block. Crate & Barrel is on the left.
After I made my purchase I got a pc of the other side of the snow pile blocking the most direct route.
After I made my purchase I got a pc of the other side of the snow pile blocking the most direct route.

The Boulevard is owned by developer Pace Properties. Here’s how they market the development:

In the heart of St. Louis is a lifestyle destination unlike any other. The Boulevard – Saint Louis is a vibrant village with a unique blend of upscale retail, fine dining, and luxury residences. Home to retailers and restaurants such as Soft Surroundings, Loft, Crate & Barrel, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro and Maggiano’s Little Italy, The Boulevard is the premier lifestyle development in the St. Louis metropolitan area. Take a stroll down the shops of Main Street and sit back and relax on the patio of our restaurants. (The Boulevard)

“Vibrant village” huh? Right…. I shouldn’t be surprised since their “visit us” page gives driving directions, no mention of public transit.

As I was checking out at Crate & Barrel the clerk asked me how may day was going, I said “Great, but I had a hard time getting here.” I showed her the first picture above. She was shocked so she called the store manager over. I showed the manager the same picture and she said she’d talk to Pace Properties.

Pace Properties wants to develop the SE corner of Forest Park & Vandeventer, they’re calling it Midtown Station.  Pace is the broker for IKEA’s proposed St. Louis store and they’re connected to the ADA-challenged Fields Foods development.  I’m not impressed with Pace Properties.

UPDATE: Response from Pace Properties received 1/14/14 @ 2:45pm:


As property manager of The Boulevard Saint Louis, I am sorry to hear about your recent experience. Pace Properties takes accessibility issues very seriously. For example, at the Brentwood Square Shopping Center we recently did a large, and costly, project overlaying the parking lot and replacing the handicap ramps in front of each store to ensure that we had ADA compliant paths. Unfortunately, the mound of snow that restricted your path adjacent to The Boulevard was pushed there by the county when they were clearing Galleria Parkway. We do not have any surfaces in that vicinity that would necessitate snow clearing due to the covered garage – with the exception of the small entrance/exit to the garage and the sidewalk. I have spoken with our snow removal vendor and they have been instructed to clear future obstructions from the ADA accessible ramp.

Thanks for contacting us regarding this issue. We appreciate visitor feedback and hope that we can make your next visit a more enjoyable experience.



— Steve Patterson


Currently there are "20 comments" on this Article:

  1. Thomas R Shrout Jr says:

    All of us interested in pedestrian/ada issues need to keep exposing these thoughtless acts. Thanks for posting. I was disappointed in Field Foods as well. As we were leaving two people were walking back into the neighborhood and had to dodge cars to make their way through the parking lot to find a sidewalk.

  2. Fozzie says:

    Not this again.

    This is the same argument as last year with the downtown parking lot pushing snow on the sidewalk. Everyone was inconvenienced with last week’s snow.

    And what, exactly, is the point of mentioning the temperature, other than being overly dramatic?

    • As a result of my efforts the parking lot operator from last winter hasn’t been blocking the sidewalk this years, they now realize they shouldn’t block the sidewalk. Hopefully Pace Properties will get the message.

      Yes, everyone was inconvenienced “last week” but this was yesterday. The temperature matters because snow that hadn’t been piled up had long melted.

    • moe says:

      Sensationalism…that’s all. We were all inconvenienced and will be so in the future with more snow. Steve could easily have waited another day or so. But no, it was his decision to go to C and B that day…so everyone should bow before him throwing rose petals.

      • I thought I waited long enough, all the snow had finally melted away — except where piled.

      • ScottF says:

        I think the point is that the roads had been cleared, but not the sidewalks. Why is that sensationalism? Why do those with cars get priority of those who walk? This was a problem all over the region as snow was pushed from the street to the sidewalk.

        • Moe is one of those who long ago decided to never question the status quo, so he likes to harass those of us who do.

          • moe says:

            Laugh away. But you know nothing of me. I’ve raised the issues of how this blog has become irrelevant. I’m not the one posting article after article about how they’re inconvenienced during a snow storm, think cars are evil, preach the lack of local retail while shopping online and go ‘look at me, look at me….so and so bowed down before me and painted my sidewalk’

          • Since day one this blog has been a way for me to express my thoughts so it remains relevant to me. Others also find it relevant and I manage to bring awareness to issues nobody else addresses.
            Perhaps this blog would be relevant to you if I posted about pesky kids on the lawns of seniors…
            This was my 3rd post on snow blocking the sidewalks which is 0.084% of the 3,586 posts.
            Cars aren’t evil, designing cites to require a car isn’t wise.

          • wump says:

            bless you sir

  3. JZ71 says:

    Just one of many, many examples around the region. The private contractors most owners hire to clear their parking lots rarely consider pedestrian access, especially from or along the public sidewalks, and especially in suburban retail environments. Situations like this just exacerbates the number of ‘missing links” in the pedestrian network, either steering more people to drive or confining those who can’t or don’t drive to their homes.

    There are three parts to this equation, like many issues in the built environment – money, education and enforcement. Clearing sidewalks requires either manual labor or specialized equipment, something other than an 8’ blade on a pickup truck. The city has laws that require property owners to keep their sidewalks clear, but they’re rarely enforced, especially when it comes to snow. And many property owners simply don’t think or don’t care about pedestrians, since they’re such a small minority, especially in suburban areas (like this one).

    And to play devil’s advocate, aren’t you’re actually rewarding bad behavior by completing your purchase at Crate and Barrel? Wouldn’t it have been more effective to have rolled into the store, asked to speak to the manager, pointed out both the obstacles and the fact that you had planned to spend money, but that you would not be doing so until the obstacles had been removed? The reality is that they did get your money, in spite of the hassles that they and their landlord put you through!

    • Crate and Barrel is just a tenant, their biggest tenant. By completing my intended purchase and pointing out the problem I encountered I got them on my side to get Pace Properties to find a better snow holding location.

      • JZ71 says:

        I disagree. I’m a big believer in “money talks”. Imagine two conversations, between the store manager and their regional manager and/or the Boulevard’s property manager:

        “We had 1/2/10 customers come in today who complained about snow removal, specifically about piles of snow blocking the sidewalks – we need to do a better job next time this happens.”

        “We lost 1/2/10 sales today, and probably $100/$200/$1,000 in revenue, just because Pace didn’t completely clear the sidewalks.”

        Either way, you have Crate and Barrel “on your side”, but the latter one carries more weight.

    • Cheryl Hammond says:

      I called my condo association in St. Louis City and complained that they cleared the inside walks up to the public walk, and left the snow on the public walks in front of the buildings. The person who answered said that it was the city’s responsibility to clear the public walks and I let her know that was not true. I don’t know if anything will change in the future.

      • Mike F says:

        Next time call the CSB, and list your concerns with them. The process is anonymous if you wish. But don’t feel too bad. I was the only (!) one on my block who shoveled the sidewalk in front of our house, from verge to our lawn. I even shoveled the two vacant houses to the N. My neighbor to the S basically did the same thing your condo did, except they at least he ‘cleaned’ a 4′ wide spot to the verge. And this was only after mom yells out to the kids (who were soliciting neighbors to shovel their walkways), “Hey, what about over here?!”). I had a chuckle over that one.

  4. rgbose says:

    Those sidewalks were completely covered before the rain Friday. I had to walk in the street which was clear. It’s an obvious high traffic ped route. Thoughtless

    • Cheryl Hammond says:

      Yes, I walked from the Metrolink station to the Galleria in the street with all the other pedestrians because all the sidewalks were covered with snow, although the streets were cleared. This seems like one set of sidewalks that someone would clear, but did not happen.

  5. wump says:

    never really thought of brentwood as a pedestrian paradise, just me I guess, Ill stick with the city.

  6. Just updated this post with a response from Pace Properties, they say St. Louis County piled snow blocking the sidewalk & ramp.


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